Nuts & Bolts - Employment: Skills for Job Security
The word on the street is that there are fewer jobs in marketing, both on the services and brand sides. This is true overall, but specific skill sets still are in high demand. In fact, demand exceeds supply in some cases, even in this prolonged economic downturn. What are the trends that will enable you to align your skills in order to best position future job security?
Digital marketing—CMOs and CEOs at digital marketing service providers/agencies and brands report difficulty in finding talent at all levels—staff, middle management and executive. On the staff level, the needs for SEM skills are the highest and in the shortest supply. A client recently spoke of four open positions in these areas it has been trying to fill for more than six months. During that time, salary levels increased 50 percent. Digital design and campaign management are in considerable demand as well. And the market is wide open for executives who have led brands through the integration of offline and online marketing activities.
Analytics—As measured marketing continues to capture more than 50 percent of all marketing dollars spent, the call for analytical skills increases. Individuals with advanced degrees in analytics, economics and math along with experience in direct marketing are in greatest demand. A further premium is placed on people holding advanced degrees, coupled with the ability to communicate effectively with clients and/or management. In this area, demand still outpaces supply globally, and the need is as great inside the brands as with the marketing service providers. It should come as no surprise that analytical skills in digital data and digital marketing campaigns are prized. As ROI becomes more important—and that trend will continue in marketing—marketing departments and service providers must continue to prove their existence.
Multichannel marketing—This area will grow the fastest. Marketers with the ability and proven experience to make sense of how to allocate marketing spend effectively will be as critical to a brand's success as any other leader. Any opportunity you have to expose yourself to a variety of marketing channels and be able to show proven results will lead to job security. Given the newness of so many channels, there are simply not enough staff, management and leaders to fill the void.
Craig Buffkin is founder/managing partner of The Buffkin Group, an executive search firm in Franklin, Tenn. He can be reached at (615) 771-0098.