Keeping your marketing skills up to date is absolutely key. In fact, a survey conducted by the CBI found that by 2030, 90% of the workforce will need to up-skill and re-skill in some way, and marketing sits front and centre of this.
The question is what are the areas of skill development should you focus on?
I have taken a look at a range of studies to highlight some of the areas you should focus on when giving your marketing skills a re-fresh. Let’s start with a prominent and reoccurring theme, which is the need for more digital and data skills.
Marketing Week reported, steep rises in the demand for marketers with digital skills, in particular:
You can see that top technical skills are in the area of Paid Social Media and Ad Serving, in order to become more performance marketing driven.
What is also interesting is the fact that ‘creativity’ is a singled out non-technical skill that is being heavily sought after. I would think is because it forms the linch-pin of bringing a variety of technical skills together.
Underlying, and almost implicit, in the skills mentioned above, is the need to have a strong focus on customer targeting, integrated campaign planning, marketing strategy, content development, measurement and iteration, and a dose of creativity.
Marketing skill gaps
A savvy marketer would know that it’s not just about identifying the skills that are in demand, but also where there appears to be a lack of supply. This will help drive up the value of these skills and in turn make you more invaluable to the organisation and market.
So what are the areas to look out for?
Well according to a Target and CIM study, there has been a decline in 5 areas:
- Data and Analytics
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Mobile Marketing
- SEO (Search engine optimisation)
It would certainly be worth looking at how to best up-skill in these areas.
Marketing Skills to move your career forward
Marketing Week’s Career and Salary report, paints us a similar picture of the key skills gaps that currently exist across the marketing industry. It shows us that the areas biggest areas of skill development needed are in:
- Data and analytics
- Content and copywriting
- Performance marketing
- Social media
Be a holistic marketer
You could be forgiven for thinking that all the above studies really do get caught up in very specific technical (digital) skill areas, all of which are incredibly important. However, when taking a step back we need to be able build the foundational capabilities on which to build great technical expertise.
School of Marketing conducted research which uncovered there are 6 vital areas that every marketer must know, to a mastery level if they are going to successfully reach senior leadership positions. These are:
- Customer Strategy
- Brand Strategy and Development
- Commercial and Performance Strategy
- Data and Analytics
- Creative Strategy and Execution
- Integrated Channel Strategy and Selection
In addition, to the 6 skills there is a need to also have three other types of skills or attributes that fall into these categories:
- Attitudes, motivations and mindset
- Human ‘big 5’ soft skills (not a huge fan of the terminology)
- Business enablers
Take a look at the specifics in the table below, which outline exactly the type of skills that sit in each of these areas, all of which are critical to have in a well oiled marketing function.
So there you have it, the key marketing skills that are required to be a successful marketer.