As the end of the year approaches, every sector in the economy will be looking to judge what 2015 will hold. For some, this will be a matter of speculative crystal ball gazing, while for others there may be some firm research to back up forecasts for the coming 12 months.
In the case of digital marketing, one of the biggest research companies involved in the technology sector is expecting big things. Gartner has predicted that worldwide spending in this area will rise by 17 per cent on 2014 levels.
Gartner's Digital Marketing Spending Report revealed that 51 per cent of companies are planning to increase their digital spend, so for some the increase may be a great deal more than 17 per cent. As a result this likely to generate a large number of digital marketing jobs throughout 2015.
There may be many good reasons to expect more spending. Continued economic growth - albeit varying widely from one country to another in the west, the fact that investment in this area has been consistently growing in recent years and the increasing regard marketers have for this method of communication are all factors that could prompt more spending.
Gartner research partner Jake Sorofman explained that an emphasis on customer experience was a key reason for the increasing use of digital. He said: "The amount of the marketing expense budget spent on customer experience in 2014 is remarkably consistent across all key survey demographics, averaging 18 per cent.
"The survey also found that the highest marketing technology investment in 2014 is for customer experience. Customer experience is also considered by many companies to be the top innovation project, just edging out product innovation.”
With current increases in head of digital jobs, we certainly expect to see growth across marketing teams. However, finding skilled candidates to meet growing demand to fill the positions may not be easy, as the pace of expansion could outstrip the rise in candidate availability. For that reason, the need to engage more with specialist recruitment agencies could grow significantly and those who fail to take steps to enhance their recruitment could be left behind.
Whether it is digital marketing manager jobs or more middle or junior positions, the key is good communication of what is needed. That means avoiding either excessively strict job descriptions that ask for unrealistic skill and experience levels - the so-called 'purple squirrel' search - or going the other way, setting the bar too low and attracting a myriad of applications by candidates whose skill levels are unrealistically low for them to fulfil the new roles effectively.
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