The marketing and brand management function in companies across various industries is witnessing a significant change in the way their roles are evolving. In the wake of the pandemic, as rapid digitization has taken over various industries, there has been an evolution of the traditional marketing roles as well.
With marketers of today wearing multiple hats, companies are now tweaking the way they hire candidates. There is a willingness to hire from new-age industries, look for unique skills and pick candidates who will bring innovative thinking to the table.
Experts that Storyboard18 spoke to share that as marketing becomes more customer-centric, the skill sets in demand today include ‘analytics’, ‘data’, ‘statistics’ and ‘systems thinking’.
Mercedes-Benz India, which launched direct-to-customer business model ‘Retail of the Future’ (ROTF) in 2021, highlights that this model provides real time customer data that enables the company to sharpen its campaigns and CRM initiatives.
“This has led to our marketing efforts evolving from traditional mass market campaigns to targeted, one-to-one customer focused, customized initiatives,” says Santosh Iyer, vice president – sales & marketing, Mercedes-Benz India. He says, "Today, we have ‘Customer Journey Managers’ as opposed to ‘Brand Managers’. The ‘Customer Journey Managers’ now play a key role in curating end-to-end customer experiences which align with the luxury quotient associated with the brand,”
Customer centricity scores high for fast moving consumer goods firm Nestlé India as well. The company, which sells products such as Maggi, Nescafe and Kit Kat, emphasizes that its hiring function is led by customer understanding and centricity along with the ability to leverage data-centric approach to finding consumer first solutions.
“The core aspect of consumer-centric approach still remains crucial and is at the center of our selection strategy. With the changing media habits of our consumers, we are keen on exploring talent who are exposed to omnichannel approach to brand design and digital to understand the new-age consumer deeply,” says Anurag Patnaik, director- human resources, Nestlé India.
Entrepreneurial mindset, agility in demand
Companies are also looking to hire candidates who would take ownership of products or services they work on. They live, breathe and understand the products/services they work on and take full ownership even if things go south.
“It’s equally important to see that the candidate just does not fit the role but also has a potential to grow in it as well over time. We also look out for traits that are important to ensure that the candidate can fit into the PepsiCo culture based on attributes like ownership, being consumer centric, etc.,” says a PepsiCo India spokesperson.
Mercedes’ Iyer also emphasises the company's focus on hiring candidates who display ownership. “There is a clear focus on candidates to have an entrepreneurial mindset as marketing extends beyond traditional domains and incumbents need to add value in business,” he adds.
Agility is another trait that companies mentioned as a desired trait.
“The biggest challenge that pandemic has posed is to deal with uncertainties. Hence, to get talent from diverse backgrounds who have a strong ability to deal with business uncertainties with utmost agility is key,” adds a PepsiCo India’s spokesperson.
Upskilling is critical
Digital skill set is a pre-requisite for all companies today and emphasis is being given for candidates who are passionate about customer experience. Companies are also investing in upskilling their existing workforce as well.
Mercedes-Benz, for instance, has tied up with LinkedIn Learning to provide an access platform for people to upskill themselves.
Iyer tells us how it works. “Managers plan each individual’s growth trajectory by strategically mapping courses which will help them transition to the future of marketing, Data, Martech.” he adds, “From the organization standpoint, it is essential that the candidates are also upskilled in the future of mobility, Industry 4.0 and marketing luxury EVs.”
While the fundamentals of how a solid marketing engine works hasn't changed, the various parts of the marketing machine need to be upgraded in a fast-evolving consumer and media landscape. And as some of the country's biggest brands look to switch gears, they are on the look out for talent that will fit in the new engine.
What top marketers are looking for in the next-gen marketer
- Skill sets in demand today include ‘analytics’, ‘data’, ‘statistics and ‘systems thinking’.
- ‘Customer Journey Managers’ as opposed to ‘Brand Managers'
- Ability to leverage a data-centric approach to finding consumer first solutions
- Talent who are exposed to omnichannel approach to brand design and digital to understand the new-age consumer deeply
- Candidates who would take ownership of products or services they work on
- People with an entrepreneurial mindset
- Candidates who are passionate about customer experience
- Agility and attitude to learn and upskill