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The in-demand marketing skills you should focus on this year

By Charmaine Piper | Senior Consultant – digital, IT, marketing and communications

I had lots of positive feedback from an article I wrote recently on how to have a successful marketing career in Newcastle. I mentioned some of the key new marketing skills employers are looking for. In this article I dive deeper into those areas and how you can get skilled-up.

Interpreting data analytics to inform decision making

Gone are the days when marketers could focus purely on the creative and leave the analysis to other business units. With the rapid move towards digital marketing, companies both large and small, need people to help them make sense of complex data. Organisations want marketers to understand and interpret data across multiple platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google Analytics, Adwords, CRMs etc to enhance customer experience, demonstrate ROI and inform marketing spend.

Tip: If you’re looking to develop your skills in this area check out the ADMA’s Data Analytics for Marketers course or General Assembly’s 10-week Data Analytics course. For ongoing learning and inspiration have a look at the Kissmetrics or Occam’s Razor blogs.

Driving sales through Facebook and Google advertising

Recent reports from IAB Australia show that digital advertising is continuing to grow, up 7.2 per cent year on year for the first quarter of this year. According to Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends Report Google and Facebook own 85% of online ad growth globally. So, if you don’t have a strong handle on Adwords and Facebook it would be worth your while investing some time to develop your skills in these areas.

Tip: Google offers an AdWords Certification course to develop best practice skills to optimise Adwords. If you pass 2 exams, they provide you with a certification badge that you can show to prospective employers. Lynda.com also provides training, targeted to the beginner in their Google Adwords Essential Training 1 hour video.

 Using content marketing to a build customer base

Content marketing is now an essential part of the marketing mix for many organisations. Employers are looking for content creators, curators and strategists who can develop compelling content that delights and surprises their target market, rather than simply sells their product and services. Marketers who can guide the production of content for videos, articles, audio, events etc to retain existing and attract new customers are in high demand.

Tip: The Content Marketing Institute is a great place to start if you’re seeking to upskill in this area. They offer an abundance of tools, templates, advice and thought leadership. For a quick overview on the topic try HubSpot’s free content marketing certification course that can be completed in half a day.

Developing stronger customer relationships via social media

According to Statista.com, as of the first quarter of 2017, Facebook had a staggering 1.94 billion monthly active users. It’s no wonder then, organisations are keen to employee marketers with the skills to grow their brand and develop stronger relationships with customers through social platforms. The professionals with experience in developing the strategy to drive results are hot property right now.

Tip: Udemy’s Social Media Marketing 2017 – Complete Certificate Course covering the basics of how to use platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus through to developing and implementing the social media strategy, is a good place to start. If you’re more advanced check out Hootsuite’s comprehensive and academically recognised certification Advanced Social Media Strategy Course.

Knowledge of SEO principles to build better digital assets

High on the list for many employers is marketers with some SEO expertise. You don’t have to be an expert, but having a high-level understanding of how to increase the rank of a company’s digital assets is an attractive skill. People who can use their SEO knowhow to guide the creation of unique content that is relevant and informative with a focus on user experience are valuable to organisations.

Tip: Moz.com’s popular Beginners Guide to SEO is a great resource, with information on how search engines work and how to optimise your website. If you’re into podcasts, ‘Experts on the Wire’ available on iTunes, is an informative but entertaining weekly podcast on all things related to SEO and is worth a listen.

Understanding UX Design to enhance user experience

Finally, professionals who can combine their marketing experience with an understanding user experience have a real edge. Employers are looking for marketers who focus on user needs and attitudes as well as customer behaviour to shape better digital experiences and products.

Tip: There’s lots of articles that explain the benefits of UX to marketers, like this one from ceros.com. But if you’re looking for something more comprehensive Peak Usability offer a 3 day, group-based User Experience training course in Sydney and other capital cities.

If you liked this article don’t forget to check out my other posts and signup for more tips on how to advance your career at www.gwgpartners.com.au

About the author

Charmaine Piper

Senior Consultant, GWG Partners

Charmaine is a specialist digital, technology, marketing and communications recruiter with GWG Partners. She is genuinely interested in hearing people’s stories and helping them to succeed.

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