09 Sep 2020 by B&T Magazine

Marketing Skills: What’s hot and what’s not in 2020

With the industry evolving at a rapid pace, a marketer would be forgiven for not knowing what the in-demand skills are in 2020. Is creativity still valued? Are we still talking about AI? What about data analytics?

ADMA has teamed up with B&T to bring you ADMA’s Professional Skills Census 2020.  We surveyed 727 marketers around Australia to cut through the noise and find out what skills really matter, to both individual and corporate success.

After completing the survey, skills were grouped into five categories: Data, Channels, Strategy/planning, content/creative and management.  According to the data, Management followed by Strategy/planning were considered to be the most important skills across the board.

In fact, the skills within the Management grouping were deemed to be extremely important by more than 50 per cent of respondents.

Specifically, the most important single skill was Client/Stakeholder management (92 per cent of respondents said it was very or extremely important).

According to Lawpath CMO – and recent winner of the marketing category in this year’s B&T 30 Under 30 Awards – Tom Willis, Stakeholder Management is important due to the fact it provides on the job training.

“The benefit of stakeholder management is that you get a direct opportunity to learn about how the actions you and your team are executing are impacting on the key commercial metrics of the business,” he told B&T.

“It ensures that work is being completed with a greater sense of purpose and the skills learned are easily transitioned across clients.

“Learning about the motivations of an owner, where they are comfortable with spending budget and the other decisions they are dealing with allows you to have a great appreciation for the role marketing needs to play as a key revenue-generating function of the organisation.”

Staying on top of your skills

The data also shows marketers are favouring Project Management skills in 2020, with 89 per cent of respondents considering this skill to be very or extremely important.

“Project management requires you to think of all the intricacies, opportunities and consequences of a campaign,” continued Willis.
“It’s that ability to think about things beyond your individual responsibilities and get a more well-rounded perspective.”

Another marketer that knows about the importance of being able to manage large projects is Adobe’s ANZ marketing director Michelle Stephenson.  She told B&T that while these skills are important for the individual, the most important factor is making sure the team is well-equipped.

“Every marketing project needs to be planned and efficiently managed for it to be a success,” she said.

“However, not all marketers are project managers and therefore building teams where there is a strong project management skill in place is very important.
“As such, I believe it’s really important to build an ecosystem within a marketing organization where everyone can play to their strengths, rather than focus on managing areas of weakness.”

Striving to be better

Rather than dividing these skills into ‘haves and have nots’, marketers should instead strive to be lifelong learners.  Explaining that she is “continuously learning”, Stephenson urged marketers to engage a curious mindset.

“My years in marketing have made me realise that there is a certain power in not knowing everything,” she said.

“We, as human beings, always strive to be at the top of our games but with the pace of change and the barrage of knowledge out there in the world, it is not possible to know it all. This is a good thing because it keeps us hungry for knowledge and information.”

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