The creative and marketing worlds are moving fast, and the way marketing and creative content is consumed is changing on a daily basis.
To succeed, the marketing teams of the future will have to keep up with trends and technologies that are shaping how businesses make decisions, including about how they market to their audiences.
Content will continue to reign supreme
Content is a huge focus for marketing and creative teams today, and that trend will only continue into the foreseeable future.
Content marketing is used by 93% of B2B marketers, and on average B2B marketers spend 30% of their marketing budget on content marketing, according to a study by MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute (PDF here).
When you're building out your creative team, you want team members who can cover the three most important aspects of delivering great content to your audience: strategy, search engine optimization (SEO), and online writing.
- A content strategist. A dedicated content strategist will guide your organization's content initiatives to meet business goals by combining content with the different stages of your company's sales cycle. A good content strategist has a strong grasp of your audience's needs as well as your business goals and can align the two with a sustainable content strategy.
- SEO specialists. An SEO specialist analyzes and reviews a website to optimize it to boost its ranking on search engines and drive traffic to the site. SEO specialists also create content around certain keywords or phrases to increase traffic to your site. You need SEO to capture leads—people who may not know about your company otherwise but land on your site by clicking on search results.
- Web writers. You need writers who can generate clear, concise, and engaging content in many forms, including blog posts, product copy, marketing materials, emails, and website content. A strong online writer who also has good editing skills and experience with SEO will make your content entertaining, educational, and engaging without being overly promotional.
The explosive growth of smartphone and tablet use around the world has put mobile in the spotlight for marketers. Today's creative and marketing teams must reach audiences where they are, and that's increasingly on mobile devices.
There will be 1.75 billion smartphone users globally in 2014, and smartphone adoption is expected to continue gaining steam for the next several years, according to eMarketer.
To keep pace, you need people with deep mobile expertise on your team:
- User interface (UI) designers. Since you're targeting mobile users, user interface design should be a top priority from day one. Find someone who is well versed in visual design tools, and who also has a working knowledge of coding, to execute clean, intuitive designs that let users easily use your mobile interface.
- Mobile designers. Mobile designers work with different teams to build engaging and interactive mobile experiences. Strong mobile designers should bring experience designing functional content for all relevant mobile platforms and operating systems. They should also have a good grasp of responsive design.
Keep investing in digital
Today, people interact with more digital platforms than ever before, and in increasingly unexpected places. As the creative and technology worlds continue to overlap, you need team members who have deep knowledge in both areas to create appealing, easy-to-use Web products for your customers.
- User experience (UX) designers. Combining their expertise in graphic design and various Web technologies, UX designers build compelling products and websites so that your target audience can use them intuitively. UX designers often incorporate customer feedback or analytics about usability, interaction design, visual design, and information architecture to improve your product or website and better meet your audience's needs.
- Web developers. Don't overlook the importance of quality coders on your team. The demand for great Web developers has never been higher, thanks in part to the Internet of Things, whereby everything around us is becoming digitized and connected—cars, fitness monitors, home appliances... Web developers write code in many languages and work with your design team to create websites and Web-based applications for your audiences.