As recruiters for advertising and marketing jobs in Japan, we have a good idea which positions will be on our clients’ wish list next year. So here are our predictions for the most in-demand marketing jobs in Japan in 2017.
Why not use this list to position yourself as a candidate for the most sought-after roles. We’ve even provided key skills to add to your LinkedIn profile that will help you get found by recruiters.
Marketing Data Analyst
Deloitte’s Analytics Trends 2016 predicts a skills shortage of 181,000 data analysts by 2018 in the US alone. As in many things digital, Japan is three to five years behind the curve, which means that data analysts in Japan should see high demand for their skills for many years to come. What we expect to see in 2017 is many more candidates branding themselves as data analysts even when they lack a conventional background in statistics or data science. This will happen as the tools for collecting and manipulating data become more mainstream and the focus shifts towards what people can actually do with the data at hand. At the same time, there will still be ongoing strong demand for true data scientists with advanced knowledge of coding and statistics.
AKA: Marketing Analyst, Data Specialist
Key Skills: Data Analysis, Data Visualisation, Excel, SQL, CRM, Customer Insights
As consumers have become more resistant to advertising, the value of marketing to existing customers has become more obvious. This is especially true in Japan where brand loyalty remains strong and buyers are more likely to gravitate towards high-end products. Many consumer brands are looking to hire at least one Customer Relationship Management (CRM) specialist to identify remarketing opportunities among ever-expanding customer data. More than simply a data analyst job, CRM positions also require a solid grasp of sales promotion and marketing communications. The smaller the marketing team, the more hats a CRM Manager can expect to wear.
AKA: CRM Specialist, Customer Relationship Manager
Key Skills: CRM, Data Analysis, Customer Insights, Ecommerce, Automation, Email Marketing, Retargeting, Salesforce
In recent years, a slew of providers have rushed in to plug the skills gap in mobile app and UI/UX design. The gap has arguably become a glut, with an overabundance of options for getting digital things made. Automation will drive down earnings even further for digital designers and developers in years to come. What are needed more than ever are Digital Producers and Digital Project Managers to get the best results for clients on time and on budget. With advertising and digital agencies struggling to crank out increasing volumes of digital content in 2016, this is one job that is seeing strong demand going into the first few months of 2017.
AKA: Digital Project Manager, Interactive Producer, Interactive Project Manager
Key Skills: Digital Marketing, Project Management, Virtual Teams, Web Development, Mobile, A/B Testing
Social Media Strategist
At first glance, there would seem to be nothing new here. After all, social media specialists have been around for a decade. What’s changed is a renewed focus on content strategy. While the traditional role of a social media manager has been to optimise campaigns for different social networks and conduct real-time monitoring and engagement, brands increasingly need high-performing content just for social distribution. That means social media specialists may need the skills of a copywriter and content producer, as well as deep insights into the psychology of sharing and engagement online.
AKA: Social Media Specialist, Content Strategist
Key Skills: Social Media, Copywriting, Strategic Planning, Content Marketing, Video, A/B Testing, Facebook Advertising
Customer Insights Specialist
A Customer Insights Specialist digs deep into customer data to generate actionable insights for the marketing or sales teams. Traditionally, this would be the role of a brand manager. However, the massive harvesting of customer data online means that customer insights is becoming a position in its own right, a trend that has been led by consumer-facing tech companies entering the Japan market. More than a standard Marketing Data Analyst, a Customer Insights Specialist may need to support their findings using interviewing and ethnographic research. High earners in this field often boast a strong academic as well as marketing background.
AKA: Marketing Data Analyst, Researcher
Key Skills: Customer Insights, Data Analysis, Consumer Research, Market Research, Focus Groups, Brand Strategy, Marketing Strategy
Programmatic is already altering the media buying landscape by removing much of the human effort involved in placing ads. While it should have led to job losses, programmatic has actually created a supply shortage of specialists who can manipulate the ever-expanding universe of programmatic tools and platforms. At the same time, mass personalisation of online ads has created more advertising opportunities, not fewer. Programmatic marketing and buying specialists will continue to be in high demand in Japan (as they are elsewhere) in 2017. You’ll need to be an expert user of several programmatic tools, the main ones being Google AdWords, Criteo and Facebook Advertising. Master these and other platforms can be easily learned.
AKA: Programmatic Buyer, Digital Media Planner, Digital Media Buyer
Key Skills: Advertising, Media Buying, Programmatic, DSPs, Google Analytics, Criteo, Facebook Advertising
Advertising Account Executive
The scandal that engulfed Dentsu in 2016, when the suicide of a young employee was attributed to overwork and harassment, has shone an intense spotlight on the advertising industry. Those who know the industry here will tell you that the traditional Japanese management style is as much to blame. However, the fact remains that younger candidates are not queuing up for jobs at ad agencies like they did in the past, even though the experience of an Account Executive can be many different things depending on the agency and client. For ambitious candidates who want to earn good money working in a creative field and get their hands on the latest digital marketing toys, 2017 could be the year to take advantage of a supply shortfall in the advertising world.
AKA: Account Manager, Account Planner
Key Skills: Advertising, Branding, Marketing, Client Relations, English, Japanese
One job category that we predict ongoing high demand for in Japan is localisation. And one reason for the shortage of good candidates is that localisation demands such a diverse range of skills from translation and copywriting to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and use of a Content Management System (CMS). Every company entering the Japan market needs to localise, and changes will often extend far beyond translation. Localisation jobs are usually short-term and project-based so they can be a viable career choice for anyone looking to work freelance or from home.
AKA: Localisation Project Manager, Content Specialist, Technical Writer
Key Skills: Localisation, Project Management, Translation, Transcreation, Copywriting, SEO, A/B Testing, WordPress
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