In what seems like the blink of an eye, we’ve gone from playing games of snake on Nokia 3310s to managing our entire lives on smartphones that possess mind-boggling processing speeds. This has changed the face of the marketing profession beyond all recognition over the last ten years.
For senior marketers, especially those who cut their teeth before marketing encompassed digital, keeping up can prove difficult – particularly in industries that have been relatively late to digitisation. While many of these marketers possess an enormous amount of industry relevant experience and acumen, the staggering pace of change can prove daunting as platforms such as wearables and mobile come to the fore.
While senior marketers may not actively be carrying out digitally-focused tasks such as SEO analysis, it is important they have an understanding across the full range of digital marketing activities at more than a face value level, so they can shape and build the digital strategy of the future. Without this level of foresight and the ability to adapt quickly to change a business can easily fall behind its competitors.
Those looking to move into the top jobs, or take a side step, should try and upskill to ensure they don’t get passed over. There are many providers of general digital marketing education, such as the Chartered Institute of Marketing, and web organisations such as Google now provide advanced programmes in specific subject areas. However, CMOs can’t be omniscient and as was said at a recent FT Marketing Innovators Summit “in the absence of unicorns” we will see increasing collaboration between IT and marketing departments.