Coding knowledge are not the only sought after skills in this new economy
“Hi there, I’m a Storytelling Manager at an Uber for cat adoption.”
Tech startups and companies carved a “digital economy” with a slew of mobile and desktop apps addressing anything and everything from communication, finance, productivity, health, entertainment, travel — the list goes on. With it, the emergence of a list of new job titles and roles that can be difficult to explain to your parents or in-laws.
Tech roles usually conjure images of a developer in front of a screen coding the day away or perhaps an IT support to help troubleshoot your computer problems. While developer and support engineers remain ubiquitous, tech roles are now more diversified, often without any coding involved.
So if you are considering a shift to tech or just graduated from school unsure what to do next, here are some roles you should look out for and what to expect should you cross that bridge.
1. Growth Hacker
Having launched and exited successful startups a couple of times, Jon Yongfook defines growth hacking as:
“A good way to describe how marketing is done at a startup. It’s not a magical new technique, it’s just a term to describe tactics that many startup marketers have been using for years.”
However, according to Yongfook, growth hacking differs from traditional marketing because there is (1) a focus on the application of technology and (2) certain growth hacking tactics “flirt with the boundaries of either legality or good citizenship” and can only be used if you are “small, scrappy company and can be easily forgiven”.
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Put into context, if you’re a Growth Hacker for a food delivery app, your immediate goal is to attract new users by driving app downloads or nurture current users by encouraging repeat orders and deliveries. Marketers, advertisers, and even salespeople can be good profile matches for such a role.
2. Business Development
Yes, a tech startup is a business after all and similar to any for-profit business, it has to make money. So while the Growth Hacker can help acquire leads, the Business Development Executive or Manager has to convert those leads into paying customers or retained clients.
Business development in tech startups aren’t just transactional in nature. Apart from selling existing products, you’ll have a critical role in prototyping new products or feature improvements.
Having an ‘entrepreneur’ mindset where you keep looking for things to improve and problems to solve is key to growing the business’ products and services. While doing so, you are also creating and adding value to your customers. Spencer Johnson, author of Who Moved My Cheese? calls this “selling with purpose”. Salespeople, client account managers, business consultants and even accountants can thrive in this role.
3. Program Manger (SaaS)
Sometimes referred to as an Implementation Manager, it’s a role commonly employed by SaaS providers. SaaS products have a multitude of features that can be daunting for first-time customers. This is where the Program Manager comes in to ensure the customers are trained and guided on usability and best-use cases.
Sometimes, the Program Manager can also help customise processes and workflows unique to the customers’ SaaS usage requirements.
The Program Manager doesn’t necessarily need a technical or IT background but would have to extensively learn and be a “super user” of the product to guide and train customers. The ability to explain and demonstrate technical concepts as simple as possible is key coupled with extreme amounts of patience. Those with customer service, teaching/training and client-facing backgrounds are a good fit for this role.
4. Storytelling Manager
We always hear the phrase “content is king”. Well, the content has to come from somewhere and it’s the Storytelling Manager’s (may sometimes be called Content Writer or Content Strategist) role to conceptualise, plan and create it. They may work closely with Growth Hackers to distribute various content such as blog posts, articles, social media, videos, newsletter, and whitepapers to name a few.
As a Storytelling Manager, your goal is to create and communicate a narrative for the company’s products and vision to drive awareness and engagement from your to-be customers. They might not necessarily make a purchase yet but if you produce informative, useful and quality content consistently, you’ll be recognised as a thoughtful community resource or subject matter expert.
For example, if you’re a storytelling manager for a wedding services marketplace, produce or curate content around love, relationships, wedding planning costs, even legal advice. Those with experience from creative agencies, branding, marketing, lifestyle journalists and freelancers would find this role perfect for their idea-filled minds.
5. Community Manager
Naturally, web and mobile apps thrive when people use them — recall how millions went insane over Pokémon Go. Once an app gains traction with users, it creates an informal community of fans, followers and eventually, potential customers who want to engage more with the company and its products. The Community Manager makes sure the company reciprocates the interest by engaging them on social media, newsletter, blog comment threads, and these days even on messaging tools such as Whatsapp or Messenger.
If you were a Community Manager, you can consider yourself as the product or company’s “human touch”. If you’re a social media enthusiast, this role is perfect for you. Copywriters and customer service representatives may also consider this role.
This piece was inspired by several guest posts published on e27. If you would like to contribute, send yours today! If any of the role types above interest you, we welcome you to browse 2,000+ tech jobs on e27 Jobs. And hint, hint, we’re hiring too!
Images from Pixabay.
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