The “Great Resignation” is in full swing, and marketing employers aren’t immune. According to MarketingWeek, 60% of marketers plan to change jobs and half plan on an imminent career change. This generates an even larger urgency for the two-thirds of marketing employers already looking to hire.
With B2B tech companies poised to continue growing in 2022, they’ll need a talented and focused marketing team with specific marketing skills to develop that strategy into long-term success.
All that is to say: marketing expertise, especially for B2B, is high in demand. We recently surveyed B2B executives and marketing leaders on the marketing skills they’re prioritizing. Here are some of the top results.
What is the number one marketing skill respondents said they were looking for? Messaging, positioning and storytelling capabilities. This may be surprising given the trending growth of digital ad spend and lead generation, but at 56% the results are telling—marketers know that good storytelling is critical to forging authentic and strong connections with audiences.
Customers are tired of being sold to, and storytelling offers an avenue for brands to connect with their audience in a way that feels less like advertising and more like an exchange of values, information or even personality. It’s an incredibly effective way to show customers why they should choose you rather than telling them directly. In fact, according to a study by the London School of Business, people are 22 times more likely to retain a message when conveyed through stories as opposed to only hearing statistics.
While it requires more effort and time than directly selling a service or product, skilled brand messaging and storytelling is one of the most powerful tools. With its capacity to reveal an understanding of your audience and empower prospects to begin strong customer relationships, it’s no wonder that messaging, positioning and storytelling is the most sought-after marketing skill.
No matter how good your story is, you need a solid strategy to actually reach your audience. This is where the second most in-demand marketing skill—campaign development and strategy (41%)—comes into play.
Campaign development and strategy determines how your brand will capitalize on your story. It sets a plan in place to ensure that your message gets promoted across the right traditional and digital media channels so that it resonates with the right audiences and reaches its goals. A solid campaign strategy also maintains consistency to solidify trust and ultimately increase brand awareness and return on investment.
Following this messaging trend, the third most in-demand marketing skill for 2022 is content and writing (36%). How a message and story is communicated is critical to its success. For B2B marketing, this often means distilling complicated concepts into clear ideas that resonate. Offering customers relevant and informational content is key, but it must be able to cut through marketing speak to effectively engage and hold a customer’s attention.
Data and analytics and demand generation tied for the fourth most in-demand marketing skills (28%). According to the survey, lead generation is a main focus for B2B executives and market leaders. But to get there, you need to be able to reach and track awareness among new customers.
Once you have your story, strategy and content, you need to be able to test and ensure that it performs among your audience. Data and analytics and demand generation campaigns optimize your message performance by providing insight that can create better awareness and generate demand for your service and ultimately interested customers.
According to the survey, it’s clear that B2B marketing teams are looking for talented marketing communicators focused on creating intentional strategies and strong investments in messages and content. On the other hand, marketing skills like SEO, video and design/graphics ranked lower on the list for marketing teams in 2022, suggesting that organizations are increasingly outsourcing these services to specialized third parties. In fact, SEO is one of the most outsourced marketing tasks.
These skills are often outsourced due to the learning curve, technical skills and constant change. They require access to the right tools and resources and continuous research. Outsourcing these skills leaves your team open to spend time on messaging, storytelling and demand generation.
While “The Great Resignation” and difficulties involved with hiring and training makes outsourcing an easier solution, it’s not always the right one. Each organization should do due diligence to determine their needs and gaps. Then determine how to build a complimentary team of internal and external experts that enables the organization to scale the reach and impact of their programs.
For more insight, check out the full report based on our pulse survey here: Marketing in 2022: How B2B Leaders Will Drive Growth, Impact and Performance.