The marketing year in review
Sandra Lawler, managing director of marketing recruitment firm Alternatives, looks back on 2013.
* What were the key trends of 2013 for you?
"Our business is up 30pc this year -- that's a good indicator of the level of vitality that's returned to the marketing industry. E-commerce hit its stride in 2013 and, moving forward, will become even more critical for success as retailers and brand owners take the battle for share and revenue from bricks and mortar stores to the online sphere. Digital marketing came into its own and for many businesses now has virtually equal importance with traditional marketing -- it's no longer an optional extra but a 'must have' spend. Experienced e-commerce professionals were in high demand but short supply.
Another mantra in 2013 was customer loyalty.
With positive consumer sentiment gradually creeping back this year, brand owners have been investing even more in loyalty experts, loyalty schemes and other promotions designed to retain customers and attract new ones.
The skill set required by marketing professionals continued to broaden this year, with marketing leaders taking on more ownership of CRM, data analytics and customer experience. Demand for marketers with these skills sets increased."
* What does 2014 hold for marketing professionals and vacancies?
"Irish business looks set to increase spend in 2014 following the end of the bailout and a return to some degree of normality.
Operational budgets which were cut and trimmed in previous years remained static or increased moderately in 2013 -- that in itself was good news.
The growth in export markets has been a backbone of the economy in the recession. As we enter more positive economic times its importance will continue -- firms and personnel with international experience look set to thrive."