3 Essential In-Demand Growth Marketing Skills During Covid-19

Published on: | Updated on: | Caroline Lane


Within only a few months, companies have had to dramatically change the ways they approach their markets, which has impacted hiring strategies across the board. While Demand Generation is still hot, companies that had been focused on lead gen suddenly moved to ABM and product marketing.

In March, we interviewed Sue Keith, Managing Partner at Ceres Talent, to ask her about the in-demand growth marketing skills during this pandemic.

Thrive During Covid-19 with These Growth Marketing Skills

In this episode of Growth Marketing Chat, Sue covers:

  1. Flexibility with all digital channels
  2. Expertise with account-based marketing as part of your marketing automation strategy
  3. A focus on product marketing

Give the video a listen to hear her insights on how you can apply these skills to succeed during and after the pandemic.


Video Transcript:

CAROLINE: Hi, I’m here with Sue Keith, Sue is a wonderful marketer. She spent her entire career in marketing, and about seven years ago she joined Ceres Talent, which is a marketing recruiting firm. Sue, thank you so much for being with me today.

SUE: You’re welcome and thank you for having me.

CAROLINE: So today, I would like to ask you about the shift in marketing skills that are in demand that you’ve seen in the past few months. What are the most in-demand skills that you’re seeing right now? And how has it been impacted by COVID-19? 

SUE: Right, so I have three answers to that question.

I’ll start with digital, not surprisingly. I like to say just when you thought digital couldn’t get any hotter, it’s even hotter now. There are no in-person events, no customer forums, none of those kind of traditional offline lead sources. So, folks are focusing even more heavily on digital.

But we’ll call on the low spend or you could even call them free channels. Social, SEO and even though this isn’t digital, actually we’ve seen some interest in PR. You think about earned media and again, things that are in low investment.

So of course, none of these are free, you still need people, humans to manage them and actually manage them really closely. But we’re definitely seeing a shift away from paid media and looking more kind of on the low-cost type channels. So that’s number one.

Number two is account-based marketing or ABM. It’s been hot for a couple years. Definitely different definitions by our clients, and different executions, from more manual processes to something fairly robust and technical using a demand base, your Triblio platform. But as leads and their behavior gets a little murkier given where we are.

For example, we’ve had a lot of clients talk about how they’re getting actually more leads in from virtual events than they would have, let’s say with a trade show, but that conversion behavior is still TBD. ABM allows, as one of our clients said, to help them sharpen the sword and really focus the marketing efforts. The spend is more controlled, if you will, the approach is more surgical about how they’re going to market while traditional demand gen or normal demand gen efforts are a little murky at the moment.

And then the last one I’ll mention is Product Marketing. We actually started seeing this pre COVID, maybe about the second half of last year, we started seeing more demand for Product Marketing positions.

I think what happened is that over the last few years, Demand Gen became subsequently hot. Demand Gen, Marketing Ops, whether you can use Marketo or what have you. I think it over indexed a little bit and suddenly marketers realize that they kind of forgot about the product and the customer or lost focus on it.

So, it’s almost like a retrenching and it’s especially, and I would say even though this happened before COVID started, COVID strangely enough has given an opportunity for folks, as the Demand Gen work, they’re normally used to doing is a little murkier and maybe needs some scaling back.

For example, we’ve had a lot of clients mention that they’re getting more sales calls answered, but people are willing to take sales calls or do that demo, but no one’s pulling the trigger on signing the contract. So, there’s a little bit of more retrenching, and if you think about product marketers, they really are looking at the whole customer lifecycle.

From market segmentation, to product positioning all the way down to developing sales tools. Again, it’s this kind of retrenching and looking at the customer what their pain points are and reevaluating the product roadmap to see not just what they might be able to retool for today’s weird world, but what it means going forward. It’s kind of going back to basics.

So, to summarize, we’re still definitely seeing digital but the low spend low investment ones. Account Based Marketing is becoming even more strategic, given what’s going on. And then finally kind of going back to the basics with Product Marketing.

CAROLINE: All right, so here you have it. This are the skills you need to develop to find your next marketing job. 

SUE: That’s right.