Behind every great marketing campaign is a team of talented marketing professionals, so it’s no surprise that projected hiring needs are, in turn, reliable indicators of future marketing trends. But as the pace of digital marketing accelerates, how are hiring managers optimizing their teams and aggregating the range of skills necessary to market to an increasingly savvy audience?
To answer that question, McKinley Marketing Partners surveyed more than 100 marketers, including C-level executives, vice presidents, directors and managers, who are looking to hire the next batch of marketing professionals. Here’s what we found:
1. Companies are investing in marketing in 2015. When asked about their 2014 hiring volume, 64% of respondents reported hiring at least one marketer. Respondents’ hiring will continue, if not quicken, in 2015, with 75% of respondents saying that they will either maintain, or increase hiring volume within the marketing function.
2. Digital and content marketing dominate 2015 skill needs. While marketers continue to hire for both traditional and digital marketing roles, digital roles are more important for future hiring. Of the total survey participants, 49% reported that they would fill more digital marketing roles in 2015 and 39% said that they would fill more content marketing roles. On the other hand, the need for more generalist positions—professionals in project management, communications and general marketing, for example—is on the decline.
3. Data-driven marketers are becoming more essential. In addition to the increase in digital- and content-focused roles, our survey revealed that many companies are looking for marketers who measure and leverage marketing performance data. For example, 85% of respondents plan to hire the same amount or more data analysts, while 83% intend to hire the same amount or more SEO/SEM experts.
The survey results indicate that the emphasis on digital marketing for future hiring shows a growing confidence in not just the efficacy of digital marketing, but the ability to measure its efficacy. Unlike many offline marketing tactics, digital marketing provides data and analytics about engagement, enabling marketers to measure ROI, and more and more companies are taking advantage of this capability.
Because so much data now is available, the marketing department is shifting its position within the organizational chart. More marketing positions are falling under the umbrella of consumer insights, R&D or even IT. We’re also seeing roles that previously would have been positioned elsewhere being subsumed by the marketing department, such as CRM-related functions, sales support and sales training.
The ability to measure the success of marketing campaigns means that marketers are increasingly influential in major business decisions. Gartner’s 2014 CEO survey, which assessed digital marketing budgets, found that 42% of all marketers say that they participate in strategic planning and investment decisions that shape the business.
Because digital marketing provides marketers with the tools and data that they need to actively participate in directing business objectives, companies must recruit marketers who can transform the insights gleaned from data and analytics into successful long-term strategies.
Hiring and retaining skilled marketers should be a top priority for every company, and hiring managers should ensure that they have a pipeline of qualified candidates who can keep up with the pace of digital marketing.
This article was originally published in the April 2015 issue of Marketing News.