New technologies are creating constant disruption and change in the marketing industry - with no signs of slowing down.
In such a dynamic industry employers prefer ‘ready-made’ digital professionals, according to AIMIA’s 2016 Digital Industry Salaries Report – marketers with experience and skills that help solve multi-faceted digital problems.
To stay competitive, marketers and media and advertising professionals need to keep up with the changes by learning and mastering new skills constantly.
So what skills are in demand? Here are the top 10 digital skills that are essential to achieving success in the future. How many can you tick?
In the era of big data, harnessing the power of information to enhance customer experiences and generate value is imperative.
One of the key digital skills required to achieve this is analytics - understanding data and knowing what to do with it. Understanding the basic principles and tools and being able to apply techniques will allow marketers to unlock the power of data and optimise digital activities. Without this skill, today’s marketing team will struggle to be effective.
2. Conversion Rate Optimisation
Having the skills and know-how to optimise websites to turn hard-earned visitors into leads and sales is exceedingly important for businesses. To be effective in conversion rate optimization, you need to know how to set up, track and interpret site statistics and turn them into valuable, actionable insights to convert visitors into customers.
Knowing how to test, analyse customer paths and interactions and continually optimise copy to achieve online objectives is an invaluable skill-set for any marketer.
3. Content Management
Social media and search algorithms are increasingly focusing on providing valuable, quality content to audiences - which makes content the long-serving king of the digital world. Yet there is an incredible amount of meaningless and poor-quality content floating around, as businesses struggle to find qualified and skilled staff to create top-notch pieces.
Skills in this area are important, as it feeds directly into other areas of marketing, such as email, social and SEO.
So what makes a good content manager?
Solid understanding of digital marketing and strategy coupled with good copywriting skills!
Copywriting is a digital skill that is key to delivering quality content to consumers and it can be learned. Creating punchy headlines and learning the basics of style and structure as well as knowing how to write for different online channels will earn you big brownie points in any marketing department.
4. Omni-channel campaign planning
Delivering a clear and consistent message about a company, products and services across multiple communication channels is no easy feat! Managing customers from channel to channel to ensure they have a seamless experience requires careful planning and a deep understanding of not only channels, but also customers.
Seeking out digital partners, utilising digital channels successfully, understanding consumer awareness, acquisition, retention and being across budgeting, testing and measuring are all key components of effective digital campaigns.
Digital campaign planning is therefore a sought-after skill that today’s digital marketers must possess.
5. Customer experience (CX)
It is estimated that bad customer experience costs Australian business $120billion each year, according the ADMA Whitepaper: Driving stronger returns from customer experience.
Businesses are increasingly interested in hiring professionals with CX experience and skills, in order to keep up with increasing customer expectations. While developing and designing user experience (UX) has become a freestanding role on its own, marketers need to have a well-formed understanding of the customer experience across all the company owned channels and importantly the company’s website.
6. Social media
The digital landscape today incorporates consumer use and habits in social media and so it is imperative that marketers understand how to maximize their brand and marketing efforts in the social channels that matter. More importantly, the skill in tracking, reporting and delivering ROI in social is critical for marketers today.
7. Marketing automation
Marketing automation allows businesses to scale their marketing programs and achieve better ROI. The demand for professionals with technical skills to either aid marketing automation or to have intelligent, knowledgeable conversations with IT departments in outlining marketing requirements for automation, is critical.
8. Mobile marketing
At the recent ADMA Global Forum, delegates had the pleasure of seeing 1800-Flowers Vice President of online, social and mobile, Amit Shah, share his insights about the company’s marketing tactics. Regarding mobile marketing Amit said:
“Understanding how to acquire the mobile audience, but also creating a great experience for them as they go through that mobile journey are the critical success factors.”
Mobile marketing is a complex subject. It incorporates not only a single device in a multiscreen world, but also multiple channels and platforms, coupled with targeting, user habits, tactics, new technologies, apps and more.
Mobile is also very personal, and marketers have a unique opportunity for customization and personalisation through this device.
It is clear why mobile marketing is a highly sought after skill-set in the digital era.
9. Privacy & Compliance
Big data, multi-platform marketing and new technologies disrupting the industry are also creating a sense of uncertainty around privacy and compliance.
Businesses require digital professionals to be across regulatory obligations in order to develop and maintain a solid reputation.
There is a myriad of issues relating to privacy and compliance: misleading advertising, consumer rights, the Spam Act and Privacy Act, collection, management and use of data. Understanding these and the implications of not keeping to these regulations is a vital part of digital marketing.
10. SEO and PPC
Contrary to past predictions about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), the practice is still very much alive and kicking. In fact it is growing and evolving rapidly and skills in the practice have never been more important.
Skills in two key components of SEO are especially important to businesses:
1. A deep understanding of inbound marketing and knowing the importance of providing value to customers through content.
2. Technical skills in delivering customer value through SEO: keywords development, tracking, measurement, optimization and linking.
Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing can transform businesses at a relatively low spend. Because it is a cost-effective marketing tactic, PPC skills are highly valued. An understanding of search engine marketing (SEM) strategy and how it integrates with online and offline channels is a key component of PPC.
If you know how to drive targeted traffic to a website at the lowest possible cost, you’re a PPC gun that businesses will be fighting tooth and nail for!