Metro Bank’s Jessica Myers acknowledged how challenging the past few years had been for everyone – a trend that doesn’t show any signs of relenting – but emphasised that “with change comes opportunity”.
“Change allows us to stay on our toes; a lot of [what can be said about marketing skills] is hugely optimistic in terms of the skillset and the mindset that modern-day marketers will have, and how they’ll start to grow and evolve and transition in their own roles.”
She went on: “The ‘word du jour’ is going to be data, and data analytics … what I’m really excited about is how we will start to develop our modern-day marketer to be a commercial data scientist to their core. Of course, they’ll have a number of different strengths … but to speak the language of the boardroom, and to make sure we’re really getting to the crux of customer needs and what is going to help us grow our organisations: commercial mindset, growth mindset, and data analytics are going to be core to that.
“I’m really optimistic about the new talents we’re going to be upskilling our teams with, and what that will look like over the next 12 months.”
SAP’s Kirsten Boileau added that she’s encouraged by the enthusiasm and hunger to learn shown by early talents entering the field. “They have that learning culture of wanting to continually learn, [and] learn through whatever experience it is that they are having.
“And they are not only sharing that kind of attitude with their peers and colleagues and their managers and their leadership; but they are really modelling that for those who have been in the job market for a long time, or in their particular role for a long time, who are perhaps a little bit more comfortable, and not feeling as if learning is as much of a priority.”
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As a result, Boileau said, some of that optimism is “rubbing off” on those who might otherwise have been less proactive about learning: “I’m seeing more and more people want to put it into their calendar on a weekly basis … and not only set aside that time to consume it, but to talk with others about it, look for ways to apply it, so that it isn’t just brushed under the rug as soon as they go back to their desk – figuratively speaking – but actually becomes part of how they evolve their way of working.”
Robinson asked Haier Europe’s Antony Peart what skills he sees as most in-demand – not just by marketing teams, but in terms of the capabilities that customers have come to expect from major brands.
“Certainly content is the name of the game – in whatever form – I think that has the biggest impact in terms of aligning with the second [skill], which is analytics,” Peart replied. “Understanding the data analytics and understanding the framework of what that offers, to give that clearer picture of the ad performance aligned with the content.
“So, for me the biggest focus in terms of the skills demand is marrying up that approach between analytics – getting an understanding of the data – and serving the customer with the right content at the right time to the right audience.”
As an example of what kind of insights can be yielded from this understanding of data, Peart pointed to some of the unexpected demographic changes that have emerged in Haier’s industry – kitchen and home appliances – due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “The over-50, 65s are now more likely to buy something online than 16 to 24-year-olds,” he said. “It’s a really interesting dynamic in there – so specifically for our business, how do we target those customers through digital that may have not been in the digital arena before? It’s a really interesting time at the moment.”