Sales & Marketing: 2020 Predictions vs Reality

    Kerry Consulting

    Covid-19 has impacted everything, from the places we go, to the priorities we have and the way we spend our money. As such, many businesses are fighting to survive, and sales and marketing will be an essential part of their ability to recover.

    The surge in digital commerce has not been equal

    The plight of sales and marketing teams during Covid-19 has undoubtedly depended on what type of business you are in. The surge in digital commerce has not been evenly distributed. For example, the luxury sector has seen growing level of activities by focusing more on their online sales and personalising sales’ experience for customers. Other masstige brands have forged a deeper partnership with marketplaces to enhance brand presence and also drive profitability.

    Moving online

    When Covid-19 began causing economies to grind to a halt in Q1, businesses that already had an online presence were at a distinct advantage. For those that have transitioned online recently they will surely remain online in the future. This is an investment that businesses will be thinking about seriously – from a technology, as well as human capital point of view. Governments across the world are encouraging their nations to spend again. No differently, the economic recovery of Singapore depends on the return of the consumer. Whilst shopping may never be the same, the work of sales and marketing teams has become even more business critical.

    Covid-19 has shaken up conventional wisdom, but with this disruption comes opportunities to adapt. First movers – from consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and retail, to property, finance and more – are seeking out new pockets of growth and reshaping go-to-market approaches to serve them.

    Adapting marketing strategies

    As such, many teams are adapting their selling strategy – prioritising content marketing, investing in SEO and emphasising customer service. Some markets, such as China, have embarked on live-streaming ecommerce which has been booming during the pandemic. As a result, there is increasing demand for marketers and sales professionals with strong digital skills.

    Hiring outlook for Sales & Marketing roles in Singapore

    From a marketing standpoint, many companies are looking for marketing leaders with a strong track record in driving transformation and change – as part of the objective to switch from traditional methods to a digital and automated approach. Yet this poses a challenge for employers as they want to recruit individuals who not only have strong, industry-specific digital experience, but also who understand how to integrate digital tools into traditional frameworks.

    Skills and areas of experience that continue to be sought after within marketing include:

    • Data and analytics
    • Social media
    • Content strategy
    • Customer retention
    • Growth planning

    Employers will likely be forced to look beyond their usual competitor landscape for new recruits – and even outside of their industry. This bodes well for marketing professionals who have transferable skills and can relate well to the relevant target audience.

    At the same time, there is a need for companies to enhance brand loyalty in a bid to attract – and, more importantly, retain – customers at this critical time. This has increased the focus for hiring managers on candidates with experience in creating a more personalised consumer experience, built by a better digital marketing presence, site performance and CRM optimisation. In line with this, a solid understanding of the customer journey is another appealing skill set, regardless of a candidate’s job title.

    Marketing roles that are and will be in demand, therefore, include:

    • Digital Marketing Director / Manager
    • Digital Transformation Director / Manager

    On the sales side of businesses, there is a growing need for regional sales managers as businesses increase their ‘localisation’ approaches due to Covid-19.

    During Covid-19, strong business development and communication skills are more important than ever – whilst prospecting increased significantly, deals being closed have taken much longer to approach pre-Covid-19 levels.

    Sales roles in demand include:

    • Ecommerce Leaders
    • Business Development Manager
    • GMs/ Commercial Heads

    For hiring managers, however, finding sales candidates based in Singapore with the right combination of skills and experience continues to be very challenging.

     

    In case you missed it, head back to check out our 2020 Predictions vs Reality Overview which kicked off this mini-series.