A Sneak Peek at 2019’s Hottest Marketing Skills
You love the creativity and innovation of marketing. Maybe you’re an aspiring leader in your field or maybe you’re just starting out. Either way, you want to know what’s next.
So, what’s new for marketing in 2019? You’ve come to right place. We’ve paired expert opinion from marketing professionals with helpful information from The Creative Group’s 2019 Creative & Marketing Salary Guide. With this information, we’ve identified some of the top specialized marketing skills and explained why the future looks so bright for those who possess them.
8 Top marketing skills for 2019 and beyond
Whether you’re looking for a niche skill to boost your resume or just doing a little future career planning, it won’t hurt to take note of the following hot marketing skills.
1. Artificial intelligence and machine learning
You may not have noticed, but “artificial intelligence” and machine learning systems are becoming more and more common. Websites like Google, Netflix and Amazon all rely heavily on these technologies to provide better user experiences and ultimately drive their businesses. Part of the reason this may have flown under your radar is because they work so seamlessly! Have you received push notifications at seemingly just the right moment from a site or app? That’s AI. Have you loved a show or movie that Netflix recommended for you? That’s AI. Have you been helped by an automated chat bot? You got it—that’s AI.
Artificial Intelligence and machine learning can help marketers become more efficient and more effective in a variety of ways, such as:
- Analyzing and optimizing paid ad campaigns
- Optimizing advertisement layout and copywriting
- Creating content like profit and loss summaries, business reports, hotel descriptions, etc.
- Map a user’s web experience and curate email content
Simply put, these technologies can open the door to amazing experiences that users aren’t going to forgot soon.
“A core part of marketing is using words, imagery and timing to create emotion and interaction,” says Alan LaFrance, marketing strategy manager at LawnStarter. So does that mean marketers need to be able to write machine-learning algorithms? Not likely—but they can help identify areas where machine learning and automation can be used to its full potential in the field.
2. Content marketing
Almost every business can benefit from content marketing and not just for the sake of increased traffic. Content creation provides truly relevant and useful information to your prospective and current costumers that they will come back to again and again, depending on its relevance. Content marketing also helps marketers learn more about who they are marketing to by monitoring which blog articles, videos, white pages and other materials readers are engaging with. This knowledge can boost an organization’s current content strategy and, in turn, earn them even more traffic, engagement and sales.
Well-planned content strategies are best executed in conjunction with search engine optimization (SEO) best practices and a social media calendar.
“Content is still king, but context is queen,” says Jackie Rednour-Bruckman, CMO of MyWorkDrive. This means it’s not just a matter of creating content, but also meeting customers where they’re at in a buying process and providing helpful answers.
3. Data analysis
Data-savvy marketing professionals use data points and trends to help strategize and tweak content to meet consumer demand. Additionally they use data for determining who exactly their consumer is, with demographic information, locations, responses and mood, helping to paint a clearer picture of their target audience. They can also measure the success of tactics and customize customer experiences according to the revealed data.
These data professionals help marketers set realistic goals going forward and dive into questions like,
- Who are our real competitors?
- Are we using our resources efficiently?
- What should our main priorities be?
Even if you know you’ll never become a data scientist, having a grasp of data analysis and testing methods can be invaluable. For example, digital marketers complete a lot of A/B tests in order to optimize their advertising campaigns—and data literacy can help them make sense of the results.
“UX projects are often a major selling point for digital agencies, so marketers who can set up A/B tests won't have a hard time finding jobs,” Gingery says.
4. Front-end web development
Front-end web development will continue to be instrumental for brands in 2019. Clean, functional and impressive websites are a must to appeal and sustain reader interest. Consumers are becoming more and more sophisticated when it comes to design, so websites that consider psychology and usability while adhering to web optimization best practices will draw interest.
Front-end web development requires an eye for layout and design. Marketers—even those with no interest in building web development skills—should still strive to have a working knowledge of graphic design and be able to speak the language of design in order to direct elements and priorities clearly, says Rednour-Bruckman. These skills plus an understanding of what front-end developers are capable of doing will help facilitate web-focused marketing projects and improve your collaborative abilities.
5. Search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO)
Millions of searches are logged every day on search engines—and most users click on one of the top five suggestions. Because of this, it should come as no surprise that the tactics and skills needed to capture the attention of these searchers have become a point of emphasis for marketing teams. Search engine marketing is essentially the umbrella term for the skills and tactics used to ensure your organization’s website is found at or near the top of results pages for relevant searches. This can include paid advertising or “organic,” SEO-driven results. When executed well, SEO best practices can improve user experiences and the usability of a website through strong copy or content.
6. Social media management
Social media isn’t exactly new in marketing—but that doesn’t mean social media skills are less valuable in the eyes of marketers. The social community has become even more sophisticated in recent years—it’s not just about engaging with customers and promoting your brand anymore. Tactics like influencer marketing where brands work with social media personalities to promote their products have become mainstream—but if done poorly, consumers will see through sponsored content and disengage.
Additionally, visually based social media platforms like Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube have opened the door for crafting social media marketing strategies that rely on user-generated content. These strategies need skilled social media professionals who understand exactly what will—or won’t—resonate with their respective audiences.
7. Video production
It’s become apparent that video is a huge part of the marketing mix, but how will it change in 2019? One challenge brands face is knowing when to use video as part of their strategy. In the rush to keep up with marketing trends, plenty of video projects fell flat. In 2019, video needs to self-correct, according to Hunter Smith, content manger and staff writer at Slate and Main. He sees it shaking negative stigmas and hitting its stride.
In order to do video well, a brand needs to find its niche. Video viewership, including streaming and social video, keeps segmenting. How will brands keep their viewers?
“Figure out why anyone cares about your brand at all,” says Smith. “Don’t just make video to make video.” Smith says failing to keep this in mind often results in self-important content, like a five-minute mission statement video or a sales-pitch disguised as an interview.
Tyler Brooks, founder at Analytive, believes that as a video continues to grow, being able to make basic video edits, writing a script or brainstorming innovative concepts will make you into a more appealing candidate in this fast-moving industry.
8. UX and UI design
Consumers have high expectations. It’s not enough to have a website or app—it needs to be engaging and easy to use or else you run the risk of losing their business. That’s partially why UX design is so valuable. UX designers are skilled in all of the areas that make an app or website appealing and easy to use—visual design, information architecture, interaction design and content strategy.
Marketers who can take a big-picture view of user experience are key. It’s not just a matter of whether an individual component of a campaign is a solid experience—how does it all fit together? Are your users forced to fill out repetitive forms? Does the overall look and feel of a marketing campaign seem disjointed? Understanding UX principals and placing the needs of the consumer first continues to be important.
Ready, set, goal!
Now that you have the rundown, are you ready for 2019? No matter where you’d like your marketing career to take you, gaining some of those digital skills will increase your marketability. Remember, you don’t have to be an expert at every one of these to be a valuable member of a marketing team—any familiarity and ability you have related to these is a plus. So, roll up those sleeves and start learning!
Looking to set a goal for yourself? If you’re intrigued by the world of marketing, check out the impressive marketing job titles that you can aim for in our article, “11 Impressive Marketing Job Titles to Strive for in Your Career.”