Ashley Furness, CRM market analyst, software advice
During a recent business leaders' conference in London, Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide CEO Kevin Roberts declared marketing dead, saying, "The further up in a company you go, the stupider you become and the further away from new things."
While I agree with his latter sentiment, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects marketing payrolls to increase by at least 13 percent between 2010 and 2020. Perhaps what Roberts meant to say is that the old ways of marketing are dead, as evidenced by the dramatic shift in skills desired from today's marketer. Recruiters are ditching mass media and direct mail for candidates who are savvy in search-engine optimization, analytics, mobile platforms, social media and content.
I asked more than 30 marketing and recruiting specialists what new marketing job titles they expect will become popular in the next decade. Here are five of the most common roles they named.
1. Crowdsourcing specialist
"You don't [market to today's customer] by just vomiting sales pitches on them, you do it by listening to how the product has helped them," says Josh King, director of business development at Peacock Virtual Solutions.
This role has two parts: listening and promoting. Companies can no longer dictate their brand identity to the customer. To that end, the crowdsourcing specialist would monitor conversations about the brand on the Internet and develop messages that respond to customers' expectations. On the promotion side, the crowdsourcing specialist would send out calls to action, such as inviting customers to compete to create the best video about the brand and perhaps tying the theme to something trending on Twitter.
2. Vice president of marketing data analytics
"Accountability wasn't present [in marketing] before. It's required now, because we can measure every aspect of a campaign," says Jennifer Pockell-Wilson, vice president of marketing and demand operations at Demandbase. "You can't judge success by return on investment on a specific campaign anymore because traffic, brand awareness and consumers come from multiple sources that interact together."
People in this job would decide when, why and how marketing data should be tracked. This includes data collected through marketing automation, website analytics, social media, email campaigns, mobile platforms, SEO, content marketing and other channels. The goals: to improve marketing performance and continually refine the company's definition of the ideal customer. This information would be shared with brand and campaign strategists who design promotions.
3. ROI and marketing budget officer
Marketing budgets are shifting from quarterly allotments for print, direct mail and media advertising to constantly shifting spending from one channel to another. Data about return on investment are often instantly available -- from paid search ad spending, for example -- so marketing can be more nimble with resource allocation. The budget officer would track ROI from all promotion channels and adjust spending based on those results.
"The idea is to get marketing tactics out there quickly, track results, then continue with ones that work and dump ones that don't," says crowdSPRING co-founder Mike Samson. "The idea is to try a bunch of things and learn through constant trial and error."
4. Marketing integration planner
"People don't call directly in from an infomercial or click a banner and immediately buy items," marketing consultant Jocelyn Saurini says. "They search for reviews, they interact with brands, they pay attention to trending topics."
People in this job would identify ways to deliver a single marketing message, campaign or branding effort across multiple digital channels. An example includes using a pay-per-click advertising campaign to promote a viral video or using SEO keyword analysis to help craft a press release. They might also use tools such as Demand Metric's Marketing Channel Ranking Tool to prioritize message delivery channels based on cost and other indicators.
5. Content marketing chief
"The people who are able to create a lot of value in the marketing organization of the future think in terms of content, not channels, and in terms of insight, not data," says Zach Clayton, CEO and founder of Three Ships Media.
People in this job would plan the development of websites, blogs, videos, infographics, webinars, social media and other content vehicles. The individual would decide how that content would be promoted and cross-promoted, then track its performance. Finally, the content marketing leader would look for externally created content about the company on the Internet and find ways to use it for SEO and other marketing purposes.
What's your take?
It's doubtful that every marketing department will need all of these positions. The point here is to show the future of marketing through the most highly desired skills and emerging job titles.
"All the top-down, brand-driven marketing disciplines aren't dead, they just must be balanced now with the consumer-centric disciplines that require brands to let go of the steering wheel and let the consumers drive," says Tom Cotton, partner at marketing consultancy Protagonist.