Indy Continues to be a Draw in 'Very Complex' Digital Marketing Field

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(Image courtesy of Kim Saxton courtesy of the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.) (Image courtesy of Kim Saxton courtesy of the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.)

A clinical professor of marketing with the Indiana University Kelley School of Business at the IUPUI campus says if there is a ceiling to the marketing technology industry in the state, we haven't yet reached it. Kim Saxton adds that growth in the field, which includes Monday morning's announcement by Chicago-based Cheetah Digital of plans to add 100 jobs, could eventually lead to more consolidation. "But they're still going to need people to run them," she told Inside INdiana Business, "so what we haven't seen with these consolidations and these acquisitions: layoffs."

Saxton says talent remains "a question mark" that high-tech companies must face when choosing a location to launch or grow. "I would guess that these firms did their homework and thought there was enough talent here to announce these kinds of plans," she said. Legacy companies in the field that were established in Indianapolis like ExactTarget, which was bought by Inc. (NYSE: CRM) in 2013 for $2.5 billion, and Compendium, which was acquired the same year by Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL), have laid a foundation for the industry that has fed an experienced talent pipeline for startups, relocations and expansions. On the education side, she says colleges and high schools in Indiana are adding more courses and degrees to prepare the future digital workforce. Organizations like Indy Women in Tech Inc., Saxton adds, are also chipping in by supporting initiatives that boost high-tech skills.

Cheetah Digital is a recent spin-off of Ireland-based Experian and it currently employs 50 Hoosiers. It plans to invest $2 million over the next five years to expand its Indianapolis office.

Indiana University Kelley School of Business Clinical Professor of Marketing Kim Saxton says talent remains "a question mark" that high-tech companies must face when choosing a location to launch or grow.
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