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Annette Staglieno
Annette Staglieno 16 May 2017

Demand For Digital Marketing Skills Outstrips Supply

A new report into hiring trends reveals a growing demand for digital advertising and marketing skills. The report, 2017 Marketing Hiring Trends, says 44% of companies are planning to hire more marketers in 2017.

The most in-demand skills were digital advertising (27%), content creation and curation (23%) and content strategy (20%).

This upsurge reflects the growing importance of marketing to a company’s bottom line. It is especially true in this age of quantifiable marketing, the report says. It shows that between 2015 and last year, digital marketing hires grew by 19%. Furthermore, 42% of those hires were permanent positions.

Mark Ashbridge, General Manager of The Left Bank, says the figures show digital marketing is maturing. “Five years ago, some companies saw there were wins to be had by being good at digital,” he says. “But now every business must have digital marketing capability. They need digital skill-sets, and an ongoing digital marketing strategy that is constantly being optimised.”

The report found 56% of companies hiring this year want digital marketing expertise. In-demand skills are: content creation and curation; mobile; social; SEO/SEM; and lead generation. Advertising and content marketing are fuelling this expansion. It’s happening across all marketing functions—including more traditional marketing roles.

“My interpretation of what’s happening now is companies are aligning the mix between on-line and off-line in a far more effective manner,” says Mark Ashbridge. “As digital marketing matures, companies are starting to integrate off-line and on-line strategies. That’s probably driving a flattening-off of demand for traditional marketing roles.”

“The skills are in demand and businesses are wanting to power their marketing efforts by strengthening their digital marketing offering.” – Mark Ashbridge, General Manager of The Left Bank talking about the current market for digital marketers

The report highlights a significant gap between demand and supply for marketing roles. Demand for digital marketing talent sits at 56%, with active supply at 24%. Similarly, creative services demand is at 35% while supply is at 27%.

In all other marketing functions, the report says, the markets are mostly saturated. These include communications, traditional marketing, product marketing, research & analysis, relationship management and marketing operations.

While 2017 is clearly a great year to be a digital marketer, companies looking to hire one face a very competitive landscape. Not surprisingly, 45% of marketing professionals surveyed said a salary increase is what would tempt them into a new job.

“The skills are in demand and businesses are wanting to power their marketing efforts by strengthening their digital marketing offering,” says Ashbridge. “Right now, there are medium-level to senior roles available. It’s likely that with the right qualifications those people are going to be the chief marketing officer of the future—we just haven’t seen them progress through yet.”

The data for the McKinley Marketing Partners report came from a survey of 314 U.S.-based marketing professionals across a mix of company types and sizes. They were surveyed between November 21-December 23 2016. A copy of the report can be downloaded here.

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