Trawling through the list of jobs for marketing consultants and managers on the internet, I notice an astonishing wide range of skills required and frankly the salaries don't seem to match.
Now that companies are really getting behind digital marketing they're expecting their marketing team to not only have the more traditional marketing skills but they also need to be graphic designers, search engine optimisation experts, social media gurus and famous bloggers.
You'll need to be able to not only come up with the promotions and campaigns, you're also expected to design the graphics, set up and promote your social media campaign, write and design the email marketing, design and implement the online forms for submission, run a contest and provide comprehensive reports to boot. Aside from the obvious time management issues I can see forming here, is it realistic to expect our marketers to have these levels of expertise?
I heard an example of this yesterday where a hotel chain who previously had a staff of 7 marketers and outsourced graphic design and digital marketing has reduced their staff to 2 juniors and sacked their graphic designer in favour of their juniors doing it. Photoshop has been purchased and they've been asked to figure it out. What the? I don't know if any of you know how to use Photoshop out there, but I can hear you saying,"oh that's going to be hard!"
Perhaps this is a sign of the times and cost-cutting is all it's about. But it also seems to me that decision-makers have a clear lack of understanding of what's involved in marketing. Take graphic design as an isolated component; this is a serious skill that requires quality training, talent and practice...and that's when it's your only job.
There are two key points I want to make today on this issue:
1. Marketers need to be up-skilling to meet these new demands
2. Businesses need to be aware that no one can do all these things well. Sure they may have a broad-brushed understanding across the spectrum but if you're wanting the best out of your digital marketing you have to spread the load.
So does this mean a new era for outsourcing? It certainly seems that way. Rather than businesses investing in additional personnel to cope with the extra workload they are enlisting outsourcers or consultants to pick up the slack in their marketers weakest areas.
In many businesses this produces fantastic results. Not only is the business receiving quality output but the internal marketers are learning new skills in the process as the consultants and the internal staff work as a team.