Despite an uncertain environment, here are the 13 top marketing skills that will help you thrive in 2023.
1. Digital Marketing
Despite all the talk that “everything is digital” and that soon the distinction between digital and marketing will fade away. Let me assure you. This day has not arrived.
In fact, demand for digital marketing skills have been on the increase according to LinkedIn, as they assessed the number one skill listed by marketers on their profiles.
Now, I agree digital marketing is a broad church so what exactly do we mean?
LinkedIn has helpfully illustrated the top areas of greatest demand and lowest supply, which are:
So it’s safe to say if you up-skill in these areas you will be in the money so to speak. To learn more you can check out our guide to Digital Marketing.
I always look at talent in the frame of exotic, evolved and extinct. From the Metaverse to E-commerce and Cybersecurity to Data Management, being willing to explore these new digital areas is paramount for any modern day leader. Go on an exotic course by learning new skills in the digital ecosystem. Keep evolving.
Kathleen Saxton, Chief Marketing Officer, Omnicom
2. Social media
An analysis of LinkedIn’s internal data shows digital marketing and social media jobs are in high demand, for instance, half of the top 10 jobs posted on LinkedIn are in the digital or social media space.
So getting to grips with social media skills will hold you in great stead in 2023. But once again it falls into a rather broad area. So we need to dig down more.
Here are the key areas of social media to double-down on:
One important area is organic social and how to foster a strong community. Take a look at Joe Glover, Founder of the Marketing Meet-up‘s perspective on this:
You don’t get a six pack after one workout, and you don’t fly on organic social media after a single post. The most underrated element of organic social media for me is allowing yourself time. Time to build an audience. Time to get better at the craft of posting. Time to make your posts any good in the first instance. There will always be the edge cases in social media of people having overnight success – it’s best to assume you’re not that person, and that means your best efforts over a long time.
Joe Glover, Founder of The Marketing Meet-up
3. Paid social specialist
Alongside social media sits its twin sister, Paid Social. This is where you get to amplify your message through social media platforms using specific targeting criteria.
It is the very life blood of performance driven marketing and those who are able to work up super selections, test and learn frameworks and optimise creative for each audience and platform are super in demand.
You also want to work out the intersection between organic vs paid social media plus how it fits into the wider channel mix of your brand.
“As times get tougher focus on what really makes a difference, every marketer must be data driven and omnichannel brand builders BUT how to give of your best and enable those around you to do the same crucial. Authentic, passionate, personable, thoughtful leadership will reap rewards. Enjoy 2023 your best year yet.“
David Wheldon, Former Chief Marketing Officer of NatWest Group
4. Paid search specialist
I would akin Paid Search to the cousin of Paid Social. They go hand in hand but serve slightly different purposes to be aware of. Paid Social helps to prime an audience to raise awareness of a product whilst Paid Search is geared up for when someone already has a search intent for a specific product.
Paid Search alongside Search Engine Optimisation is the mother of all skills to master, to supercharge conversions.
5. Search Engine Optimisation
Although, technically it sits within the realm of ‘Digital Marketing’, I couldn’t help but bring it up again for it’s a force like no other.
If you were to ask me, this would be my number one go-to skill in 2023, if you have not already done so.
Why? Well, with budget cuts and burgeoning customer acquisition costs, those that invested early in this area will now be reaping the benefits of cost effective acquisition. So it’s really never to early (or late) to get started on the SEO journey.
There are three key elements to SEO that you should focus on:
SEO is a discipline that will keep you on your toes, since its constantly evolving with the times but the good news is it will earn you a pretty penny as well!
6. Content and copywriting
“As the saying goes, “content is king” and those that are able to leverage it in a variety of channels will emerge the winners. However, in 2023, your ability and skill to use technology, AI and machine learning platforms to understand how algorithms and humans interact and react to your content will make you invaluable. We at at the tip of the iceberg in this respect with opportunities that are boundless for those that invest in the right skills to take advantage of these areas.”
Andrew Bloch, Founder at Andrew Bloch & Associates
Copywriting is like the oxygen of marketing. It’s pretty much sits at the centre of everything we do. Ad copy, blogs, vlogs, algorithm indexing, SEO, performance ads, brand articulation. Ah the list is endless.
Remember everyone telling you how a degree in English, History or or liberal arts won’t get you anywhere in life??? They were wrong. In fact, if you can write prose in a creative and imaginative way combined with acute technical knowledge of what the algos are looking for, YOU ARE MADE. Practise this like a religion everyday! 😀
“A hurricane of humanesque content is heading our way this year, as marketers get their economically downturned mitts on ChatGPT. But since most of the stuff it diligently spits out sounds like it’s been written by Clive from IT, you’ll need to weave in some of your brand’s unique tone of voice before hitting publish. Because in the land of the bot-swats, personality reigns.“
Dave Harland, Copywriter at The Word Man
Let’s move onto content. You would have no doubt heard that the Creator Economy is here – believe it! Your ability to create content in your niche can really set you a part plus give you a solid income in doing so.
There are multiple forms of content creation from, video, audio and written, get good different forms and combine them to multiply the effect.
It will come as no surprise that high of the top skills list is mastering the Adobe Creative Cloud. It’s for this every reason!
“Having A Vertical Video-First Approach Will Be Crucial in 2023. Social media platforms leave clues… And when every social media platform is leaving the same clue. Marketers should really take note. What’s the one clue they are all leaving us? Make vertical videos! We’re now operating a ‘vertical video first’ approach & the data shows that it’s the right one. In the last 30 days, switching to a vertical-video-first approach has increased views by 507% & watch time by 319%.”
Dan Knowlton, Co-Founder and CMO, Knowlton
7. Marketing and brand strategy
The stalwart of marketing. Being able to develop a compelling marketing strategy through the process of consolidating insight, targeting and positioning and then executing will always be in vogue. This is echoed in the advice from L’Oreal’s Chief Marketing and Digital Officer:
“In a marketing and channel environment that is increasingly complex, and a macro-economic context where making the right choice is even more critical than ever – it’s key to have a crystal clear strategy. Being able to distance oneself from individual assumptions and look at both market and consumer data with an objective viewpoint – having a clear vision on the brand strategy and objectives before beginning to execute.”
Lex Bradshaw-Zanger, Chief Digital and Marketing Office, L’Oreal UK
Now, on the other hand being able to articulate your brand strategy, including how you are distinct and differentiated will set you a part. There is a whole load of popular research related to brand science, brand distinctive assets, brand experience and other elements.
“In a world of digital specialists the greatest skill that is needed right now is the the skill of knowing how to build brands in the real world. Specifically, how to deploy different channels (offline and online, advertising and CX) as Brand multipliers.”
Ben Rhodes, Brand Director at Phoenix Group
8. Data Analytics and Literacy
At one time, this discipline was the number one skill on the lips of every market. It’s certainly still holding its own, especially when it comes to analysing and predicting performance.
One of the most important pieces of kit to get up-skilled in, in this area is Google Analytics. In addition, being able to build web dashboards, using software like Google Looker studio is invaluable as it allows you to join up multiple data sources.
“Data literacy is right at the top of skills in demand at the moment given the need for Marketing to show up commercially. There is often a pre-conception from other parts of the business that Marketing is a bit fluffy and less focussed on cost efficiency and effectiveness. All marketers can sharpen their data skills to make them both more competent and credible in their role.”
Mark Evans, ex-Managing Director at Direct Line Group
9. Commercial Marketing
In 2023, as the economy contracts becoming a more commercially savvy marketer will be ever increasing in importance.
So what does it mean to be a good commercial marketer? Here are the top areas that will matter:
“In this disrupted time soft skills like resilience, curiosity and agility are must-haves but the fundamentals of marketing remain key. No matter where you are or what level your role the foundations, including frameworks like 4Ps, SWOT, PESTLE, combined with a clear understanding of your audience’s needs and favoured channels will enable you to have success.”
Kate Mackie, Global Marketing Director at EY
10. Email marketing
Did somebody say email? Email? Aren’t we moving into 2023??
Yep, well it’s honestly still such a critical skill even today as this channel still sits at the top of the tree for marketing ROI.
However, the complexity of delivering a compelling and effective email campaign has grown tremendously. From being able to deliver the email to the right place in someone’s inbox right through to getting them to click on it and take action.
It actually also forms a key ‘assist’ strategy to most other forms of marketing. It’s the unsung hero 🦸♀️.
Here are some simple tips to make sure your marketing emails reach your customers, from email marketing expert, Simon Jamieson, Managing Director of The Marketing Lounge Partnership:
“1. Maintain good lists, sending only to people who have subscribed and making it easy for them to unsubscribe. 2. Create well-designed, well-written and well-coded emails. 3. Use personalisation in the subject line or message. 4. Avoid ‘spammy’ words that overpromise. 5. Use tools like Spam Assassin to analyse your email and content before sending.“
Simon Jamieson, Managing Director of The Marketing Lounge Partnership
11. E-commerce, D2C and retail media
Now now now, e-commerce had a huge boom during Covid and despite a slight retraction in recent years, it’s still become a primary distribution channel.
Their is both an art and science to e-commerce advertising which is powered by a strong SEO component on the major marketplace platforms. Over 80% of online sales are done on these platforms so if you become a specialist in this area you’re onto a winner.
Here are some top skills in e-commerce to master:
You will see that I have also added in direct-to-consumer and retail media. This is because both are skills that sit alongside e-commerce.
One key area is looking at the different areas where e-commerce exists, for example, the growth of social commerce, which helps to drive D2C. As for retail media, this is a frontier channel for 2023 and getting skilled up in this area will mean you’re front of the employment pack.
“The role of e-commerce, D2C and retail media are all areas that are only going to grow in importance in 2023. Understanding the dynamics that exist between each of these areas is also particularly important. Striking the right balance of how and where you show up to maximise both your reach and distribution will be critical to success in the coming year, using the power of data to guide your decision-making.”
Jess Myers, Chief Marketing Officer, The Very Group
12. Podcast producer
“Podcasting can be a great way to build awareness and communicate with the right people. It can sound like a quick win – but remember there is a lot of competition for your audience’s eardrums. Your output needs to be consistent and have a clear sense of the value it is delivering to your audience. Above all, you need to commit.”
David Tiltman, SVP Content at WARC
Oh your new to the list, my dear friend? Well, I’ve been around a while but my time has come to shine.
I know your probably thinking, what’s in this ‘low barrier to entry’ skill. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth in the pod wars.
High production, high content, high up the pod platform rankings are all skills that take time to master and need to be delivered consistently. Pod strategy in my mind, it’s a key emerging skill with quite a few unique skillsets required, including:
Finally, last but by no means least. Here to stay the skill first popularised by Mad Men, it’s none other than the ability to produce advertising.
This is a core skill, the backbone of the marketing industry and mixes a raft of skills, such as communication, creativity, commerciality and customer insight to name but a few.
As long as marketing exists (and it always will), this skill set will too. So buckle up and get learning all your ad land skills in 2023.
Cause when budgets go down, the need for creativity goes up ten fold.
So there you have it, the 13 top marketing skills in 2023. For more insight do take a look at Key Marketing Skills You Should Have.