What will marketing look like post-pandemic?


2020 seemed like it was going to be the year for marketing. With the Summer Olympics, the presidential election, lots of new movies and Broadway productions. But then came COVID.

Marketing is one skillset that was dramatically affected by COVID-19, as many companies put the pause on hiring marketing talent and even had layoffs. But as 2021 progresses I’ve seen that hiring for these roles has picked back up again. So, what can we expect for 2021 and beyond?

Marketing and COVID-19

While many marketing departments took a hit during the pandemic, the marketing job market did see a 9.1% increase in 2020, according to Forbes. “72.2% of marketers reported that the importance of marketing in their companies increased during the last year—over and above the June 2020 survey level of 62.3%,” said Forbes contributor Christine Moorman. And the pandemic increased the demand for a digital customer experience, paving the way for marketers to present strategic direction for their organizations.

A shift to online calls for more digital marketers

With more and more businesses shifting to online platforms, the need for digital marketing professionals continues to increase to ensure their platforms are running smoothly in this space. According to LinkedIn, since 2019, the digital marketing job market has grown by 33%. The digital umbrella includes jobs such as:

  • SEO/SEM Specialists
  • Social Media Managers
  • Growth Marketing Manager
  • User Experience
  • Email Marketing Specialists

Demand for specialists vs. generalists

COVID-19 had a short answer for this. During 2020, there was a focus on the need for Marketing Generalists who could do it all. Why? Because companies needed people who could do it all, in order to cut costs.

But as businesses are starting to get back to normal and many even grow at exponential rates, we can see the rise of the specialist again. Marketers are frequently hired to meet a specific organizational need. For example, many companies hire event specialists to run in-person and virtual events. So, as the number of events that you host or participate in grows, so might the need to hire a specialist. The same is true for any specialized area of marketing.

Event marketing may not look the same

Even as we move to more in-person events, we may be less likely to see large-scale in-person events in the future. Many companies are expecting to continue to host virtual events to increase their audience size and decrease costs.

Many experts predict that the in-person events that people choose to host will be more intimate and personal. Whereas virtual events will be larger and have more top of the marketing funnel purposes. So, there is likely going to be a shift in event planning.

So where are the jobs being added?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market for Marketing Managers is expected to grow by 6% from 2019 to 2029. The average growth outlook is 4%. The industries seeing the most growth for this skillset is not surprising. They include:

  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Technology
  • Consumer Services

So, even if the job struggle during COVID-19 made you want to throw in your marketing cap and switch careers, know that there are better days ahead. And with needs shifting, there’s been a shift in the types of marketers needed.

If you are a marketing professional looking for your next career move, I’d love to chat!

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