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Digital drives growth of marketing, demand for skills

Increased integration of marketing with other business functions and growth of digital marketing is contributing to an increase in demand for marketing skills, according to a newly published report.

The report —The future of work: Occupational and education trends in marketing in Australia by Deloitte Access Economics with RMIT University — forecasts that the Australian marketing workforce will grow from 269,000 people in 2016-17 to 299,000 in 2021-22.

In addition, it forecasts growth of 2.2% a year over the coming five years, nearly twice as fast as the 1.5%  expected in the overall Australian labour force.

And by 2021-22, post-graduate qualified professionals in marketing are expected to be earning an average of $150,000, described by Deloitte as an “impressive rise” of 14% compared to 2016-17 averages.

"Marketing jobs are expanding in number due largely to the growing importance of digital marketing and the integration of marketing within other business functions. Marketers would need to be savvy across all business functions and workers will need to upskill to attain a combined skillset of marketing expertise and specialist industry knowledge, which will be increasingly valued across the workforce,” said David Rumbens, partner, Deloitte Access Economics.

“Businesses expect workers to bring multi-dimensional skills to a marketing-related role, such as in relation to communication, critical thinking and teamwork, as well as in analytics, automation and integrating marketing and technology platforms.

“Artificial Intelligence has also made large strides in this respect, such as by improving product recommendations to customers, for example suggested content on streaming services or related properties on real estate websites.

“Data analytics is also important in monitoring the effectiveness of digital marketing campaigns. The ability to work with data can therefore be expected to be an increasingly important aspect of the marketing task.”

Dr Foula Kopanidis, programme director of Postgraduate Marketing Programmes at RMIT University, said, “While marketing occupations are experiencing change due to the rise of digital marketing and data analytics, I see these technological developments as providing new options and outlets for companies to perform the tasks that have underpinned the role of the marketer, such as connecting with customers and targeting products to relevant markets.

“Although technical digital skills are becoming increasingly important, the core mix of technical and creative skills underpinning marketing roles are still critical for success in the job market. This creative aspect of marketing in particular, is seen as a factor which is required to ensure that a product or brand is successful in the market, and the human element associated with this creative flair can be difficult to be substituted with technology.

“Demand from industries across the economy for market research and advice (in both B2B and B2C contexts) means that workers with a combined skillset of marketing expertise and specialist industry knowledge are being increasingly valued across the workforce.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).