10 marketing skills driving the industry forward in 2018

Today, marketing is much more than just a support function in a business that helps drive sales. It is a central, strategic and value-driving function which not only promotes and increases a brand’s image and awareness, but also influences the consumer’s overall experience with a business to ensure repeat and loyal customers and ultimately increase profits.

Our consultants are experts in their field, marketing is their speciality which is why we have a successful track record of completing assignments and have built strong, long-lasting relationships with both SMEs and global blue-chip companies. Drawing on over 40 years’ recruitment experience and the expertise of our consultants, we have pulled together the top 10 skills we look for in candidates when recruiting for our clients; key skills that are expected to shape the marketing sector in 2018. 

To ensure your marketing team is best placed to drive your business forward, make sure you’re hiring professionals with the key skills set to shape the industry this year.

1. Customer experience

The ability to understand customer needs and implement them into a seamless customer journey is key if you’re trying to differentiate your business from the competition. Therefore, professionals with a sound all-round knowledge of how product, propositions and marcomms contribute to the overall journey can add real value. With this knowledge on your team, professionals can not only improve particular areas, but also influence key stakeholders across various departments.

2. Calculating ROI

From the growth of wearable tech to the modern obsession with social media stats, there is no escaping the fact that data now governs everyone's lives. This means that everything can be measured, including an individual’s work performance. Professionals that know which metrics to highlight, how to measure them and which tools can help are key to ensure your marketing function is delivering results. 

3. Communicating ROI

Not only should professionals know how to calculate the ROI of their activities but they should also be able to merchandise and communicate the figures to senior stakeholders. Professionals who are able to talk clearly and concisely about what their personal results mean for your organisation are more important than ever and ensures you understand their contribution to the business. The same applies when suggesting new ideas or approaches – it is important to know the expected outcome of a project before committing budget and buy-in. 

4. Bid management

Within the professional and business services sectors, the ability to direct resources to profitable activities when pitching for new business has never been more important. People with a good understanding of how to influence senior management on where they should focus their efforts can bring about much greater efficiency in this process. When hiring, keep an eye out for people who can work to a high standard under constant time pressures, showing a proactive mindset and sound understanding of operating in matrix environments.

5. Category management

Across the FMCG and consumer product sector, professionals who are able to interpret and analyse a range of data then get creative with strategies for growing a category, securing buy-in from peers, stakeholders and, most important of all, retailers along the way are essential. Be sure you are hiring category managers with the right experience and necessary skills to best develop your business in this area.

6. Modern PR abilities

Strong, cost-effective PR campaigns allow businesses to reach new audiences through traditional or digital media using great content and influencer relationships. Ultimately, it is the relationship-building skills of a great PR professional that will enable your brand to build stronger engagement with journalists, influencers and ultimately consumers, so be sure your team is up to standard.

7. Creative copywriting

In the midst of the digital transformation of traditional marketing, being able to create compelling copy for a range of audiences with varied tones of voice and word counts has become all the more important. The first evidence of this skill is through the quality of a CV and covering letter - so be sure to check the quality of applications for these positions. They should not only be written with flair, creativity and originality but also completely free from spelling mistakes, suspect grammar and clichéd jargon.

8. Internal comms management

Staffing a business with top talent is about much more than recruiting the right people - it's about keeping the star players already in your team. Against the backdrop of the current market, the need for effective internal communications has never been so high. Internal and change communications professionals drive organisational strategy and share key messages and initiatives with the wider business to ensure your top talent is motivated, engaged and focused on the prize. 

9. Brand management 

Your brand and the way it is received by your target audience is what ultimately determines the success of any business. A strong brand manager not only demonstrates an excellent understanding of a brand's vision, tonality and guidelines but most importantly ensures that their audience is reached through targeted, brand-led marketing. In this highly competitive market, a positive image is crucial, so make sure you have the right people managing your brand.

10. Stakeholder relations 

The ability to develop communication management plans to engage and influence stakeholders, facilitates success. A professional with great stakeholder management skills will devise plans to build strong relationships with both internal and external stakeholders, manage their expectations and resolve any disputes quickly and efficiently. This facilitates positive cross-functional collaboration and timely delivery of scheduled projects which is why it is essential that your team is experienced in dealing with stakeholders to ensure beneficial relationships at all levels.

We are leading recruitment specialists in the marketing industry with a global network and proven track record of success. If you’re looking to grow the number of talented marketing professionals on your team, be sure to get in touch with one of our expert consultants for a confidential discussion.