The skills in demand for marketing jobs

A symptom of the recent challenging economic times was a cut in many organisations’ marketing spend – whether this be for specific projects, headcount or agency budgets. But as the market picks up, so does the need for organisations to ramp up their marketing functions – meaning a fairly positive outlook for marketing job seekers in 2012.
Even in what is a reasonably buoyant market, with many organisations recruiting and promoting their marketing employees, there are still specific skills that will get you noticed when looking for a new marketing job. Here are our top five areas of demand amongst hiring managers. So make sure to emphasise these skills if you’ve got them, or aim to get exposure to them if you haven’t.


It doesn’t take someone clued up about the marketing industry to realise that the internet has changed the way that organisations market their products and services.  Budgets for online marketing are on the rise, and so with them the demand for a new breed of marketing candidate who can embrace digital channels and develop online strategies.  Specific job titles include:
  • PPC executives/campaign managers
  • SEO executives (both technical and copy skills)
  • Digital content managers/online editors

Social media

As organisations increasingly look to engage with their customers through social media, the requirement for marketers with social media skills also increases.  As such a new and emerging form of communication, it’s not something that is yet taught formally at school level or in tertiary education. So, those job seekers who have had actual experience of demonstrating a genuine return on investment for social media campaigns are in demand, for both agency and client-side jobs.

Account management

Particularly for our marketing agency clients, strong account management skills are needed as their client bases increase as a result of improved marketing budgets. Although both traditional and digital agency skills are in demand, candidates who have experience managing integrated campaigns on high profile accounts are the most sought after by marketing agencies looking to hire.


Our population is around 48 million people, there are 42 million cell phones being used in the country but only five million landlines and only five million people have access to the internet through a standard computer, according to research undertaken by NGO Cell-Life, and reported by GM Peter Benjamin in January 2011.
Given that 90% of the youth and adult market use cell phones to stay in touch, it stands to reason that top-notch mobile marketing skills are always in demand for mobile advertising and interactive campaign management.


As it returns to a candidate driven market, specific industry exposure is a ‘nice-to-have’ rather than essential qualifying factor. But for generalist in-house marketing opportunities, we are seeing a particular demand for job seekers with the following sector experience:
  • FMCG
  • Consumer durables
  • Financial services
  • Business services
The digital and social media skills mentioned above are transferrable across industry sectors.
For more advice from Michael Page on how you can progress your marketing career, please contact Mercia Dube.