The past year has seen rapid change in the digital sector. New technology continues to reshape the industry meaning new roles and skills are emerging all the time. In a market where change is constant, it is important to build a team of professionals who have the essential technical skills but are also able to adapt in order to navigate new challenges and propel your business with innovative problem-solving and unique ideas. 

To ensure your business is best placed, we have put together a list of the most in-demand skills within the digital sector. Our team of specialist digital consultants work closely with organisations ranging from SMEs to global blue-chip companies and know exactly which skills you need to drive your business forward. Make sure your team encompasses professionals with the 10 skills set to shape the digital sector this year. 

1. PPC ad management 

Creative and analytical skills are essential in this field - PPC experts need to be able to conduct an analysis of vast amounts of data at speed whilst also possessing the flair required to create compelling and concise copy for platforms such as Google AdWords. The right PPC specialists will help drive traffic to your website and significantly improve your ROI.  

2. SEO: technical and content 

These days, search engine optimisation (SEO) is not just a desirable skill - it's absolutely essential. With more consumer journeys than ever beginning and ending online, competition has never been fiercer to rank highly in search engines such as Google for relevant commercial keywords. Ensure you have specialist SEO professionals with a proven ability in technical SEO, content and linkbuilding on your team. 

3. CRM strategy and rollout 

Through the use of effective customer relationship management (CRM), your campaigns should be more precisely targeted than ever before. Pierre Moreau, Associate, Michael Page Geneva, stresses: “The ability to reach multiple specific and relevant target audiences in a much more engaging environment means higher ROI and better quality leads which is why you should be sure to hire a top CRM professional into your team.” While many areas of the CRM process can now be automated, the skills and experience in developing strategic and data-driven approaches to these campaigns are highly coveted and will be a great advantage to any business throughout this year and beyond. 

4. Social media for brands 

Social media specialists possess a wide range of competencies, from being able to carry out effective customer service, launch influencer campaigns and understand how to achieve provable ROI through paid and organic posting. As competition for share of voice increases online, be sure your team has a social media expert to make the most of social channels. 

5. Videography and animation 

In digital marketing, content is king - and video and multimedia are currently the jewels in the crown. “Bringing a videographer in-house is a cost-effective way to get your message out with video content,” says Pierre Moreau. “Creatives with camera operation, editing and animation skills - or ideally all three - are highly prized at the moment, as the YouTube generation graduates into the workplace, be sure you are employing the best and brightest talent in the market.” 

6. Data science skills 

The number of data points available to organisations of all sizes has exploded in recent years. Pierre: “Because of this, professionals who are able to select the most important pieces of data to drive decision-making have never been more important. Professionals who come from a maths, computer science or even an astrophysics background could be a great fit for your team working as a data science specialist. The key is to make real sense of big numbers and you need people with the right skills on your team to do this.” 

7. Ecommerce trading 

With online shopping booming and some of the high street's biggest names scaling back their physical store operations, the shift towards digital retail only continues to accelerate. Pierre Moreau explains: “However, eCommerce trading is a complex role requiring a truly diverse range of skills, from understanding financials and making sense of big data, to getting to grips with digital marketing disciplines like SEO and PPC. It's no surprise therefore that good candidates in this area are always being sought. Be sure you are attracting and retaining top talent to help propel your business through forward.” 

8. Marketplace trading 

Sites like eBay are now big business for big businesses, so if you’re looking to maximise your business’ digital retail presence, online marketplaces are a growing area of the overall sales mix for organisations large and small. Specialists in this area will have knowledge of visual merchandising, analytics and trading - skills that will serve your business well during this year. 

9. Programmatic media 

Traditionally outsourced to agencies, as knowledge and adoption of this algorithmic form of digital advertising grows, brands are opting to bring specialists in-house to prove, and improve, the ROI of what is still a fairly nascent discipline. For more control and a more cost-effective approach to your programmatic media, be sure to keep an eye out for professionals with experience in this area of marketing. 

10. Fast learning 

As recent Michael Page research with the Foresight Factory has discovered, learning, continuous professional development and regular upskilling, are set to become normalised for workers across all industries and sectors. Technology is evolving at an ever-increasing pace and in order to keep up in the digital market especially, businesses need people who can adapt and learn new skills, hardware, software and programmes quickly and efficiently. It is important to consider the learning ability of both your existing and potential employees. Those with a clear and proven track record of learning who have a sound ability to adapt will be great assets to your team. 

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