10 Surprising Marketing Job Titles For The Next 10 Years
FORBES • ON MARKETING
This article is by Scott Redick, director of strategy at Heat, an independent advertising agency.
Things change pretty quickly in the marketing industry. Just take a look at any help wanted ad. An ad executive from the 80s would struggle to understand the need for a person to “ignite a brand's social ecosystem, and increase brand engagements across multiple channels, as well as empower consumer evangelists, create affinity and build community.” That is a real job description.
At Heat, we now have a social media strategist, an innovation strategist, a creative technologist and a video drifter. None of these titles would have made much sense 10 or 15 years ago.
As the consumer, media and technology landscapes evolve over the next decade, marketers and agencies will continue to create new roles to address these changes. So here is our prognostication for positions that marketers and agencies will be scrambling to fill over the next decade.
1. Transcultural Anthropologist
Broad demographic categories like “black, white or Hispanic” will continue to lose relevance. Researchers will be more focused on understanding pockets of global culture that influence and remix with each other. Expect to see more briefs aimed at hybrid audiences like “LGBT b-ball fanatics” or “Latina K-pop enthusiasts.”
2. Truth Engineer
As profitability for media properties continues to rely on driving down the cost of content production, news writing will increasingly become the domain of automated software programs. PR firms will hire technical experts to manipulate code on content farms, search algorithms and copywriting bots. After all, as a boss of mine once observed, the truth today is “whatever Wikipedia says it is.”
3. Mobile Marketing Jedi
Mobile marketing today is about thinking in terms of space and time: Where is our consumer at a given point in time? Mobile marketing tomorrow will also need to take into account an added dimension: the behavioral and social data attached to people and their mobile devices. Like “The Force,” this cloud of information surrounds us and binds us, and is already inspiring innovative ideas like the crowdsourced traffic and navigation app Waze. Smart brands will seek out visionary thinkers who can wield time, space and cloud data to create contextually relevant mobile campaigns and socially connected experiences.
4. Gesture Writer
For anyone under 10 years old, touch-screen and motion-controlled devices are the norm, not a novelty. Getting things done with a keyboard and mouse will feel archaic and weird. User experience will depend on the insights of experts in gestural movements, who will combine the disciplines of kinesthesiology, cognitive science and interaction design to develop Minority Report-style interfaces.
5. Casting Agent
CMO tenure keeps getting shorter—as do client/agency relationships. Agency human resources departments will adopt a casting agent model to find the best independent workers for short-term engagements. This Hollywood-style model of talent acquisition will also give rise to “sellers’ agents” who will represent the interests of experienced creatives, strategists and producers.
6. Data Storyteller
Just having access to big data will no longer be a competitive advantage. The challenge will be in determining what to do with it all. Successful organizations will invest in folks who not only analyze and parse the data but who also present it in forms that attention-starved executives can act upon.
7. Content Archivist
Competitive and legal pressure will require more demands for storing, indexing and retrieving the vast amount of content that brands produce. A content archivist will be the person everyone turns to when the CEO asks, “What was that one tweet we sent about that thing five years ago?”
8. Details Despot
The explosion and fragmentation of consumer touchpoints are already difficult to manage and will only get more complicated. Brand managers and CMOs will not have the bandwidth to focus simultaneously on high-level marketing strategy and consumer-facing executional details. Marketers who strive to surprise and delight their customers will hire executives to sweat the small stuff and ensure that every gift card, error notice and photo caption is on-brand.
9. Sustainability Czar
Whether through government regulation, competitive pressure or employee initiatives, companies will need staff to comply with sustainability protocols. Service firms will face scrutiny from client-side procurement departments to ensure environmental standards are met. So someone has to make sure all of those client lunches are getting composted.
10. Community Executive
The intern posting to the Instagram feed today may one day be appointed Senior Vice President, Community Management tomorrow. Currently, community managers tend to be entry-level roles, in which the main job requirements are an affinity for the brand, an understanding of social media and a customer-service orientation. Community management will become a more formal practice, requiring people with dedicated degrees and training. This function will be overseen by executives with broad experience in marketing, customer care, technology and analytics.
To paraphrase sci-fi author William Gibson, the future of marketing jobs is already here—it’s just not very evenly distributed. While some of these jobs may seem a bit far-fetched, progressive firms might get a leg up on the competition by hiring one of these folks today.