Sixth sense analysts: the marketing roles of the future

Business card: jobs of the future
Business card: jobs of the future

No one could have predicted the rise of the social media influencer back in 2009, so what will be the marketing jobs of the future?

The marketing world has changed dramatically during the past 10 years and will evolve even more in the next decade. While there are some concerns about job losses in the industry as automation takes hold, I believe that these predictions completely miss the mark. Instead we will see a wealth of jobs appear within the major macroeconomic, political, demographic, societal, cultural, business and technology trends observable today.

In fact, in a recent report we identified 21 new marketing jobs that we believe will emerge over the next 10 years and become the cornerstone of the marketing industry. These jobs will create opportunities for employment, providing work for many people who are perhaps confused or concerned by the impact of the rapid acceleration of technology. Here are six examples of what these newly created roles would look like:

  • Head of bot creative: The head of bot creative will ensure that bots deliver an authentic and compelling experience, tied to brand differentiation. They will be responsible for interrogating the output from automated software, working closely with programmers to make sure bots are delivering creative messages to the right audiences.

  • Data ethnographers: Data ethnographers use numbers to tell a story about how customers interact with a brand. They know how to read data and extract human insights to inspire fresh ideas, uncover new marketing angles and provide a competitive edge. This role is going to become more and more essential in the digital era, given the mountains of customer data we collect from online and offline touchpoints including IoT, wearables and mobile devices.

  • Mood and empathy manager: Do you know how a customer instinctively feels about your company? Could you engineer the right feelings at precisely the right time, so customers decide to engage for longer? The ability to manufacture the optimal blend of emotions and elicit the right empathy response from customers is the must-have dimension of the modern marketing relationship. Mood and empathy managers play an important role in industries like retail, where competition on price and goods has reached a plateau, and emotions are the next battlefield.

  • Neuro A/B tester: Organisations will soon move away from surveys and focus groups to capture qualitative data. It will be the job of the neuro A/B tester to report on the brain activity of customers when they come into physical contact with a brand during experiential and sensory campaigns.

  • Sixth sense analyst: A trend-spotter might have a pulse on nascent marketing behaviours and opportunities, but going one step further and predicting trends before they happen is the job of a sixth sense analyst. This role requires converting AI-driven predictive intelligence data into actionable customer insights, helping inform the development of trendsetting products and services.

  • Purpose planner: We know that 'purpose' is the new commercial battleground, and the marketing industry will need people to conceive, shape and launch dedicated purpose journeys for organisations as they seek differentiation. The aim of this role will be to define and articulate a brand’s contribution to society and its purpose for both customers and prospective employees.

In a world of hyper-connectivity, the CMO mandate for the next 10 years pivots on resonance: making meaning for the consumer and building brand experiences that last. The point for marketers is not about getting people to find a suitable product, service or brand, but getting them to stick around. The jobs described above build out from that premise. These jobs are not science fiction – they are likely to be roles a CMO will ask HR departments to fill and the CFO to fund before too long.

Euan Davis is European lead for Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work 



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