Digital marketing skills required for success “Information doesn’t travel at the word of mouth anymore. It travels at the speed of light.”    -Andy Russell, DMA Board Member and Founder of Trigger Media and Inside Hook.

What a great quote from Andy. Not only is information traveling at the speed of light, but that data beam is bending and twisting and heading into directions no one can anticipate, with huge implications for digital marketing skills that are needed for successful online commerce.

For marketing leaders, planning for the future is kind of like competing in a game where the rules are made up as you go. But some things we do know, as highlighted in the most recent Data and Marketing Association Statistical Fact Book (SFB). For more than a decade, results of my quarterly employment surveys were prominently featured in the SFB. Today, I read it cover to cover for its piercing insights into the trends that are shaping today’s marketing, with a particular eye on the digital marketing skills and knowledge sets that are required for success. More than ever it is clear to me that marketers who stay ahead of the curve will not only outpace their competitors, they’ll be first in line for those plum VP and CMO opportunities when they open up, opportunities I work on frequently here at Bernhart Associates.

What are you doing to sharpen your digital marketing skills in these areas described by the SFB as “hotbeds of opportunity”:

-Social Analytics

-Video

-Programmatic

-Mobile

-Hiring the right talent

Let’s take a look at each of these.

-You say you’re strong at collecting data from social media channels? Good. Now get stronger. According to the SFB, 47% of marketers say that social channels offer the greatest opportunities, and that social media will grow to a full one-quarter of marketing budgets in five years, up from 10% today. Looks like a hotbed of opportunity to me.

-We all know the growing popularity of video, but what you may not know is that according to SFB, four times as many consumers prefer digestible video content over text. Then there’s programmatic video, which is expected to account for 2/3 of all total video spending by 2019. That’s just two years from now! For marketers that means just one thing: Those who know how to deliver ads that are more timely, more relevant and more responsive to consumer interests are going to get more notice.

-And while we’re on the subject of programmatic, SFB says programmatic is now capturing half of all spending in display advertising. Clearly, knowledge of programmatic is power.

-Mobile is big and continues to get bigger with 4 out of 5 Americans carrying a smartphone with them every day. The message here is clear: Employers want talented mobile marketers who can produce and distribute content to fit the format and channel at the right time and place, both to target current customers and attract new ones.

-Finding the right talent. This one, of course, has a special place for me. Wondering why so many jobs are going unfilled? According to SFB, nearly one-third of employers say “lack of skills” and “lack of human resources” are holding them back from improving data quality. Essentially this confirms exactly what I’ve been writing about for years: Candidates with strong data, analytic and digital marketing skills are golden.

So you say you have all these digital marketing skills? Great. Next thing you should do is send me your resume to get in my database. And I’m not talking about just any resume database. No black hole here. I may not find that perfect job for you, but my custom designed digital commerce-specific algorithms will parse your skills and experience better than a file clerk in the Library of Congress, so at minimum you’ll know that your resume will be catalogued according to your specific specialty and your unique digital marketing abilities, instead of being run through some off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all recruiting software for 40 different job titles across a dozen different corporate departments. When the right opportunity comes up, your name will pop. Send your latest resume to resumes@bernhart.com. The less text you include in your email the better. My system works best with attachments only.

Jerry Bernhart, Principal of Bernhart Associates Executive Search, LLC, is one of the nation’s preeminent and veteran executive recruiters in ecommerce, digital and multichannel marketing, and CRM. With more than 80 published LinkedIn articles, Jerry is the “voice” of best practices in the recruitment and hiring of ecommerce and digital marketing professionals. Jerry is also the author of the critically acclaimed book, “Careers in Ecommerce and Digital Marketing,” on Amazon, and participates in many leading digital marketing and ecommerce conferences. Jerry has been recruiting and placing marketing professionals for more than 28 years. Check out Jerry’s other insights on the Thought Leadership section of the Bernhart Associates website.

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