As marketers look for ways to make brands and products distinct, innovative new skills are in demand. According to recruitment companies, candidates with digital marketing and customer relationship management (CRM) know-how are in demand as the industry becomes competitive.
"More clients are looking for candidates with social media experience and interactive exposure or knowledge, [such as] marketing through blogging, Facebook and CRM experience," says Barbara Yeung, principal consultant for sales and marketing at Hudson.
The world of marketing is adapting to competition by trying to make brands louder, and by changing its focus and operations. More companies are combining sub-brands in operations, merging sales and marketing and trying to tailor marketing to segments such as post '80s and '90s youths.
Besides technical and traditional skills, such as brand management and integrated and direct marketing, Yeung says clients want candidates with strong industry knowledge and who are versatile marketers who can strategise business plans and whole product portfolios, as opposed to just a few products.
Connie Au, manager for sales and marketing recruitment at Ambition, says that as the market becomes more sophisticated and measurable, marketers have more channels and touch points to choose from when they plan their marketing mix. They are often asked to justify everything they do and what its impact on the business' bottom line will be.
"If the company does not have a specific digital marketing team, it is likely that the traditional marketing manager will need to take care of the online marketing area which has become more popular," she says.
Au stresses that traditional marketing roles, such as branding, marketing communications and internal communications in media relations, remain important but candidates can keep abreast of developments through training and seminars by industry leaders.
Recruitment firms say advertised positions include marketing director, brand manager, marketing communications manager, CRM manager, business development manager and director. The retail marketing area has also been hiring, and fast-moving consumer goods and health care companies are looking for marketing professionals with strong technical skills.
As the market adapts, it is most receptive to customer-oriented marketers who embrace industry change.