As a recruiter specialising in the field of marketing, I have been fortunate enough to work with some amazing companies over the past seven years, both in Australia and in the UK. During this time I’ve seen a dramatic shift in the value companies place on the marketing department. Many companies have previously considered the marketing department as “nice to have”. Today, without question, all of my clients categorise marketing as one of the most essential aspects of their business.
As Steve Wozniak said “Marketing is the most important thing for businesses success – it’s a lot easier to think of an app and write it, than it is to convince people to want it.”
Marketing is evolving at a rapid pace and expectations on the marketing team now extend far beyond advertising, branding, events and PR.
So, what do you need to be a marketer in 2020?
You need to be an analyst
Data, data, data… If content is King, data is certainly Queen.
In a recent SEEK survey, recruiters ranked analytics/analytical thinking as the second most in-demand skill required for marketers. The ability to analyse data using tools like CRM platforms, website analytics dashboards, social media reporting tools etc, and turn this data into actionable steps for the marketing team is an essential skill. Over the past year, I have been working with one of the world’s fastest growing tech start-ups, assisting them with hiring senior level marketing candidates. Data and analytics experience was one of the fundamental assets they required from all applicants.
TIP: Check out a course on data-driven marketing, such as those run by ADMA.
You need to be a subject matter expert
Subject matter experts (SME) have considerable experience and skills relating to a particular industry. For example, an applicant who has been working as a marketing manager in the fashion industry for a few years could position themselves as a subject matter expert in this field. While many marketers have chosen to remain generalists, taking advantage of the ability to change industries and disciplines many times throughout their career, and adapting their fundamental skills to the landscape they move into. Hiring managers at many of the companies I work with are increasingly looking for candidates who are SME’s in the industry and discipline they are operating within.
TIP: Consider developing your skills, knowledge and experience within one subject matter to become a SME and use this to enhance your fundamental marketing skills.
You need to be compliant
Having experience in marketing compliance and a strong understanding of legal regulations governing marketing activity is a highly regarded skill in 2019. The Facebook – Cambridge Analytica scandal of 2018 was a reminder to many companies of the importance of compliance and protecting client data. This scandal demonstrated that as far as reputation goes, little can harm your business more than a compliance violation. It can send a message to the public that your business is deceitful and not trustworthy. If you can bring up-to-date regulatory knowledge with you to a marketing role, you will set yourself apart from other candidates.
TIP: Do your research about the specific regulatory requirements of the industry in which you will be working. For example, if you plan to run marketing campaigns in banking or finance it’s important to know about APRA or ASIC requirements. No one wants to be referenced in a Royal Commission!
You need to be a salesperson
We all know sales and marketing teams should be best friends, they work closely together and one needs the other. Today the modern marketer often has a strong sales understanding but a marketer who has ‘been in the trenches’ and has sales experience is considered very valuable to a marketing team. If you’re in marketing, it’s essential to know what your clients are looking for, to have an awareness of their needs and how your business’ products or services are meeting (or perhaps not meeting!) their expectations. In the past six months, I have seen ‘sales’ and ‘ROI’ skills listed in the top five requirements for marketing and digital roles. Here at Talent, our social media manager was previously a candidate manager – his knowledge of what our candidates are looking for brings an important perspective to our marketing efforts.
TIP: You don’t need to have worked as a sales person but make sure you spend time with the sales team understanding their goals and challenges and set marketing objectives that directly correlate to these.
You need to be a technician
Marketing Technology or Martech is any digital platform or tool the digital marketer uses to make their processes and tasks easier to complete. Technologies like SaaS, Marketing Clouds and AI are all forms of Martech tools utilised by marketers. Whether it’s Marketo, Adobe or Salesforce Marketing Cloud, if you have experience in implementing effective MarTech tools into your marketing strategy you will be a much-needed asset to many marketing teams.
TIP: If you are resistance to tech change, the time has come to embrace the tools and systems that will set your skills apart. While there is always a bit of envelope stuffing from time to time in marketing, taking courses that will help you become an automated marketing guru will set you up for success.
Choosing to develop your knowledge in any of the above in-demand areas will be beneficial to advancing your marketing career and will position you as an in-demand candidate.