Home Blog Trends Marketing jobs of the future signal sharp turn for industry

Marketing jobs of the future signal sharp turn for industry


Last week, I attended the annual MIMA Summit in downtown Minneapolis. As always, a tremendous event (great work by Holly Speath and Bryan Vincent who spearhead the event).

And even though my day at Summit was cut short for a few different reasons, I did get to see the two keynotes–Amy Webb and Jim McKelvey.

Amy Webb is a futurist and usually talks about trends in a way few others do (using real data and evidence to back up her claims). As part of one of the trends she discussed, she talked a bit about the “marketing jobs of the future” and what they might entail vs. the current marketing jobs.

The list looked like this (photo cred: Lindy Neubauer).


So, just in case you can’t read that small photo above–I’m having a hard time–current marketing jobs include:

  • Web content producer
  • Social media manager
  • Interactive media producer
  • Multimedia designer
  • Graphic designer
  • Search engine marketer
  • Media research analyst

And, marketing jobs of the future include:

  • Chief experience officer
  • Platforms manager
  • Bot developer
  • Ecosystem manager
  • Neural virtual experience manager
  • Augmented reality producer
  • Lead data scientist
  • Automated experience designer

Two big things jump out at me when I see those lists:

  • More jobs focusing on the “experience” vs. producing and creating things
  • More jobs with a higher degree of technical expertise

Before I dive in, I should afford you this disclaimer: I’m not really buying into the fact that these will be the particular marketing jobs of the future. I mean, companies are barely using social media well at this point and we’re going on eight years in now. Do you really think big companies are going to magically adopt technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality within the next 5-10 years and staff them appropriately? Maybe–but I’m not among the believers.

But, there’s a bigger picture at play here. Marketing IS changing. And, the change is pretty easy to see: Marketing is getting MUCH more experience and technology-focused–even if the change in roles is probably further out than Amy Webb may like to think.

Let’s take a more simplistic look at what’s happening.

When you think about the marketing roles of today, many are focused on: 1) Research, 2) Strategy, or 3) Creating things. The marketing departments of 2016 (for the most part) are still built around creating things: Ads, billboards, trade show booths, web sites. Marketing creates THINGS.

In Amy’s marketing jobs of the future, we see THREE positions with “experience” in the title–including one C-suite role. That’s a significant shift. From creating THINGS–to facilitating EXPERIENCES.

Might not seem like a huge shift to people like me (and younger) who are living in this space. Testing out VR. Reading about this stuff daily. Even doing it in some cases. But, to the people with the money? The folks making the decisions about jobs and budgets? Yeah, this is a ways out from where they sit. They’re still in CREATING mode–getting them to the EXPERIENCE mode is going to take a while.

The other shift–technology. Today’s marketer has to know a fair amount about technology. From Google Analytics to third-party tools like Marketo to social platforms and monitoring tools, marketers are asked to know a decent dose of technology.

But Amy’s list? That’s taking it to a whole new level.

Bot Developer. Neural virtual experience manager (this sounds like a freaking doctor). Augmented reality producer.

I mean, we’re not talking about people who build web sites here. We’re talking about next-level technology know-how. We’re talking about true uber-geeks.

That’s a big shift. Today’s marketers are geeky, but they are (for the most part) still rooted in marketing basics and strategy–not necessarily technology. The background of today’s marketer is probably one with a BA degree in marketing with maybe some degree of digital marketing experience. Today’s marketer has some tech experience, but it’s mostly self-taught. The folks and roles Amy Webb is talking about are far more immersed in tech than today’s marketer–FAR more immersed (and will probably require more education).

So yeah, that’s another big shift.

And it’s going to be real fun to watch it unfold the next 5-10 years.



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