Innovation and wise spending key in 2011

Marketing executives determined to innovate and make creative use of tighter budgets will win out in 2011 as employers come under more pressure to win business, Alternatives’ managing director Sandra Lawler has said. An ability to develop strategic plans and insights will be the key skill sets that stand out in the coming year.

Lawler said 2011 will be more outward looking and most growth will come from exports. As a result, marketers with experience of international markets will be much in demand. Although marketing has climbed up the business agenda, the pressure on executives to perform and demonstrate return on investment (ROI) is key. Marketing metrics and performance management will top the agenda and proven experience will be invaluable.

Sandra Lawler

Sandra Lawler, managing director, Alternatives

Digital marketing will further evolve and demand for skills in the areas of social networking and mobile marketing will remain high. Lawler expects a turnaround in new job opportunities. Over 40 per cent of Irish companies cut back staff numbers in recent years and didn’t replace marketers who left. Now they’re finding that the people have gone, but the workload hasn’t.

So demand for new marketers on permanent and interim contracts will continue to grow, albeit cautiously, as companies rebuild teams with the right skill sets. The need for clients to reduce risk and to be flexible will increase demand for part-time staff and marketers on fixed-term contracts. An increase in maternity leave should also drive this.

Grocery, telecoms and utilities will be the busiest sectors, as companies battle it out for market and revenue share. Lawler said that given the events of 2010, financial services can expect to have an unsettled year, with ongoing reductions in staff headcounts likely.

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