As American companies look for traction in this slow-motion economic recovery, the market for marketers is back. And although these employers’ marketing needs are more diverse than ever, their marketing budgets are trim.
“So many companies are operating lean in marketing right now,” says Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group, a recruiter of interactive design and marketing professionals based in Menlo Park, California. “Professionals who have a depth and breadth to their experience -- they rule right now.” Several marketing careers beckon in 2011, from social media marketing and event marketing to sports marketing jobs.
Social media is all the rage, and even if you’re seeking a traditional marketing job in a conventional industry, you’ve got to have some of the right digital stuff. “About 90 percent of marketing openings are still traditional, but the people competing for them have to understand how the emerging technologies merge with the traditional ones,” says Larry Chiagouris, a professor of marketing at Pace University in New York City.
Here are six hot marketing jobs for the 2010s.
Digital Media Strategist
Digital media strategists are masters of the ever-expanding universe of Internet marketing. In large companies, they help set overall brand and product marketing strategies for paid, owned and earned media. Digital strategists must have strong quantitative skills and be able to sell nontechnical colleagues on technology-driven media strategies. While they must have deep experience in marketing fundamentals, they must also be passionate about emerging media, with broad understanding of social media, search, ecommerce and Web technologies. For marketers at startups, “if you’ve got digital skills, creative thinking, an entrepreneurial mentality and are savvy about social media, that’s the perfect combination,” says Grant Powell, CEO of agency Pomegranate in New York City. Related marketing jobs: digital media manager, media planner.
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Search engine optimization (SEO) has become a critical marketing function for millions of American businesses. SEO analysts examine how customers and prospects arrive -- or fail to arrive -- at the company site. They also optimize the search experience of shoppers within ecommerce sites. SEO analysts define and track search metrics and work on cross-functional teams to improve the company’s rankings in search results. Successful candidates will be familiar with Google Analytics and reporting suites such as Omniture and Coremetrics. “Math majors as well as marketing majors are being pursued for marketing analytics jobs,” says Chiagouris. Related marketing jobs: market research manager, data-mining engineer, data analyst.
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Social Media Coordinator
“People in these marketing jobs look at Facebook and respond in the name of the company and of the brand,” Chiagouris says. But that’s just the beginning. Because this is the in-the-trenches job of the social media revolution, these go-getters are not just monitoring and measuring activity around the company brand, but also doing lots of posting themselves. They may even launch and manage social campaigns as they build bases of fans and Twitter followers. At larger companies, the social media coordinator may outsource the bulk of posting. Social media savvy, an intuitive understanding of metrics and an evangelistic attitude are the chief job requirements. Related marketing jobs: social media director, social media marketing manager.
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User Interface Artist
User interface (UI) artists are obsessed with making the screen experience intuitive and easy, whether users are MBAs, gamers or both. Working at the complex intersection of development and Web design, UI artists must please multiple constituencies while advocating for users by insisting that principles of effective interface design are upheld. Proficiency with Photoshop, Illustrator and perhaps 3D tools like Maya and Mudbox is required. “The hardest marketing jobs to fill are for Flash animation and motion-graphics people,” Powell says. Related marketing jobs: Web designer, animator.
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Market Research Manager
With product life cycles shortening and market segments narrowing, market research continues to gain importance. Market researchers thrive at the nexus of customer-focused product development and quantitative analysis, bringing discipline to processes that are vital to their companies’ future growth. Market research managers typically have training in statistical modeling and analysis, and they’re spreadsheet whizzes also skilled with statistical packages like SPSS and SAS. Related marketing jobs: data-mining engineer, social media analyst.
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Although their jobs may have changed more than those of anyone’s in the core business disciplines, marketing managers are still the backbone of any company’s marketing efforts. And marketing managers still oversee marketing communications, advertising, promotions, public relations, media planning/buying and many other related activities. But their jobs now incorporate the ever-shifting world of digital media. “We’ve never seen such a rapid shift as this shift to social media,” Farrugia says. Successful marketing manager candidates will demonstrate they can cover the waterfront, come what media may. Related marketing jobs: marketing director, marketing VP.
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Learn more about marketing careers.