A Guide to the Digital Team of 2022

  • 12/12/2019
  • 11:12
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The next three years will see a rapid transformation of both the technologies and roles that underpin digital. This will be shaped by both current and looming technology trends such as immersive experiences, voice recognition and increasing sophistication and personalisation of customer data. You can expect the way digital and marketing teams are structured and resourced to radically change. 

Your team’s capacity to adapt and evolve to meet changing customer demands will be a top priority and highly visible within your organisation. 

The two sides to meeting this challenge are the transformative technologies that will come to dominate digital experiences and the knowledge and skill set of digital and marketing teams that develop in response to them.

Technologies likely to have the biggest impact

Virtual and Augmented Reality

More than $5 billion invested into these technologies by major tech companies Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality is more than a fad, allowing marketers to create immersive and memorable customer experiences.

One example of augmented reality implementation that is already in use but will become more and more widespread in retail will be magic mirrors. These are reflective TV screens linked to cameras and controlled by augmented reality software. The TV screen can act as a normal mirror, as a screen to display marketing, or be enhanced to show virtual accessories such as hats, outfits in different colours, makeup effects, or video feeds from different angles. They will act as a drawcard to increase customer numbers in brick and mortar retail stores, provide new marketing opportunities, and deliver enhanced shopping experiences by increasing engagement.

Virtual reality headsets are already being used to create much more immersive and lifelike gaming and promotional experiences.

Chatbots, Voice Recognition and Automation

Customer interaction will increasingly take place through speech-based automation. Early versions of this, like Siri and Alexa and Cortona are available on almost any device, with 40% of millennials saying they chat with chatbots on a daily basis, according to Acquire, And Chatbots Life 2019 predict that by 2020, 85% of consumer interactions will be handled without a human agent.

Could the website become obsolete? As hard as it may be to imagine now, the importance of a brand’s website will rapidly diminish over the next 5-10 years. The future will be ‘heads-up and hands-free’ as there is a shift to natural language processing by voice assistants rather than our current reliance on text based or visual searching.

Big Data and Analytics

The vast quantities of customer data will allow for predictive behavioural modelling, understanding of competitors and advanced forecasting.

Big Data and AI advances will also lead to far more accurate consumer behaviour analytics. By drawing on vast quantities of data generated from clickstream analysis, social media impressions, and sensor and IoT derived data, these huge volumes of data will be capable of being analysed by powerful or distributed computer processing resources that will allow for advanced modelling of customer signals and buying intent.

More detailed analytics will also make it possible to better understand the processes and strategies used by competitors. Analysis of entire market sectors and analytic insights based on every step of the customer journey will allow organisations to make the most informed strategic decisions to ensure they stay at the forefront of their particular market sector.

The biggest transformation that Big Data will allow however is for the wide scale extraction and interpretation of personalised information from data exchanges. These Personal Data Exchanges will facilitate accurate outcome forecasting as well as provide highly detailed information on individuals’ desires and trends that can be responded to in personalised and meaningful ways.

What the digital team of 2022 will look like 

With the pace of technological change, it is increasingly apparent that companies must hire to meet these trends. With cross-functional skills and the ability to leverage a wide range of technologies being top priorities.

Our figures below give a look into the new jobs you may need to hire for in the next three years and have included the skill sets that you need to look for when hiring now to underpin your future team. 

Key jobs will move further towards being deeply artistic or deeply scientific so that the digital team is optimised to do things that AIs or algorithms can’t. It will be essential to recruit the “smart creative” who really understands the technology and how to bring it to life. Being able to identify these professionals will be critical to building a future-proof digital team.

The team of 2022 needs to be fluid, agile and able to be dismantled and redeployed as needed. This requires a rethink in how you approach team structure, resourcing and organisational collaboration.

Key roles in 2022

Chief Experience Officer (CXO)

Skills: Mastery of design thinking, deep technical understanding (product, software, web), creative and executive management.

Content will continue to be increasingly user generated as consumers seek out authenticity.

Chief Customer Officer (CCO)

Skills: Expert in customer journey mapping, deep understanding of CRM / sales, transformation and executive management.  

Chief Product Officer (CPO)

Skills: Product engineering expert, full stack technical expertise, customer experience design and executive management.

Chief Data Officer (CDO)

Skills: Computer Science/Business Intelligence, strong grasp of machine learning, artificial intelligence, data optimisation and executive management.

Big Data and AI-led analytics will be critical for business success because tailored and personalised customer experiences will become the norm and will be expected at all brand touchpoints.

VR / AR Engineer

Skills: Expertise in object-oriented programming, project management and video arts; ability in software products like Adobe Creative Cloud and Unity3D.

VR / AR Producer

Skills: 360 video/visual content production, storytelling and user experience design.

AR will enable contextually aware advertising when people drive/walk down the street as well as the ability to market to consumers at point of decision/purchase. AR is already being used to help customers plan home renovations or view how new furniture items would look in their homes.

IoT Marketing Strategist

Skills: Product/design background, strategy, creative.

Gartner research reveals that the number of connected devices in use worldwide will already exceed 20 billion by 2020. This will drive huge demand for IoT marketing strategists that can help their organisations cut through the noise with specialised skills in retail sensors, radio frequency (RFID) technology, digital signage, smartphones, wearables, automobiles and virtually anything that transmits data.

Omnichannel Retail Strategist

Skills: Project management, marketing strategy and user experience design.

With annual ecommerce sales set to top $500 billion by the turn of the decade, omnichannel strategists will increasingly be needed to help identify new ways to deliver real time and personalised experiences to individual consumers. The use of analytics to understand and predict consumer behaviours will also form a key component of the role.

Data Scientist

Skills: mathematics, statistics and a strong understanding of machine learning, AI and data optimisation.

Deep analytics involves applying complex queries to both structured and unstructured data sets to generate useful insights.

Machine Learning Engineer

Skills: Expertise in programming, machine-learning algorithms and statistics.

The ability to build tools that enable brands to translate Big Data into genuine insights and then into automated marketing activities will be in high demand.

Chatbot Developer

Skills: Computer science, linguistics, interactive language, programming, design, engineering, natural language processing and ethics.

Voice Engineer

Skills: Computer science or linguistics, experience with JavaScript, Python and deploying projects for Alexa, Google Assistant or Microsoft Cortana.

With improved capabilities, voice-enabled assistants to provide customers with information and answers to queries or services, voice engineers will be needed to build products that can interpret intent and answer to a complete range of potential commands.

CONCLUSION

In the face of rapid technological change, many key roles in digital today didn’t even exist five years ago. And by 2022 this will again be the case as new roles are created to meet changing digital and consumer trends and fringe roles today such as in the emerging fields of VR/AR and AI will become absolutely fundamental to successful brands.

New talent will need to be sourced and the career paths of existing talent will change direction often and sometimes dramatically to fit the emerging generation of marketing. Individuals will need cross functional skills that can track transformational technologies as well as help to humanise consumer experiences.

Ultimately, marketers of the near future will need to have the knowledge and skills to continue creating the experiences that people want to consume. And teams will need to be assembled and structured in a way that allows for a dynamic, fluid and responsive approach to campaigns that will excite, engage and provide consumers with experiences beyond anything that exists today.