Friday, 27 May 2016

Marketing Skills – What we need to learn

There was recently some market research conducted by Fractl & Moz that looked into 75 thousand listed jobs on during June 2015. What came as a surprise to some is that marketing skills are in fact in high demand and will only continue to increase.  However, with that being said, recruitment agencies and those in charge of hiring to fill marketing positions are becoming much pickier about skills and talent.
As most of us are becoming aware, there is quite a skills gap in marketing in today’s industry, particularly in relation to digital proficiency that companies are expecting of current & future employees. Marketing careers now require detailed knowledge of such things as social media, SEO, content marketing, and Google Analytics.

From the research Fractl & Moz’s has undertaken, what seems to be the most valued skill for a marketer is understanding and proficiency in SEO. Their research shows that job titles including SEO averaged a yearly salary of $102,000. Those including Social Media Marketing came in around $51,000 annually. A report by “The Economist Intelligence Unit and Market” states that, out of all new marketers:
  • 39% emphasize technology and digital engagement
  • 38% emphasize strategy plus planning
  • 32% emphasize data analysis
  • 27% emphasize customer experience
  • 26% go for advertising and branding
  • 16% emphasize creative graphics

Marketing has entered a tech and data-driven new world

As mentioned in some of the other articles I have written, there is definitely a change in how marketers previously worked and how they work today. We can’t blame this only on the internet, but must also blame the rapidly changing world of technology. Many hiring staff should really be aiming at looking for candidates with an overall strength where “new technology” is concerned plus a specialised area of their own, whether that be in SEO, social media, analytics and so forth.  To be fair to us marketers, agencies should really start making adjustments in order to attract the best new technological and digital talents.

In order to start addressing the skills gap, marketers must stay up to date on the latest digital technology.  Attracting and keeping the top guns in marketing may incentivise your company to give you particular benefits, whether that means they pay for your advanced degree in marketing or reward you for extra specialised platforms you decide to educate yourself on.

Most of the small businesses in today’s economic landscape will simply partner with marketing agencies and expect specialised services such as SEO, social media, and user experience. Not only is it up to the marketer to ensure they are up to date with the latest trends, platforms and skills but it is also up to the companies themselves to ensure their employees, both marketing and other department staff are having ongoing training. 

At the end of the day, what we need to understand is that companies are telling their recruiters to find marketers with a firm grasp of current technology and internet marketing practices. Meanwhile, marketers who have such skill sets can afford to be very choosy about who they work for. It’s a very hot job market for those who take the time and trouble to go beyond marketing basics and specialise in things like SEO, content marketing and Google Analytics.

Digital-first platforms are the coming thing. A digital thread is the common theme for all companies and recruiters looking to hire the cream of the crop. The new breed of digital marketers will feel comfortable working with the IT department and with sales teams, as well as having the skills necessary to function in the internet-dominated marketing field of today.

Lauren Musat
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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