7 must-have digital skills you need to stay relevant in marketing

13 Sep 2019

We’ve been talking about skills shortages for what seems like decades, but unfortunately we’re not about to stop just yet. The gap in marketing skills in Australia is actually getting bigger, as the need for traditional skills is replaced by more creative and scientific capabilities.

As digital transformation continues to widen the gap, the demand for various digital skills increases. With 73% of organisations expecting their digital marketing budgets to rise by 2020, the shortage of right expertise could have a detrimental affect on businesses.

So what are the skills you should be focusing on in the next 12 months as a marketer? Here are the top seven research suggests will be in high demand.

1. Digital Strategy and planning

Digital strategy and planning are the most important set of skills marketers need according to a recent report by DMI. As the marketing function gets more immersed in business decisions, developing and planning an effective digital strategy becomes vital.

From applying key trends and concepts to your strategy and developing customer segments that align to your business objectives to planning implementation and effective tactical execution – digital strategy and planning are crucial skills, especially for senior marketers.

2. Data analytics and reporting

Can you interpret data and understand what it says about your marketing efforts and customer journeys? If the answer is ‘no’, it’s time to start training.

The role of data and analytics in increasing organisational efficiency and competitiveness has grown immensely in the last decade. So, understanding analytics tools and techniques, evaluating effectiveness and translating raw data into meaningful narratives for your organisation will be increasingly important in the coming years.

3. Research and insights

Almost half (47%) of CMOs value research and insights skills as extremely important. And it’s not hard to see why. With most organisations moving their focus onto the customer, understand them better become priority.

Research and insight skills help marketers understand who their customers are, their goals, aspirations and needs and wants. Increasingly customers want personalised, seamless experiences and organisations need insights in order to provide it.

4. Mobile

While mobile skill might not be at the top of the priority list at the moment, DMI’s research suggests it will be by 2020. Considering almost half of all global web traffic comes from mobile devices, we can see why.

When you think mobile skills, think mobile strategy, user experience, deploying content for mobile and various technologies including apps and gaming.

5. Marketing automation

Another low priority right now, but great to have in the next year is marketing automation. It helps create efficiencies and allows staff to focus on the real important stuff like customer care and strategy.

Technical skills, creativity and strategy are key for marketing automation, as its role is to build a brand and increase leads.

6. Campaign management

As organisations start to move campaign management in-house, the demand for these skills are already on the rise.

To manage campaigns effectively you’ll need to know how to planning and optimise the channels in your campaigns to achieve better customer engagement, acquisition and retention – and do it on the go. As competition heats up and audiences become less engaged, this will become even more important.

7. A bit of everything

Yeah, ok this isn’t exactly a skill. But, there is increasingly high demand for marketers (especially at managerial level) to bring a “blended generalist and digital skillset” to organisations, according to a recent Hays report.

As marketing’s remit become wider, you’ll need to understand a little bit of everything – like strategy, SEO, content, data & analytics – to be truly effective in your role.

Marketers need to actively seek out new skills and opportunities for learning in order to keep up with our constantly changing industry. And those who do are highly likely to find themselves in high demand.

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