The Hudson Group, a UK Recruitment firm, says that 44% of all marketers are facing burnout. A recent article in Brand Republic (August 1, 2005) reinforces one of my hypotheses: Today's marketers are being stretched beyond their limits.
The UK is feeling the backlash in the form of increasing absenteeism, job changes, poor morale and declines in productivity and quality of output. Do a quick poll of the marketers you know. It doesn't take rocket science to know marketing burnout is prominent in the US, as well.
Just a decade or so ago, typical marketing job descriptions stressed writing, communication, project management, agency management, advertising/promotions, collateral development, segmentation, modeling and quantitative skills.
Media buying, PR, partner and events management may have been critical to the job, as well—along with industry-related experience. As an adjunct competency, it was also common to see "proficiency with word processing software and Microsoft Office required."
Superhuman skill required, cape optional
In addition to the skills required 10 years ago, today's marketer must possess more sophisticated marketing skills and a slew of other core competencies. Along with a keen understanding of the creative development process, marketers today must demonstrate capability with business case development and project management. Quantitative analysis skills and the ability to evaluate and interpret customer data and behavior are now essential skills. Marketing departments are also seeking individuals who are familiar with database marketing, integrated marketing and various aspects of CRM.
Marketers today also require a much stronger level of comfort and proficiency in the use and application of technology, which extends far beyond basic computer skills.