Demand for creative skills dwindle amid rise of ‘tech-savvy’ marketers, says Economist study

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 11.54.53 AMA global study of marketers by The Economist has found that 80 per cent think the marketing function is in need of a restructure to “better support business”, while 29 per cent believe the need for change is “urgent”.

‘The rise of the marketer’ report, sponsored by ad tech firm Marketo, was based on a global study of 478 “high-level marketing executives” from big-spending brands, just under one third of which operate in APAC.

It found that while the power of marketers is expected to grow in an era where companies depend more on data and tech, the demand for creative marketers is dwindling.

In a section on the search for talent, the report reads: “Yes, there is a need for tech-savvy marketers. But it’s not enough by itself. CMOs want people with the ability to grasp the details (in data, technology and marketing operations) combined with a view of the strategic big picture.”

“Creative is still important (especially in B2C), but it is a legacy skill and no longer a focus of demand,” the reads the report, which suggests that “the new marketer combines operational and data skills with a grasp of the big picture”.

Marketers surveyed said they think, in three to five years, four out of five companies will classify the marketing function as a revenue driver rather than a cost centre, with the caveat “whether marketing has a formal P&L is another matter.”

The report suggests that the role of marketers is to expand to cover the customer experience, which just over one third said they were responsible for currently. Two thirds said the end-to-end customer experience would be in their power within three to five years.

Three of the four most widely cited marketing investments are aimed at reaching customers through social networks, mobile devices and email. A fourth, analytics, is needed to “knit together data from multiple channels into a coherent and actionable portrait of the consumer,” the report reads.

The average tenure of a CMO has risen in the last seven years, according to the study, almost doubling to 45 months. But the average large-company CMO still lasts only about half as long as a CEO. “The business owners must deliver numbers. The CMO who can’t help is soon gone,” the report reads.

Marketers said that real-time personalised mobile and the Internet of Things were the two “trends to watch”.

The report can be read in full here.


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