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HomeMarketingOverrated: Social media viewed as overly important by businesses, marketers say

Overrated: Social media viewed as overly important by businesses, marketers say

Marketers have once again named social media as the skill that is most overrated by businesses, according to Marketing Week’s 2024 Career & Salary Survey.

For the second year running, more than a fifth (22.5%) of the 3,000 marketers surveyed say social media is the most overrated skill that businesses look for in a marketer, a slight fall on the 22.9% who said the same in 2023.

The same is true regardless of the type of business marketers work in.  Slightly more B2C marketers (24.3%) consider social media to be overrated by businesses than their B2B counterparts (23.7%). For those working in firms with a mixture of B2B and B2C marketing, 20% say social media is overrated.

Digital marketing (15.7%) has overtaken performance marketing (12.9%) as the second-most overrated skill, according to marketers. The order was reversed in 2023 when 16.1% of marketers suggested performance marketing was overrated and 15% said the same of digital marketing.

The rest of the 2024 list of overrated skills is rounded off by SEO (12.2%), advertising and marketing technology (9.6%) and content marketing (9.0%).

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The slightly improved perception of performance marketing this year is telling when you consider that many marketers have had to place increased importance on performance marketing in challenging economic circumstances, as shown in Marketing Week’s 2023 Language of Effectiveness data.

Looking specifically at the responses of B2B marketers, while digital marketing is also identified as the second-most overrated skill with 15%, the third-most overrated skill for B2B marketers is SEO (13.5%) which pushes performance marketing back into fourth.

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For B2C marketers and those who work for firms with a mixture of B2B and B2C, the order is the same as the total sample with digital marketing second (17.1% and 15.3%, respectively) and performance marketing third (14.9% and 12.9%).

ITV CMO Jane Stiller believes the “core competency” of marketing has been “distracted” in recent years by a lot of digital marketing.

“The principles of marketing should be the same: you’re there to drive growth, to understand the customer, to build customer propositions that resonate, to communicate to them and to position them. That classic, traditional marketing,” she says. “I do think those core skills have been distracted by digital tactics.”

Over the coming weeks, Marketing Week will be publishing a series of exclusive news and features based on the findings of the 2024 Career & Salary Survey, including the impact of burnout and the evolution of working patterns. Click here to view everything we’ve published so far.

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