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Key skills your marketing team will need in a post-coronavirus landscape

Before coronavirus took centre stage in our lives, a mere 1.7 million UK employees were working from home – 5% of the workforce.

In just a few short months, professionals around the world have traded in their familiar office lives and established themselves as entirely remote workers. And with no clear end in sight for social distancing, it’s clear that some changes to how we work will remain long into the future.

While teams begin to adjust to their new work routine and become experts at using video call software, marketing managers must now look beyond the pandemic to anticipate which skills will be a necessity in the changing marketing landscape. We can already see that compelling content marketing skill plus increased agility will become essential to marketing teams, with changing consumer habits leading the charge. Meanwhile, those marketers who neglect to hone their digital skills may risk losing a competitive edge in the future workforce. Find out what key skills your marketing team needs to succeed in a post-coronavirus environment.

Communication

Before the outbreak of coronavirus, the number of employees working remotely was exponentially rising and the pandemic has fast-forwarded this transition at a dizzying speed. Countless studies have celebrated the added productivity that working from home offers employees, with a recent survey finding that remote workers gain an extra 1.4 days. However, this new style of working does not come without its limitations.

Faced with organising a team remotely, marketing managers are finding that there’s never been a more essential time to have a team with strong communication skills. To help their team keep the lines of communication open, marketing managers should be making the most of free virtual collaboration and time management tools, such as Trello and Asana, and experimenting with Google Drive and OneDrive to help with document sharing.

Managers looking for the right candidate to help navigate the post-coronavirus landscape should be seeking those with strong communications skills, as these candidates will promote collaboration and knowledge sharing within the team. You should also be seeking marketers who have strong skills and experience in communications and PR, as well as copywriters and content marketers who are constantly looking for creative ways to speak to your audience. 

Although we are faced with an unprecedented situation, our 2020 Market Report will help you hire in these uncertain times.

Storytelling

In response to the pandemic, brands have adapted how they communicate with consumers. Both loyal and new customers are now taking note of how sensitive a company’s messaging is - bringing corporate social responsibility back under the spotlight. This amplifies the need for marketing teams to hone their storytelling and get their brand messaging right.

Generation Z – those born between 1996 and present – are more conscious of brand value and will be paying even closer attention to how a company is marketing itself now and in the post-coronavirus landscape. This generation makes up around 20% of the UK population. As they begin to overtake millennials in their numbers, their presence becomes increasingly known, and so does their buying power. Marketing teams must focus on authentic brand storytelling and at a time when the only certainty is uncertainty, transparency should be at the core of your messaging.

Marketing managers who are hiring in this unprecedented situation should also be keeping an eye out for those with the initiative to redirect campaigns from short-term sales to brand-building and have strong content marketing skills.

Agility

In their ongoing customer-closeness study, Rival Tech found that 76% of people have adopted new habits since Covid-19 entered the scene and though business will return to normal, coronavirus will have left a stamp on the world and changed the way we market forever.

Because it’s difficult to be proactive in these uncertain times, your marketing team needs to develop a quick response strategy and prospective employees must show an ability to create scenario planning models. This shift in consumer habits is a push for marketing teams to be more responsive – for example, by introducing new social media channels (such as Instagram or even TikTok) or being more creative with leaner PPC budgets. To do the latter, your team should focus on relevance, meaning leveraging targeted keywords and evaluating geotargeting. 

Thanks to the auction system, paid advertising has become much cheaper and the even better news is that people are spending more time online. This combination has driven up the ROI for paid ads and increased the need for a team who can run these advertising campaigns effectively, making it essential for marketing teams to have expertise in paid advertising.

E-commerce

The Office of National Statistics reported that in March 2020 online spending accounted for 21.9% of total retail spending in the UK. This is a steady 10% increase over the past five years but with brick and mortar shops forced to close we’ve seen a further hike in e-commerce, with many consumers still unable to leave their homes to shop. 

This is a prime opportunity for marketing teams to look to e-commerce for examples of success, whether that’s by introducing faster registration and check out processes, more visual website design or incentives to convert. SEO will become therefore become increasingly important as more brands battle it out online to dominate search engine rankings and therefore secure a larger share of customers. 

With the world more online than ever, now is the time to reach for digital skills in your marketing team and consider which parts of your business you can bring online.

Build a first-class marketing team with EMR

Do you have the right team to help you navigate the post-coronavirus landscape? At EMR, we understand that it’s never been more important to find the perfect candidate to join your marketing, digital and communications team. For the last 25 years, our specialist marketing recruitment consultants have operated in vertical markets and connected with the strongest talent in our chosen specialisms. We can help you at every level, from permanent and interim through to executive and large-scale projects. Read our hiring advice articles or contact us to hear from a member of the team.
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