Demand for Digital Marketing Talent in South Africa and Sub Sahara Africa

With an increasing internet penetration, evolution of mobile technology and businesses looking to invest in their digital capabilities, Digital Marketers are have become a necessity. Like many other countries across the world, in Africa too, countries are demonstrating a high demand for skilled digital marketers. However, there is a still a relatively low supply of talent in the industry. Digital marketing skills include Content Strategy, Data and Analytics, Brand Management, SEO, Social Media, Website Design and Development and E-commerce. With an ever-evolving scope, Digital Marketing provides talent with promising career opportunities.

We got our Michael Page Marketing recruitment expert to share her insights on the hiring trends in the industry based on her experience interacting with both employers and professionals as part her recruitment process over the past year.


Q1. What soft skills do employers look for when hiring for Digital Marketing roles?

Employers look for Digital Marketing professionals / specialists who can be:

  • Flexible or adaptable
  • Work autonomously
  • Be curious
  • Creative


In your job interview you'll stand out as a candidate if you share examples of exactly how you have demonstrated these critical soft skills. On the technical side, have a look at these top 7 skills to become a Digital Marketing expert.


Q2. What are the emerging trends in Digital Marketing post COVID-19?

Digital Marketing experts must become more sales-driven and commercially minded. Those who can establish a stronger link between campaigns and business leads/ROI will be in demand. So, marketers, wear your sales hats and work closer with other functions within the business.

Virtual events, seminars and webinars continue to the trend for businesses to connect with their stakeholders. Businesses will look at savvy marketers to optimize these opportunities to build smart/engaging content and capture leads will be critical.

Digital Marketers in Africa will be expected to take on traditional marketing responsibilities (e.g. PR, social media, graphic design, etc.) as companies look at amalgamating these two roles, especially in the B2B sector.

Q3. Which have been the in-demand jobs within Digital Marketing this year?

We are seeing more E-commerce roles. But overall, companies are keen to hire more specialist roles (e.g. SEO specialist, Media Buying specialist, etc.). With many businesses in Africa's insurance sector digitalizing, they are hiring digital marketers. When it comes to social media, very few companies hire standalone social media roles.


Q4. Do most companies in Africa hire generalist or specialist roles within Digital Marketing

Whether a company hires generalist or specialist marketing roles depends on industry. For instance, FMCG & Insurance companies usually hire generalist marketers. Bigger the company, more specialist marketing roles are hired within the team. For smaller companies however that don't have large budgets and have to optimize on headcount, they hire specialists.


Q5. Is it easy for companies to find Digital Marketers or is the market oversupplied with traditional marketers?

Direct marketing are roles evolving into Digital Marketing roles. Traditional marketers have had to step up their game during COVID. Currently, we are not seeing an oversupply of Digital Marketing talent even though these are well paid roles and companies are looking for talent with niche skills.


Q6. How important is networking when it comes to identifying new opportunities in Digital Marketing?

A lot of the marketing roles are filled via referrals – active and skilled professionals within the industry are quite well-networked. Referrals can be a great way to find passive, highly skilled talent. We would advise candidates to build on their personal brand online. Marketers should be vocal and make their work visible. Networking is an important aspect to growing your career. If you are looking to enhance your resume, check out our CV writing tips and you can also take our 5 min CV Fitness Test.

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