What Are the Most Desirable Digital Marketing Skills Heading into the New Year?

November 23, 2020

Altimeter Most Desirable Digital Marketing Skills Nov2020Data analysis is not only a much sought after skill, it’s often what sets a successful company apart from the others. This isn’t bound to change anytime soon, with a recent report [download page] from Altimeter (a Prophet company) on the state of digital marketing revealing that data analysis is one of the most desired skills for digital marketing hires in the coming year.

Indeed, 42% of the digital marketing professionals surveyed cited data analysis as one of their top 3 most desired skills they will be hiring for in 2020-2021, making this the skill set with the broadest consensus among respondents.

Following data analysis and in keeping with the desire for more technical skills needed for successful digital marketing, some 4 in 10 (39%) said that marketing automation/software expertise is among their top-3 desired skill sets.

Digital marketers are also keen to hire individuals with UX design skills (37%) — an area where earlier research has found a significant skills gap. Others cite graphic design (33%) and video production and editing (32%) as top-3 desirable skills in the near future.

Although many companies have put more stock into social media since the pandemic, only 1 in 5 (19%) respondents consider social media listening, publishing and advertising as a top-3 desired skill for digital marketing hires going into the new year. Even fewer appear to be looking for SEO/SEM expertise (12%) or paid media/ programmatic advertising (12%) skills. This possibly relates to a perception that these skillsets are more readily available for hire.

Collaboration Across Business Functions Grows

When digital marketing professionals were asked the level of collaboration digital marketing has had with various business functions within their companies for the years between 2018 and 2020, at least half reported increased collaboration across sales (75%), customer service (60%), product (59%), IT (57%) and PR/communications (50%).

These professionals are optimistic about the state of their collaboration in the future, as well. Similar shares of respondents are hoping to further their collaboration with sales (75%), customer service (59%) and IT (57%), while even more are aiming for increased collaboration with PR/communications (58%) and product (64%) teams between now and 2022.

The quest for sales and marketing to become less siloed seems to be paying off. A scant 3% of respondents say there is little to no collaboration between marketing and sales teams, with only 13% saying that feedback and collaboration is ad hoc through unstructured in-person conversations that result in manual updates.

Instead, for close to 6 in 10, feedback and collaboration is either regular, software-enabled with disconnects resolved automatically through algorithms (23%) or periodic, software-enabled and results in manual updates (34%).

Collaborating on Marketing Campaigns

Just 1 in 10 respondents say that marketing campaigns/programs are designed by digital marketing leadership and only known within the marketing team. The remainder are employing at least some degree of collaboration, with two-thirds collaborating with sales in designing campaigns (32%) or by aligning with sales on best moves after campaigns have been designed by marketing (35%).

Showing a more expansive degree of collaboration, close to one-quarter (23%) say that key groups across the business that vary by function, geography or product all have input into marketing campaigns/programs created by a central digital group.

The full report can be found here.

About the Data: Results are based on a survey of 476 senior digital marketing executives across North American, Europe and China from companies with at least 1,000 employees.


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