As digital technologies and strategies continue to evolve, the skills people need at both entry level and as experienced professionals are constantly changing.
To make sure your educational offerings are aligned to the needs of the booming job market, those in charge of reviewing and updating portfolios at colleges, universities and training providers need to know what skills tomorrow's workers need.
In this article, we explore 6 roles gaining importance in organizations across industries that educators need to cater for to attract students and ensure long-term business success in 2018 and beyond...
1) Experience Officers
Skills needed: Customer engagement, social media expertise, social listening skills, digital technology know-how
By 2020, 40% of Chief Digital Officers will report to Chief Experience Officers (CXOs) due to the fact that consumers are more empowered than ever before and demand a superior digital experience.
The Experience Officer has the responsibility of ensuring positive interactions with an organization's external customers by leveraging a multitude of platforms or technologies - and it's a role that's fast replacing the Customer Officer.
Developing a wide range of skills within the realms of marketing and technology is vital to understanding the evolution of customer experiences. Managing the full experience that customers enjoy with brands also requires an unwavering focus on individuals plus the ability to identify how a brand can enrich or offer genuine value to their lives.
2) Sales Enablement Specialists
Skills needed: Social app skills, CRM experience, client management, digital research, relationship building
Firms with dedicated sales enablement staff report that 57% of their representatives meet or even beat their quota - CSO InsightsTweet This
According to Forrester, sales enablement is a strategic, continuous process that equips all client-facing staff with the ability to spark valuable conversations with the right set of customer stakeholders on a consistent basis. And, the most efficient sales enablement specialists will be able to do so at each stage of the customer’s problem-solving life cycle to optimize the return on investment of the selling system.
Now a critical role in any business looking to connect with their clients in the digital realm, sellers skilled in sales enablement management can turn prospects effectively into customers. By using platforms such as Savo, sellers can connect with a broader range of clients and report a year on year growth higher than many leading Fortune 500 companies.
Essentially, valuable sales enablement specialists will need to bridge the skills gap between digital marketing and traditional sales techniques.
3) Growth Hacker
Skills needed: Analytics, big data, digital strategy and planning, programming, advanced research
One of the fastest growing roles in the digital age is growth hacking. An individual with a passion and focus on pushing a metric with the use of a testable and scalable methodology, a growth hacker role typically live in a place where marketing and product development meet and hone in on customer and user acquisition, activation, retention, and upsell.
One of the key aspects of any growth hacker, whatever their background, is their passion of, dependence upon, and understanding of, analytics. Traditional marketers can morph into their role by narrowing their focus and deepening their skillset.
One of the greatest modern day growth hacking success stories belongs to LinkedIn.
LinkedIn grew its customer base by implementing a growth hacking campaign that allowed users to create public profiles. This move was brilliant as it made sure that user profiles show up organically in search results (a metric it was able to track and build upon with ease), expanding the network's reach and boosting brand awareness.
With a mix of innovation and data driven actions, LinkedIn managed to grow from 2 to 200 million users in a matter of years - and a big driver for that is growth hacking.
4) SEO Specialists
Skills needed: Search marketing, analytics, mobile marketing and optimization, brand management knowledge, basic HTML
As a result, search engine optimization has been the cornerstone of almost every online business for over a decade. While there’s no clear cut academic route to becoming a technical SEO specialist, one of the most valuable skillsets one can have is the ability to adapt to constant change and upskill continuously.
With every Google algorithm change or new best practice guidelines, an SEO specialist must evolve, and agencies tend to grow their own talent, passing on the secret of their SEO audit onto fresh generations.
The ability to optimize content across a variety of digital mediums and engage audiences on a personal level while using ethical technical techniques to perform well in organic search results is a must if your graduates want to compete in 2018, and beyond.
5) Digital Sales Leaders
Skills needed: Social media expertise, social listening, digital research, content curation, CRM experience, data analysis
Ever since the dawn of the commercial age, brands and businesses have needed sales professionals to close deals and push their products. But, sales teams are no longer what they used to be - now, a certain level of digital sophistication is required.
With digital technologies presenting a range of opportunities to engage with customers at crucial times of the buying cycle, digital sales leaders must lead sellers into the digital age to encourage loyalty and drive conversions.
According to a recent study, 75% of B2B leaders regularly use social media as part their decision-making process. So, of course, in today's world, the ability to leverage various social media channels to engage with a target audience is essential.
In addition to this, the modern digital sales leader must be able to make robust data driven decisions, have the confidence to take risks, possess the vision to reorganize their team to encourage communication and collaboration and deliver commercial initiatives with speed.
6) Personalization Strategists
Skills needed: Email marketing, paid advertising, content marketing, social media and data analysis
Consumers are no longer lured in by plastic advertising and one-size-fits-all marketing campaigns. In today’s competitive marketplace, personalization is everything. In fact, 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past purchases, or knows their purchase history.
With personalization becoming more critical for brands looking to engage with their customers, a specialist with a specific focus on personalization will enhance the business in a big way. A huge part of a personalization strategy falls under the digital remit - actions centered on delivering a best in-class integrated customer experience across all channels. A personalization strategist will be able to create innovative campaigns driven by consumer data and implement it across the channels most valuable to the business.
An excellent example of this comes from VidYard. To offer an incredible level of personalization, the company used the medium of video to etch the names of specific customers on a whiteboard and send them a message addressing each prospect personally while referencing conversations they had with their clients.
As a result of their personalization strategy, Vidyard secured $35m of series C funding to expand its empire.
As technologies develop and the needs of consumers become all the more sophisticated, educators need to align with the skills that organizations need to ensure they are providing training that will help graduates succeed in the workplace.