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Digital hiring trends in 2018

CMOs forecast the 12 hottest digital marketing skills

June 22, 2017 | By Kelly Niles

male digital marketing professional drinks coffee

Marketing tactics and customer expectations are changing at a breathtaking pace—and organizations can’t keep up with the talent needed to compete. Nearly all marketing leaders (95 percent) report they’ve been negatively impacted—from productivity loss to bottom-line impact—by the lack of qualified talent.

As part of our digital marketing survey, TEKsystems Digital asked over 250 marketing leaders what digital marketing roles they expect to increase in criticality over the next 12 months. Start your workforce planning now as competition for these skill sets is likely to be fierce.


“New” marketing projected for the most growth

The roles that top the list likely wouldn’t have a decade ago. If the jobs existed at all, they likely sat in IT or were called something else. As the industry evolves, titles and responsibilities change. Use job titles and descriptions with terms applicants are searching for now (e.g., user experience, content strategy) rather than internal or historically used terms. It will show digital savviness and help talent discover your job in their searches.

Analytics roles are in high demand…

With four analytics roles ranking high on marketing leaders’ lists, it’s clear the future of the field is becoming more metrics-driven. As more analytics roles shift to marketing from other parts of the company (e.g., IT, business), marketing leaders may need to consider interviewing analytics professionals who have a background in data science, big data or business analysis, but no marketing experience.

…And so are content roles

With a deluge of competing content making it hard to cut through the noise, content marketing has upped its game. Skill sets focused on creating, managing and delivering the right content to the right person at the right time are in demand.

And as audiences have become savvier about knowing when they’re being ‘marketed to,’ content teams are investing in multiple roles to ensure they’re producing quality pieces that B2B and B2C consumers value.

At a recent client roundtable we hosted in the Bay Area, a senior director for a Fortune 500 tech company said, “Personalization was a buzzword a year or two ago; in that space it’s ‘know me and respect me.’ At the end of the day, people want a personalized experience but it has to be the right time and not overdone: Use it to my advantage, not just to sell me something.”

Strategies for managing talent gaps

While analytics and content talent are in greatest demand, marketing leaders also see growth in need for martech, design, development and operations talent. Marketing is so integrated that the success of one person’s role truly relies on another’s.

Just as data informs your marketing strategy, talent data can help you determine if you’re better off filling that skill need with a full-time employee, contractor or outsourcing to a services provider. Even with a limitless budget, it would be difficult to out-hire the talent you need to keep pace with increased customer expectations. Here are some strategies for thriving:

  • Evaluate what work you feel comfortable shifting out of house. Leveraging external partners can give you scalability to meet evolving business demands.
  • Think beyond the traditional agency model. Using in-house contractors or bringing in project teams can help you control both costs and output.
  • Learn the supply/demand and average salary per skill set in your local market.

View the full infographic or read the executive summary for complete survey results.

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