Three leading marketing career experts educated and entertained a large crowd of AMA Boston members and guests on March 23rd. The “The Future Marketing Landscape and Its Impact on Careers” event was held at Microsoft’s Nerd Center and featured exceptional presentations focused on trends in market research, revenue marketing, and hiring and compensation.
After an introduction by incoming AMA Boston president Nirmal Parikh, the engaged audience heard from Jeffrey Henning, Founder and President of Researchscape International, Mark Emond, President of Demand Spring, and Eric DiChiara, Vice President of the Creative Group. Below are some key take-aways from their presentations and the Q+A that followed.
- Market research is not dead! It will last as long as humanity does.
- Marketers need to embrace automation in market research!
- However – “In algorithms we trust but we shouldn’t trust them all the time.”
- Quantitative research will become so highly automated that anyone can do it; even now, more projects are shifting to non-research professionals
- Qualitative research is here to stay; given its great computational complexity, it will not be highly automated in the future.
- Researchers who can combine qualitative and quantitative skills will thrive as the research industry is gradually transformed:
- Capabilities such as intellectual curiosity, storytelling, and consulting will become more significant than report writing and project management.
- Marketing is undergoing a metamorphosis for three primary reasons:
- Changes in buyer behavior: up to 70% of qualified visitors to your website will buy from you – or a competitor – eventually, but they don’t want to be sold to.
- Evolving CEO expectations: they expect more from marketing as a business generator
- Transformative effects of technology: marketing automation and “MarTech” and “AdTech” applications
- Technology-driven marketers are critical in the future of marketing.
- A solid brand is not enough. You need true alignment to generate revenue
- Understanding the buyer journey is a key role in marketing today, and content must be toned to the buyer persona.
- Hot Roles in revenue marketing include: Marketing Automation Specialist, Content Marketing Strategist, Video Marketing Producer, SEO Specialist, Director of Marketing Operations, Digital Marketing Manager, Social Media Strategist, and Buyer Journey Analyst.
- Millennials want to be trained and promoted, so we’re seeing more companies spend on training and retention
- Soft skills are the hardest thing to find right now for marketers.
- Sizzling trends:
- Job seekers are in command
- Digital reigns supreme
- Perks have come into season
- Companies are sharpening employee skills
- Job-hopping and counteroffers are on the rise
- Full-time and contract-to-hire employment is heating up
- 40% of the workforce in the next few years will be freelancers
- Hot positions now include
- Content management system
- Social medi
- Soft skill
- “Indie creatives”
Q: What’s more marketable – a generalist or a specialist?
A: Mark: There is value in being a generalist for recent grads, take the time to try different roles to figure out what you like and increase specialization over time. But don’t trap yourself in a career path – stay relevant and challenge yourself strategically. Don’t be afraid to ask. Be bold. The world will not hand you the job you want.
A: Eric used the analogy of “jack of all trades, master of none,” suggesting there’s naturally going to be a little bit of limitation of your capabilities based on your skill set, but don’t try to sell yourself as something you’re not.
Q: How are things different between B2B & B2C?
A: Jeffrey: We’re seeing the two learn from each other, in some cases what’s working in B2B works in B2C and vice versa.
A: Mark: B2B marketers are learning to connect on an emotional level.
Q: How is the role of research changing?
A: Jeffrey: It’s a great time to be in research. There are a lot of unique ways to do qualitative research when the customer is in the moment/having that customer experience and analyzing things like social media feeds or online communities.
Q: For those of us that aren’t recent grads, what’s the best way to continue learning?
A: Mark suggested combining digital and physical learning, as well as using the web to get specific/long tailed content and combine that with local events to network and learn from each other. He also noted that if you’re not afraid of statistics, get as much experience as you can …..now!
A: Eric recommended staying relevant and current, and networking – and be patient, because as boomers retire there will be more opportunities
A: Jeffrey’s advice was simple: use Google scholar to educate yourself.
AMA Boston would like to thank the speakers, attendees, Microsoft Nerd Center team, and our own hard-working volunteers for their roles in the success of this event. We look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming events – watch for details!
Like the Cliff Notes version? Take a look at our time-lapse video of the event!