Marketing and digital top skillsThe need for talent with top skills in the digital and traditional marketing space continues to be driven by technology. The evolution of skills changes from one year to the next, but it is the way that businesses utilise these skills to drive their talent and overall business forward that matters the most. Professionals with skill sets in specific areas of marketing, and the knowledge to give advice and insights on how to develop areas such as SEO, PPC, and CRM, will be in high demand in 2020.

Our specialist consultants speak to clients and candidates working across these high-demand fields every day. From these conversations, we have been able to identify the top skills expected to drive the sector forward this year.

1. Customer insights

Professionals who are skilled in analysing customer insights are becoming an integral part of the marketing function. Having the ability to understand, translate, and manipulate customer insights can help to build a comprehensive customer strategy, as well as provide actionable insights to boost your business offering. Further to this, category analysis and in-depth knowledge of the market ensures that everyone across your business understands their stakeholders better, which makes for a more efficient approach.   

2. Clearly communicating ROI

ROI is a crucial metric in the marketing department, where results and reporting are key. Professionals with the skills to analyse marketing metrics and report on trends, help drive business growth and development. This not only means being able to decipher results, but also knowing which tools are the best to use. Once the results are in, communicating back to senior leaders to get buy-in on any new ventures is critical to maintaining momentum. The delivery of ROI communications is essential to ensure marketing teams can develop their strategies successfully.

3. Bid management

Once a member of your team has won new business, the management of the account and the bid process is crucial to keeping your clients happy. This is also key in ensuring the process runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Bid management involves several skills, such as relationship building, stakeholder management, and communication. Developing strong professional relationships with your clients means repeat business and loyal custom; having professionals that can champion this movement will serve your business well in 2020. 

4. Internal communications

In today's uncertain market, transparency is crucial within businesses. The effective communication of company policies, activities, and campaigns is needed now more than ever. Businesses are looking for strong internal and change communications professionals who can deliver clear and effective messaging to support their strategy and align stakeholder across the wider business. Ensuring all of your employees are in the loop when it comes to any key business matters will keep talent motivated and engaged with the company goals.

5. Brand management

Brand management in marketing is essential. Brand managers are responsible for all management of your company brand, or your clients' brands. In today's market, where competition is fierce, these professionals can make or break a brand's reputation through the management and speed of which they move the brand forward. Brand managers should be proficient across a variety of functions, including running campaigns (sometimes multiple at once), new product development, and social media management. Brand managers are becoming increasingly important in 2020, as they affect brand performance and success.

6. PR and social media

The way your company is represented in both the media and on social media platforms has become a core focus for most businesses. As brand reputation becomes ever more crucial in today's competitive market, professionals who can manage your brand image are key. Those who possess the skills to support brand messaging across social media and PR channels are important in ensuring that your company voice is delivered correctly and that your messaging resonates with your target audience. A combination of these professionals in your teams will help to identify new opportunities for your business.

7. Copywriting/asset design

Content teams in the marketing department help bring ideas to life, can develop engaging campaigns, and create thought-provoking designs. You should be looking for skilled copywriters to refresh your old copy, and create new content for your website and advertising materials. It's also important to hire skilled designers who can produce different types of content suited to your project or campaign in the form of eBooks, whitepapers, infographics, and more. Talented copywriters and content professionals pride themselves on creating collateral that stands out in the market and beats the competition.

8. Stakeholder relations

Working with others is integral in most business functions. However, in marketing, it could be argued that it is even more pertinent to be able to work effectively with stakeholders as there is so much cross-collaboration within teams - both internally and externally. Indeed, effective stakeholder management can be the difference between the success and failure of a multi-faceted project. Professionals skilled in stakeholder relations will enable your organisation to communicate more effectively, which will facilitate better working practices, now and in the future.

9. E-commerce analytics

As the closure of a number of prominent high-street stores in 2019 underlined, e-commerce is now the primary battleground in the world of retail. With the online retail sector growing substantially, skills in e-commerce are becoming ever more sought after. Given that e-commerce is a multi-channel operation, it is important that professionals are versatile and have a solid understanding of the digital marketing mix. They should also have a keen eye for spotting trends in data and devising action plans to drive further growth.

10. UX development

Creating a unique user experience that is easy to follow and satisfying for your customers is the key to repeat business and a happy client. Not only should you look for skills in UX development, but combining this with integrated design and digital skills will mean that you have a professional that can take your processes to the next level. Consistency in your user experience and brand representation in this space will keep up conversion rates and encourage completions. 

11. SEO: Content and technical

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process by which the visibility of a website or webpage is improved in the rankings of search engines like Google, to increase traffic. Broadly, there are three key areas of SEO: technical/onsite, content, and linkbuilding. Professionals with a proven track record in one, or ideally all, of these areas have been in ever-increasing demand over the past decade or so. As Google's rules on best practice change regularly, SEO professionals need to be adaptable and ready to find new strategies to improve website visibility.   

12. CRM strategy and execution

CRM continues to be a key skill in any marketing function. Not only to ensure you are communicating with your customers effectively, but also ensuring that you are making the most out of your audiences and targeting them correctly with your communications. CRM involves the management of many systems. However, CRM professionals must be able to analyse this data across multiple channels and use their findings to implement positive change across the organisation.   

13. Analytics 

General analytics within a business and the ability to analyse both large and small quantities of data from a multitude of platforms and tools are becoming increasingly desirable for businesses that are looking to move forward digitally. Utilising the insights that are available to your business, including Google Analytics and other similar tools, can help to drive your organisation forward. Good data analysts are hot commodities in marketing functions, so having skills in this area can set you apart from your competition in a unique way.

At Michael Page, we have access to an extensive database of top professionals looking for new opportunities who can drive your business toward success in 2020, and beyond. For a confidential discussion on how we can help you to hire and retain the best talent with the right skills to fill your vacancy, get in touch with one of our specialist recruitment consultants today.