New year, new job: 20 jobs across the creative and marketing industries that didn't exist five years ago

As the New Year kicks off, you might feel you’re still stuck in an old job. Whether you’re looking for a fresh challenge or you’re just stepping into the industry for the first time, the range of positions you could fill has never been broader.

Jobs: With the new year often comes a desire for a change of pace

The digital revolution has also revolutionised marketing recruitment – marketers are now heavily recruiting for positions that would never have been thought of years ago. Creative and tech is merging in more ways than ever throughout the creative and marketing industries, and the skillsets required by employers has significantly changed.

The Drum asked around a few agencies in the marketing arena to find 20 popular modern-day marketing jobs that didn’t even exist five years ago - you might just find your calling.

1.) Head of Futures

Henry Daglish, MD at media planning and buying agency Arena, said: “In today's ever changing media world agencies have to be continually on the pace of change and help clients navigate what might be coming. This is a role that has been in our agency for the last two years and it is this person's sole responsibility to engage with up and coming consumer trends and technological developments. This person is expected to attend relevant conferences etc, drive thought leadership and guide our clients not just in the world of now and next but also beyond."

2.) 3D Printing Specialist

Jim Whyte, senior insights analyst at Fitch, said: “As the pace of innovation remorselessly accelerates, the need for rapid prototyping grows too. 3D printing offers the means to develop and create concepts and components at a speed and cost that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. 3D printing specialists also have a potentially big future on the high street too.”

3.) Chief Happiness Officer

Rob Markwell, director at recruitment agency Pitch, said: “A little more tongue in cheek than the digitally dominated positions, however, there is a serious point here. With employers demanding the best possible talent, and with this supply of talent in short supply, companies of all shapes and sizes are waking up to the need to develop their ‘employer brands’ to ensure teams are happy and morale is high. Talent retention is a core focus and no longer purely the preserve of the HR department. And yes, we have genuinely seen chief happiness officers."

4.) Head of Omni-channel

Jim Whyte, senior insights analyst at design consultancy Fitch, said: “With consumers increasingly being unable to distinguish between digital and physical channels, there is a need to take a holistic approach to design – an approach that offers the customer a seamless and effortless experience. In response, agencies are breaking down the barriers between specialist silos and roles like the head of omni-channel are charged with coordinating a joined-up approach and delivering an equally joined-up solution.”

5.) Data Analyst

Henry Daglish, MD at media planning and buying agency Arena, said: “All that data needs continual analysis to help guide and develop insights that drive consumer understanding and improved communications performance.”

6.) IOS Developer

Mike Carter, MD at recruitment agency Orchard, said: “While iOS is only one platform for app development, this area of the digital market has exploded over the last five years. Specialising in the use of the Apple SDK this role is a software development role at heart. Most candidates have come from a computer science background and progressed to SDK after cutting their teeth as back end web developers in either .net or Php.

“While working within the SDK environment makes many things easier equally it can be restricting when you want your app to step outside the box. Android is equally popular often projects needing to be developed in both by the same developer. This role is very much in demand and is mainly freelance due to the shortage in the supply of good developers.”

7.) ASO (App Store Optimisation) Specialist

Julian Smith, head of strategy and innovation at mobile agency Fetch, said: “A person with a background in SEO and an understanding of how the key app stores rank apps – that can help clients to optimise their app listings within the stores in order to gain and maintain prominent positioning and app store discoverability – to help maximise organic app downloads. This is a position that didn’t exist a couple of years ago, let alone five, yet we’ve appointed an ASO specialist who will play an important role in some of our key campaigns. To set the scene, these days 10 per cent of apps get 90 per cent of the downloads.”

8.) Search Manager

Rob Markwell, director at recruitment agency Pitch, said: “With competition for online rankings becoming fiercer every day, and with Google constantly changing the goalposts in terms of organic search rules, the role of the Search Manager has never been more important. As such, experienced SEO (and PPC) Managers are in high demand and are increasingly required to have both a good strategic and technical awareness."

9.) Head of Media Attribution

Darren Goldie, chief development officer and managing partner at Havas Media, said: “Attribution compliments econometrics in our attempt to understand the value and impact of media and human behaviour on subsequent consumer activities. The head of attribution role requires someone with excellent quantitative skills gained from a career in statistical marketing research and ideally digital media or digital marketing technology.

“The ideal candidate will understand the benefits and limitations of attribution, the value of following an agile based work process and be able to work with the media planning and activation teams to construct robust models to ensure clients understand the relative impact of their paid, owned, shared and earned media channels on the individual campaign goals.”

10.) Commercial Ninja

Henry Daglish, MD at media planning and buying agency Arena, said: If there's one thing that we've learnt over the last few years it is that we need our own embedded commercial ninja's within the account management structure. Mike Moran has been critical in helping separate the difficult commercial discussions from the day to day account facing people who continually want to delight their clients."

11.) Haptic Programmer

Jim Whyte, senior insights analyst at Fitch, said: “For the time being the physical store has an advantage over digital channels when it comes to tactility. Haptic programmers are seeking to overcome this limitation of digital devices, developing screens that can communicate a sense of touch and texture. This offers to dramatically enhance the digital experience, with huge potential for retail and design.”

12.) Chief Data Officer

Darren Goldie, chief development officer and managing partner at Havas Media, said: “From an agile, software development or database management background, you will be aware of both the technologies required to deliver specific database driven marketing services and understand the European privacy legislation and its consequences on the service delivery chain. You will oversee a number of teams including site analytics, data analysis, ecrm and database management which sit at the heart of all our work.

“Your teams must contribute seamlessly across the agency using data from real time customer behaviour to guide site development, UX design and extract the maximum value from paid, owned, shared and earned marketing channels.”

13.) App Developer

Rob Markwell, director at recruitment agency Pitch, said: “With the evolution of mobile technology and smart phone usage increasing exponentially in recent years, app developers are the new(ish) kids on the technology block. iOS and Android developers are in top demand and commanding premium rates as a result. Agencies who previously outsourced development are now increasingly bringing these roles in-house.”

14.) Outreach Manager

Mike Carter, MD at recruitment agency Orchard, said: “We all know that content is king and the outreach manager has the role of getting that content out to the user. Employed mainly in-house they are integral to the search strategy. They are responsible for ensuring that content is published by online bloggers and other publishers to build inbound links.

“Writing, selling and excellent communication skills are needs along with an ability to think outside the box to ensure content is desirable and taken up. Backgrounds are copywriting, English and PR or Marketing and this role can dramatically impact success in search marketing. A relatively new specialisation it is of course very very similar to a traditional PR role.”

15.) Head of Programmatic Buying (for mobile)

Julian Smith, head of strategy and innovation at mobile agency Fetch, said: “A new role up until recently in desktop, now rising at an incredibly fast clip in mobile industry. The head of programmatic buying manages the demand side platforms buying the data. DSPs provide the interface which the head of programmatic buying manages on a self-service basis, from implementation to bidding strategy, optimisation and reporting. Skilled in ad technology and data applications, this person will know how to effectively target various audience profiles.”

16.) Social Media Manager

Mike Carter, MD at recruitment agency Orchard, said: “Whilst reputation management has been the mainstay of PR and comms teams in the past the last five years has seen the explosion of social media and therefore the necessity to manage it full time as a role.

“Social media experts need to know their platforms and their marketplace. They not only have to manage online reputation but drive engagement with strategic campaigns to grow their audience. Roles are very dependent on the market, larger brands require more strategic planning and integration into existing customer service and marketing teams, smaller companies require more 'hands on' day to day management of the channels. Candidates come from PR or digital backgrounds, development into this role often comes from personal obsession.”

17.) UI Manager

Mike Carter, MD at recruitment agency Orchard, said: “User interface has been separated out in recent years, in many ways as the result of the other half of the equation in web design. This specialisation within the look and feel of an interface and the pursuit of greater conversion or goal achievement through continues design tweaks and development in conjunction with UX. User interface specialists are mostly from design backgrounds with or without front end build experience with creative but structured approaches and a willingness to endlessly test and develop ideas."

Henry Daglish, MD at media planning and buying agency Arena, said: “Content is the new buzz word within the industry it's continually miss-used and employed as a catch-all for anything that isn't simply paid for space. A content strategist is a critical role that helps our client understand a) why content may have a role within their approach and b) how and why is might be deployed.”

19.) Creative Director (at a media planning and buying agency)

Henry Daglish, MD at media planning and buying agency Arena, said: “This one created a bit of confusion with clients and staff alike - were we becoming a creative agency? No. Innovation, ideas and creativity are crucial to our clients’ businesses, to drive competitive edge and help our client base punch above its weight. We don't believe in spending our way around a problem. This person's role has been to nurture a belief and can do attitude within the agency culture, encourage people to think differently, and generate ideas big or small. A creative director makes sure that we never accept the status quo, or what we did last year, as a suitable solution for our clients.”

20.) UX Designers

Rob Markwell, director at recruitment agency Pitch, said: “The term user experience did exist in the digital world five years ago, but the demand for specialist user experience designers has never been bigger given the clamour to design websites, apps and mobile sites that are easy and intuitive to use.”

To view the latest jobs in advertising, design, digital media, PR and marketing, visit The Drum's job listings

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