Hone your skills in 2017
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Hone your skills in 2017

What type of training should marketers invest in, and what skills will marketers need in the coming year?

Are you ready for anything 2017 can throw at you? In the current digital environment, where technology is moving at such a pace and marketing is becoming an ever more complex and demanding discipline, getting equipped with the skills to meet new challenges should be an essential business priority for any marketer. So, are you prepared?

Evaluating professional development and training requirements for the New Year should be one of the top ‘to-do’ list tasks. Investing in the right skills can bring real and substantial benefits to business performance – and if you’re not doing it, your competitors almost certainly will be.

“It is critical that marketers invest time and energy in equipping themselves with the ability to maximise business performance through digital,” says Shenda Loughnane, global strategy director at digital consultancy iProspect. “For the majority of marketers, this will involve building or augmenting skills in areas such as data, analytics and content, as well as keeping abreast of changes and innovations in the key digital channels and platforms. “

Strong digital capabilities and regular training to keep skills honed are some of the key components of successful businesses in the digital economy. “In addition, extensive training not only boosts engagement levels and confidence among employees, but also helps entice younger prospective talent.”

Ellie Morley, marketing executive at marketing and communications solutions provider APS Group, agrees that developments in data and technology are still driving trends for new skills. “There’s a lot more science behind being creative as brands and marketers look to understand the value of campaigns,” she says. “This is only going to become more important, especially as we’re already seeing a gap in these skills.

“There’s no room to look at data and analytics as separate from the creative storytelling element – combining the two results in an enhanced skill set allows marketers to understand the bigger picture.”

And while you’re looking ahead to learn and develop new skills, it’s also worth assessing existing ones that could be improved to enhance the team.

“If there is one thing that defines the digital economy,” says Loughnane, “it is constant change and, therefore, the skills you learnt yesterday will need to be continually updated to ensure you can compete effectively tomorrow. As a result, training cannot be viewed as something that happens at a point in time, it needs to be continuous. Marketers will need to focus on both learning new skills and as keeping existing skills refreshed and up to date.”

“With new technologies and approaches emerging all the time, this is where CPD comes into play,” says Morley. “It’s flexible, practical and enables you to move as quickly as the industry changes.”

Hot topics for CPD in 2017
Connecting multiple data sources – How to connect online and offline data sources, as well learning how to connect across devices.
B2B social media – increasing engagement through relevant content and developing awareness of how the channels connect together.
Personalisation – using data more effectively to personalise communications.
Predictive analytics – enhancing the ability to ‘operationalise’ insights from data science that already exists in many organisations.
Understanding the role of Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics – how AI is enabling contextual individual customer engagement in and across any channel.
Data protection regulations – Understanding the importance of how you use personal data and the regulations surrounding it.

Get ahead of your competition in 2017 by upskilling with CIM. Offering a broad range of both training courses and qualifications, we have the learning solution for you.

Teresa Folkes Associate Director of Learning CIM
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