By Ian Brooks, managing director of Puregenie
As the sun continues to shine both physically and metaphorically on an economy that looks like it could be awakening from a five year slumber, August is a good time to try to predict where the demand for digital talent is going to concentrate when clients return from their summer breaks.
When times were tough, the focus was on trying to maximise on what you already had, so we saw a draw towards conversion optimisation experts, user experience specialists, and online traders.
There was also a consistent demand for SEO expertise as companies, perhaps wrongly, saw this as a free channel to market. Affiliate marketing managers were also in demand as this was also considered a cost effective channel.
With renewed confidence in the market, it will be interesting to see how demand patterns might change.
I can see an uplift in demand for paid search experts, as PPC remains to quickest medium to drive demand.
Already we are starting to see this demand filtering through, with a particular emphasis on those with language skills who are able to manage campaigns in German, Spanish (for Latin American markets), and French as UK travel businesses look to expand in markets outside of perceived saturated UK market.
Other specialist skill-sets likely to be in demand will be in the areas of re-targeting, real time bidding, and content marketing.
As demand picks up, the fight for talent is likely to run in parallel for the fight for supply of product, which means there is going to be an increase in demand for sourcing roles.
Online travel companies see these roles as slightly different to the traditional tour operators who would employ ‘contractors’ or ‘purchasers’.
The OTAs often refer to these roles as market managers, or even business development managers as they seek highly driven and targeted ‘hunters’ to secure the most sought-after accommodation.
The final area that I see a flurry of activity going on in is in digital media sales.
As more companies increase their online marketing budget, there will be a fight to win a greater share of it. This means having strong-performing media sales professionals.
It’s the same for the metasearch players who have seen a renaissance in their channel.
The likes of Kayak, Travelsupermarket, Travelzoo, Momondo, Tripadvisor, Dealchecker, Trivago and Skyscanner will all need more talented sales managers.