Steep rise in demand for marketers with digital skills

Marketers are rapidly upskilling in social media, ecommerce and data analytics as they look to respond to consumers’ shift online.

SocialDigital roles in marketing are among the fastest growing in the industry, with demand for social media jobs and skills increasing at the highest rate, according to data collected exclusively for Marketing Week.

With the pandemic forcing people to stay at home, consumer behaviour has changed dramatically over the past 12 months. Brands have responded by shifting focus and spend onto digital channels, which has had a massive impact on the jobs market.

There has been a vast increase in demand for marketers with social skills, with paid social media rising in demand by 116.4%, according to the data from LinkedIn.

Meanwhile, demand for social media advertising has increased by 45.9%, proficiency in Instagram is up 28.4%, social media optimisation has grown by 26.2%, and knowledge of LinkedIn is up 25.7%.

SkillsSkills in digital and data more generally have been rising sharply since the onset of the pandemic, with eight of the top 10 most in demand skills relating to harder marketing expertise.

These include ad serving (84.6%), analytics (46.1%) and web content writing (30.3%). Marketers have also upskilled around ecommerce, which has increased by 6.9% over the past year, with 13.3% of marketers now having this skill.

Given this focus on digital skills, and in particular social, it follows that the top three fastest rising jobs are all in social media, with social media coordinator increasing by 19%, community manager up 18.1% and social media assistant up 16.5%.

Social experts and digital specialists: The state of the marketing jobs market

Jobs in digital marketing were some of the fastest growing in the UK last year across any sector, according to LinkedIn, which shows a 52% rise in demand for such roles.

Marketing jobs on the riseLooking again at specific jobs, digital marketing intern was one of the fastest rising, with an increase of 13.6%, perhaps suggesting industry initiatives to get more young people interested in a career in marketing could be starting to pay off.

However, at the same time, executive level roles in marketing, digital and SEO saw the greatest decline last year. This adds fuel to marketers’ fears about the damage being caused to young people’s careers and the “massive knock-on effect” the pandemic will have as competition for jobs rises, but the number of opportunities falls.

Marketing jobs in declineSenior marketing executive roles dropped by 8.2%, while SEO executive positions are down 12.6%. Digital account executive roles, which tend to be within agencies, fell 12.4%, perhaps reflecting the fact brands are bringing this role in-house.

There has also been a rise in people listing themselves as freelance marketers (14.9%), which could be as a result of people being made redundant due to the pandemic. Likewise, there has been a 36% rise in people saying they are a marketing consultant, which could again reflect the difficult market and job losses.

Rise in senior marketing positions

While there has been a rise in demand for more specific digital marketing roles over the past 12 months, the data shows there has also been an increase in more senior positions.

Roles such as CMO (13.8%), brand director (10.6%) and brand strategist (9.9%) have increased in demand as businesses look to navigate uncertain times.

Demand for senior marketing managers is also on the rise, with a 10.8% boost compared to last year.

“In a chaotic period for many businesses, organisations have turned to senior marketers to provide expertise and leadership,” LinkedIn’s head of marketing solutions Tom Pepper says.

“LinkedIn data shows a steep rise in the demand for experienced brand marketers, in positions such as chief marketing officer, senior marketing manager and brand director. Marketers are responding to the digitisation of customer channels and transformation of the marketing function by upskilling in social media, ecommerce and data analytics.”

Skills, team structures and ways of working will be the key focus on day four of the Festival of Marketing’s new event Fast Forward, which takes place on 7 to 10 June. Visit the Festival website for more information on sessions, speakers and tickets.