What should marketing graduates know about the future of marketing
published on 18.12.23
Maria Paula Salazar
What are current trends that future graduates should have in mind when seeking a job in marketing? This forecast is brought to you by two students and a marketing professor who went through many reports and predictions about what the next marketing job market will look like.
Key Considerations for Future Graduates in marketing
Trends in recruitment
First, just like any other job seekers, graduates in marketing will have to be mindful of trends that are impacting recruitment for any graduate job. Hybrid recruiting is the new norm: “Sent you a calendy!”. Expect at least one round of interviews done virtually, maybe another one of aptitude tests will also be done remotely. Expect it and prepare for it, it’s still a serious endeavor that will affect your chances of being hired.
The recruitment process might come to feel more like an escape room rather than the traditional CV and interview stages.
Recruiters increasingly use artificial intelligence and machine learning to screen candidates’ profiles. Just like dating apps, ML and AI algorithms in talent acquisition read between the lines of your CV and Cover letter and look for implied skills.
The analysis provides an outcome that the applicant might have overlooked and will be matched with a job position that’s more accurately parallel to the candidate’s profile. Also, Companies are aiming for higher rates of diversity and inclusion within the working space. Not fitting with the stereotypical employee of this company should not refrain from applying, it could even be an advantage!
The usual suspects
The reports that we read to prepare this piece also mention skills that have been on the radar for a very long time in marketing. For example, reports say graduates in marketing should be trained to design personalized marketing approach. Mindblowing!
Like segmentation is not a basic principle of marketing since… well, forever. Maybe go even further and do not disregard one to one targeting, but good luck getting the budget approved. Same thing with capturing and retaining the attention of the consumer, not really a novelty, but still a basic skill that everyone in marketing should be good at. We can also put “soft skills” in this category, indeed still making it to the list of what a marketer should master in 2024. And with the rise of AI taking on most mechanical tasks, emotional intelligence can only become more valuable in marketing.
And finally, data but with more emphasis on privacy. Dealing with data has always been at the core of the marketing function, what changes here is the amount of data available and the technical skills needed to manage the data. Modern marketers must walk a fine line daily: the balance between using and abusing collected personal data and where that line is. How much personal data is ethically correct to collect and use? Where do we draw the line?
So not much new here, except that these skills are still not obsolete and this is always good to know! But then, what’s really new?
The “newer” kids on the block: politics, more critical thinking and real sustainability
Since companies increasingly engage with social values, create brand purpose, value-based campaign, or find themselves stakeholders in international conflicts… some basic understanding of politics and geopolitics might be a skill that becomes sought after in marketing too. Marketing professors used to teach “no religion, no politics”, but as consumers claim they want companies to be more involved and committed, the lack of political culture of marketing professionals becomes more problematic. Graduates in marketing should pay attention to ideologies and political ideas in general. Without becoming political scientists, it seems obvious that those with good knowledge of political theory and history of the ideas will be more equipped to decode the backlash their brands might be exposed to, but also craft brand purposes that are not void or inconsistent. Not to mention that if companies become ideologically engaged, candidates should take this into consideration when applying. It can prove difficult to perform well in a company that strongly represents an ideology that they don’t believe in.
As evidence can easily be manipulated, critical thinking becomes even more important. Surely, skills in AI and editing might come in handy for marketers to be able to discern truth from manipulation. In addition, remaining skeptical of the evidence presented, cross checking information and other healthy habits will make marketing graduates better at their job. Also knowing that consumers are growing capable of sniffing out lies quite easily too helps designing better campaign. Critical thinking and fact checking properly and deeply might mean the difference between utter failure or success of a campaign or a company itself.
Finally, sustainability has been on the table for many years now, but in light of the climate emergency, graduates need to be prepared for drastic actions. Of course, consumer preferences continue to tilt towards sustainable products and services. Simultaneously, stringent environmental regulations globally require marketers to ensure their products and campaigns comply with these rules. But beyond the consumer or the regulator, the planet itself puts its own limits of material and energy.
Marketing graduates have maybe their biggest challenge here: how to make appealing efficient innovations, yes, those low-cost innovation requiring little energy and little resource. Often, it becomes more about recycling existing buildings, objects, technologies than creating new ones. That is a new mindset, something very hard to conceive for old school marketing folks, so maybe the best opportunity for future professionals.
About our Marketing masters
The MSc in Brand Management and Creativity is designed for those who wish to dive deep into the creative aspects of branding. This program often emphasizes the artistic and innovative side of marketing, focusing on how brands can be built, reinvented, and managed creatively. Students typically explore topics like brand identity, storytelling, visual communication, and consumer psychology. The curriculum may also cover the strategic elements of brand management, teaching how to position a brand in a competitive market, manage brand equity, and handle public relations and brand crises. Graduates from this program are usually well-equipped to work in roles that require a blend of creative thinking and strategic planning, such as brand managers or marketing strategists in various industries.
On the other hand, the MSc in Digital Marketing and Analytics is tailored for those interested in the data-driven and technological facets of marketing. This program focuses on the application of analytical tools and digital technologies in marketing strategies. Key areas of study often include search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, content marketing, and email marketing. A significant part of the curriculum is dedicated to understanding data analytics, consumer behavior analysis, and digital campaign performance evaluation. Students learn to leverage data to make informed marketing decisions and to optimize digital marketing strategies. This program is particularly suitable for aspiring digital marketing professionals, data analysts in marketing departments, or digital campaign managers who aim to excel in the rapidly evolving digital landscape.