All we hear these days is a dismal forecast of the apparent lack of jobs and unemployed or underemployed college graduates — the advertising industry is not immune. But even as certain positions in the industry are disappearing, new job titles and responsibilities are being created; It’s just a matter of adding to your skill set to become a viable candidate for one of these growing or emerging fields related to advertising.
We’re all aware of the need for SEO experts, bloggers and social media managers, but here are some jobs you may not have heard of that are related to more traditional marketing disciplines.
Some experts predict data mining will rule marketing research in the future. Library science is a hot degree right now, and while this might seem archaic on the surface, these graduates are equipped with the skill sets to manage huge amounts of data, structured and unstructured. Businesses are using data mining to look for behavioral patterns and predict future trends by mining existing data rather than generating it from new research projects. Google and Facebook could emerge as the top market research firms of the future.
Check out: Dean Abbott (@deanabb) Founder of Abbott Analytics and Chief Scientist at SmarterRemarketer
Closely related to the role of a social media manager, an online community manager starts user discussions online and works to convert others to the brands they represent. Community managers help to identify and interact with key advocates in the community, work with internal teams to execute corporate goals online, plan and write editorial content and even assist customer service teams. This role is still evolving, and the roles and responsibilities of community managers will be different depending on the audience of the brand or organization.
Check out: Kelly Lux (@KellyLux): Co-founder of #CMGRchat and Social Media and Community Manager at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies.
David DeWald (@Historian): Community manager at TechWell.com.
Chief Listening Officer
Business is now all about two-way communication. The lovechild of a PR specialist and social media manager, a chief listening officer is responsible for watching online conversations and listening to what people are saying about a brand. Dell and Kodak each have one, and they’re able to respond to an impending crisis often before it explodes just by keeping an eye on social media buzz.
Check out: Beth LaPierre (@bethlapierre) Director of Social Intelligence + Analytics at Brand Networks and the world’s first Chief Listening Officer
User Experience (UX) Designer
There is often confusion in our industry surrounding the field of UX Design. User experience designers are not simply web developers, and they are not art directors, although some of the skills needed for these jobs overlap with what user experience designers do. They are responsible for experiences created though technology, and strive to make a consumer’s interaction with, say a company website, as smooth and enjoyable as possible. UX design requires a special set of skills that will continue to be defined as the field grows. User experience management extends to the offline space to evaluate how consumers interact with every aspect of a company, from their people to their products.
Check out: Cielo de la Paz (@cielodlp) Lead Interaction Designer at Hotwire.com
Lynn Teo (@Lynn_Teo) Chief Experience Officer at McCann
“Content strategy plans for the creation, publication and governance of useful, usable content,” says Kristina Halvorson, who literally wrote the book on content strategy. Content strategists are new to advertising—They define not only what content will be published, but why it’s being published in the first place to assure the creation of meaningful, relevant web content. Rachel Lovinger provides the best analogy, “…content strategy is to copywriting as information architecture is to design.”
Check out: Kristina Halvorson (@halvorson) CEO of Brain Traffic, founder of Confab and author of “Content Strategy for the Web”
Erin Kissane (@kissane) Editor at Contents Magazine, author of “The Elements of Content Strategy”
Tiffany Jones Brown (@ticjones) Content Strategist at Facebook
Although the title sounds straight out of science fiction, cyborg anthropology is a natural extension of its mother discipline, anthropology. These individuals study how humans interact with computers and how society can use that information.
Check out: Amber Case (@caseorganic) Co-Founder of Geoloqi.com and TED speaker
The field of marketing is continuously adapting to accommodate new technology and consumers’ changing needs and behaviors. The greatest challenge to marketers is to evolve with it. If we dig our heels in to cling to traditional definitions of what it means to be a PR specialist or a copywriter, we may find ourselves going the same way as VHS, dot matrix printers and dial-up Internet. We, too, will become obsolete.
What new roles do you see being created near you or by you?