According to Forrester.com, 67 per cent of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally. Also, their research shows that online searches are people’s first course of action increasingly often. Impressive right? In 2021 we can affirm that digital marketing represents the future of business as consumers keep pushing online purchases so heavily.
How this historic change reflected in the current job market and how does it represent a huge opportunity for young marketers? Let’s discover it with some of the facts and the numbers I found digging down on the web.
Mind the Gap in the Market
As the demand for professionals with strong digital skills significantly outweighs the supply, now is the best time ever to acquire them. According to LinkedIn, the “Digital Marketing Specialist” role is among the top 10 most-in-demand jobs, with 860,000 job openings.
Furthermore, digital marketer jobs are now moving on from an early stage where the skills required were relatively broad to a new scenario. Skills such as SEO, content marketing, analytics, PPC etc. represent industries on their own.
But which are the causes that brought to the gap in the market of the last years?
The Buyer-Centric Marketing Environment
A large amount of the buying process takes place online and not in retail anymore. This means that the way how people consume content changed. Advertising followed as a consequence.
According to the E-commerce statistic for the European Commission, in the 12 months before their survey, 89% of individuals aged 16 to 74 in the EU had used the internet. 72 % of them had bought or ordered goods or services for private use. Furthermore, online purchases by internet users increased by 19 percentage points compared with 2010.
These big numbers justify the huge demand for digital skills such as Branding, Content Marketing, Lead Generation, Conversion Funnel, E-commerce.
Social Media Culture
With 2.45 billion active social media users globally, knowing how to best connect and engage with followers and be a great story-teller that aligns with a brand’s vision is a game-changer competence to own.
Employers are now aware of the “social media effect” when it comes to building their brand and are now actively looking for people who mastered this skill. In detail, creating high-quality social media content is now more required than ever as the competition increased in the last decade.
Why Digital Skills Are So Valuable
Ronan Dunne, Chief Executive of O2, regarding the importance of digital skills in this economy, said: “Now more than ever before, Digital offers the chance to drive sustained economic recovery. However, this will only happen if we become a nation of digitally confident businesses with a digitally literate workforce”.
They Help Move Organizations Forward
According to the Digital Skills Report conducted by the Digital Marketing Institute, only 25% of organisations state that they are “digitally engaged” in the UK. Research like these, show even more why those who know how to use digital tools through an analytical approach, metrics and data, can easily gain a competitive advantage in the market.
Also, many modern companies are still massively relying on external contractors to fill the gap of digital skills in the marketplace. This happens because this kind of knowledge is a fundamental part of organisational success.
Digital Skills Make Businesses “Smart”
In the modern workplace, a marketer who knows how to create high-quality social media content or a profitable PPC campaign represents a great asset with no doubts. The same thing can be said of those marketers who know how to efficiently integrate cross-selling campaigns on different digital platforms. Or those who can track and analyse the results of their efforts.
These capabilities allow businesses to be versatile and agile as a consequence of the people’s features they are made of.
Where You Can Aquire Digital Skills and Become a “Most Wanted” On The Market
Without getting deep into the controversial topic of University yes vs University no, my personal experience is that the traditional way of “getting a degree” in digital marketing can be a great idea. Especially if you are at the beginning of your digital adventure, university studies can give you the bases, mindset and network to jumpstart your career.
Although many companies are opening up to people with skills without a degree, I found that 2 companies out of 3, still require a degree in business/marketing for interviews today.
If a degree can be a great trampoline to jumpstart your career, at the same time, I do think that self-teaching is the best way to develop a career in this field instead. (If you want to know how I changed my career and how I started my adventure in this exciting industry, you can find morehere).
I say this because it looks clear that the amount of information to learn and the speed at which digital marketing is growing is simply impossible to catch up for institutions. Therefore, being able to absorb as much information as possible through podcasts, youtube, digital learning platforms, networking and working in side-projects (even for free), represents the best strategy to become a thriving marketer.