Dr. Vikas Nand Kumar Batheja, Co-Founder & Director of Capital College shares his thoughts on the role of education in the development of the Middle Eastern's marketing industry.
It is no surprise that we live in an increasingly digital era. This holds true, especially for the marketing industry. In the current times, the sector is positioned on a crossroad. While on one hand, the industry is commended for its creativity and innovation displayed; on the other, we realize how digitally-driven marketing has become. With the coronavirus outbreak, the usage of digital tools and spaces has increased exponentially.
As per Social Media Today, people are spending 20% more time on applications and social media platforms during the pandemic as they would generally do. In another similar study conducted by Data Reportal, 4.57 billion now use the internet, a sharp 7% increase as compared to the previous year. This means that consumer behavior and patterns must have also changed dramatically. Now the question that arises is how the marketing industry can keep up with the changing times and has education played a pivotal role to shape the minds of marketeers and innovators?
Digital Marketing on the rise
While digital marketing is an overly discussed subject, it is a top priority as companies bank on skilled digital marketers to increase their sales and revenues. Research suggests that 49% of businesses actively participate in digital marketing; however, more than half of them do not have a definite strategy in place. An interesting example of a successful digital marketing campaign was run by Nestle Middle East where they activated an informative and interactive BOT for Messenger as they placed a campaign during the holy month of Ramadan. The BOT system suggested products and sourced important information to its consumers that gained momentum across the Middle Eastern region. With campaigns developed in the UAE, the digital marketing strategy resonated with many people widespread across age, gender, and nationality.
It is quite evident that for such successful campaigns to run, marketeers must understand every tiny detail and this is where education comes in play. Even Google presents a free certification course for people who wish to be trained, allowing them to take an assessment at the end of the course and become Google certified. While a lot comes with practice and experience, education is key to lay a foundation for the growth of oneself as well as the industry.
Data is the new oil
It is almost difficult to imagine a marketing campaign that is not data-driven. From understanding the customer’s need for their feedback on the product/service, data is the backbone of a successful marketing strategy. In the current times, employers are looking for marketeers who can play the role of data analysts and can simultaneously think like a marketeer. According to a survey conducted by Professional Skills Census, analyzing customer data or insights have increased by 12% as compared to 2018, data analysis by 10%, and Database management by 7%. It is safe to say that in the coming years, data is only going to become more prominent, and hence, marketeers need a strong foundation where they can learn, adapt, and apply these tools.
With education, marketeers can successfully learn about the software and technology involved to gain consumer trust and loyalty by analyzing their behavior and feedback. Postgraduate programs like Professional Master in Sales and Marketing allows modern marketeers to effectively interpret data and utilize that information to create and implement campaigns that will ultimately drive sales.
Enhanced interpersonal skills
Communication and interpersonal skills are perhaps some of the most important qualities a marketeer is expected to have. Gone are the days when companies only looked for technical skills, today, employers are defining their cultures and core values and accordingly selecting candidates who will rightly fit into the team. In a report circulated by DMA, senior and manager-level executives were asked to pen down the top qualities they would look for in potential candidates. More than 80% of the respondents named at least one social skill while 76% mentioned communications as an important quality. When professionals opt for specific marketing programs, they are already surrounded by like-minded people, allowing them to network and build relations. This gives them an opportunity to groom themselves better and enhance their communication, presentation, interpersonal and social skills.
Although marketing is driven by tech-based concepts like AI and AR, professionals and industry leaders are expected to master these concepts and skills which can be accomplished with education at the forefront.
Opinions in this piece belong to the author