The age of the hybrid marketer

Monique Brasher says the range of technology and data available to marketers, combined with the demand for digital and mobile skills has given rise to the age of hybrid marketing professionals.

Today, users interact with a broad range of applications on a daily basis, both at work and at home. What this means for marketers is that there has been a growing demand for data-led skills to inform their creative campaigns – a demand that is not likely to quell in 2017.

Data analytics, digital marketing, and mobile development are all areas that we know are growing especially fast; demand for data science skills has tripled over the past five years, while demand for digital marketing and mobile skills has more than doubled. With access to more data than ever before, successful marketers today have increased pressure to leverage data from multiple sources to to make – and defend – critical decisions.

Related: Data overflow, and why you should be interrogating your data provider »

This is why we expect the rise of hybrid roles to accelerate in the new year.

This new class of hybrid jobs, which combines programming skills and ‘offline skills’ such as strategic marketing, analysis and design, has come to be a significant facet of the digital economy. Many of these hybrid roles, such as product managers and user experience designers, focus on translating the needs of increasingly connected users into a compelling online experience.

With more and more marketing technologies being introduced to the industry year-on-year, we expect 2017 will require a higher level of technologically literate marketers, who know how to use large amounts of data to make smarter business decisions.

It’s not all about the data, however.

In 2017, we’re also likely to see a growing number of marketers pursue their outside interests to inspire their work and to additionally expand the business’ reach.

As the way we work continues to evolve, businesses are beginning to see the value of employees as ambassadors in terms of generating sales, and not simply as a conduit for talent attraction.

Research has shown us that 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all other forms of advertising, and therefore organisations are encouraging their teams to expand their immediate circles.

In fact, learning opportunities outside of work are no longer falling solely on the individual to go out and seek. A growing number of organisations are now working collaboratively with their marketers to expose them to learning opportunities outside of their immediate KPI’s. Organisations find that this supports productivity as it increases their team’s overall happiness, and also exposes the business to more word-of-mouth opportunities as their employees’ networks grow.

At General Assembly, we’ve seen number of businesses extending training opportunities to develop the whole individual’s understanding of marketing, branding, storytelling, data, coding and how it contributes to developing a well-loved brand, as opposed to purely demonstrating metrics. It will be interesting to see how this evolves in 2017.

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Monique Brasher is the regional director of General Assembly.