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Tom Hoffman | January 25, 2011

Three Hot Job Skills for Marketing Leaders to Consider in 2011


In the latest sign of a strengthening economy, U.S. companies say they plan to hire more workers this year, according to a new study that was released on Jan. 24 by the National Association for Business Economics (NABE). Although marketing leaders likely have their own specific priorities for the near-term (i.e. recruiting direct marketing professionals or people with email marketing expertise), there are three hot skills where hiring should be particularly strong this year: social marketing, mobile development and analytics.

According to the NABE survey, 42 percent of respondents say their companies plan to hire more workers in the next six months, a 13 percent increase from the same period last year.

As business volumes rise, some decision-makers will look to fine-tune their recruitment strategies based on forecast demand. One of the top skills in demand is people with business intelligence or analytical skills.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be a 24 percent increase for professionals with management analysis skills, followed by 22 percent and 13 percent increase in demand for operations research analysts and statisticians over the next 8 years, respectively. Helping to fuel these increases are the rising use of predictive analytics and business intelligence tools by companies in their efforts to learn more about their customers, including their buying habits, preferences, and behaviors. A fresh study of 2,000 midsize companies across 20 countries conducted by IBM finds that spending on business intelligence and analytics is the second most popular IT investment planned for this year, following IT infrastructure initiatives.

Meanwhile, many organizations are also expected to transition from experimenting with social media for marketing and customer support to more formalized use of social networks to connect with customers. As Peppers & Rogers Group founding partners Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D. have stated, decision-makers should strongly consider recruiting twenty-somethings who live and breathe social media to fill these positions and help develop meaningful connections with customers.

Early adopters that are providing customers with proactive support by monitoring and reacting to customer issues in social networks are finding this an effective way to engage with customers and deepen relationships with them while lowering operational costs by circumventing calls to the contact center.

Not to be overlooked is mobile marketing, which is growing in leaps and bounds. According to MarketsandMarkets, a Dallas-based market research and consulting firm, the global mobile apps market is expected to reach $25 billion by 2015. In addition, a recent report by Elance, a popular freelancing jobs site, determined that the number of mobile developer jobs doubled in the first quarter of 2010 compared to the same period the previous year.

As companies look for new ways to connect with customers and provide them engaging content, mobile video is expected to become an increasingly popular vehicle, particularly as the number of people who use smart phones continues to rise.

What are your hiring plans, if any, for the coming year? Are there certain types of skills that you're seeking or having trouble finding in the market?


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