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Ken Hein

US editor

Shavonne M Clark

senior manager of marketing

Exclusive LinkedIn data shows marketers are in demand – especially in the digital realm

Demand for marketing jobs has spiked in the past six months

LinkedIn hiring trends paint a picture of a marketing industry in the midst of healing. They also indicate an acceleration toward digital-first marketing approaches and a sustained shift to remote and flexible work. Here’s the run-down.

A new LinkedIn study shared exclusively with The Drum suggests that despite the pandemic and its economic consequences, opportunities in the marketing sector are only expanding, with roles in digital and media leading the charge. The findings point to a few key trends – and a swath of new opportunities for the 3.2 million-plus marketing professionals on LinkedIn – that will inform the direction of the sector at large. These are some of the key takeaways found.

Marketing is a hot commodity

While the economic impacts of Covid-19 decimated businesses of all types in the last year-plus, the marketing industry has made an impressive comeback. On LinkedIn, some 381,000 marketing job openings were posted in the last year. And in the past six months alone, the site witnessed a 63% increase in marketing jobs.

Notably, the growth of employment opportunities within the marketing sector has varied significantly across industry. Within the last six months, jobs in the arts (up 85.9%), retail (up 72.6%), education (up 63.7%) and corporate services (up 60.6%) grew the most. This is likely indicative of the recovery of sectors that were initially most impacted by lockdown orders and restrictions on in-person gatherings.

“Demand for marketing jobs has grown over the last six months because of the increased importance of marketing during the pandemic,” says Connie Chen, LinkedIn senior insights analyst. “Digital marketing gives organizations the ability to accurately target audiences, measure impact and get in front of consumers during a time where the average adult is online more than ever. As the majority of the country’s workforce was sent to work from home, customers’ desire for digital experiences skyrocketed. This, in turn, has provided marketers with more heightened visibility in their companies and stronger positions to provide strategic direction as new opportunities crop up.”

Digital and media-focused jobs are the fastest-growing

One in every two of the top marketing jobs listed on LinkedIn fall into the digital or media space. By volume of job postings on LinkedIn, the most desired marketing job is a digital marketing specialist. Among other highly in-demand roles are digital account executives, social media managers, digital marketing managers, copywriters and digital strategists.

The top fastest-growing roles of the past six months, from the highest to lowest rates of growth, are media coordinators, search managers, social media coordinators, search engine marketing managers, media managers, marketing analysts, email marketing specialists, search engine optimization analysts and digital media managers.

“Traditionally, marketing has been a cost center for a business and has always had to prove its value in order to maintain or increase investment,” Chen says. “With the pandemic speeding up digital transformation [such as] retail shifting more to e-commerce, companies are hiring more specialized marketers who understand the digital landscape and are able to market to consumer concerns with solutions.”

LinkedIn’s data confirms that a shift toward more specialized digital skill sets is well under way. The study found that the most in-demand skills for marketers today are social media marketing, paid search strategy, social media and search engine marketing.

Year-over-year growth patterns evidence the highest growth in skills including Instagram (up 72%), content marketing (up 63%), creative problem solving (up 45%), brand awareness (up 41%), branding (up 41%) and Hootsuite (up 39%). Other fast-growing skills include Adobe Premiere Pro, marketing automation, customer experience and Facebook marketing.

“Marketers must continue to expand their digital marketing skills to grow in their careers,” Chen says. “Though the pandemic did not create the growth in digital marketing, as these jobs were already growing at a steady rate before Covid-19 changed our lives, it did significantly accelerate the need for more sophisticated digital marketing skills.”

The future of work is dispersed – and flexible

Since the onset of the pandemic, listings for remote marketing jobs have increased fivefold. Whereas just 2% of marketing roles were remote on March 1 2020, today nearly one in 10 are. In the past six months alone, LinkedIn has seen a 177% increase in the number of remote job postings for marketing roles. The study’s findings suggest that even as we emerge from the pandemic, remote work is not likely to subside. Marketing roles across the board are shifting to more remote and flexible working arrangements.

The top-growing remote jobs, in order of growth rate from highest to lowest, include digital marketing specialists, copywriters, digital marketing managers, search engine optimization specialists, content writers and social media managers. Other rapidly-growing positions include marketing managers and media buyers.

Not only are employers leaning into remote and flexible work solutions, they are also increasingly investing in mixed and flexible approaches to staffing. The new study reveals that, in the past six months, the share of listings for internships in the marketing sector has grown by nearly 25% and the share of listings for contractor positions has grown by 15%. Plus, listings for full-time positions have increased more than 20%.

The markets with the highest demand for marketing talent today include the New York City metro area, the San Francisco Bay area, the Los Angeles metro area, greater Chicago, greater Boston, the Washington, DC/Baltimore area, greater Seattle and the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area.

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