Increasing numbers of major brands have been looking externally (and urgently) for skills such as UX/UI and software design, a new report has revealed.
The latest Marketers Most Wanted report, produced by agency matchmaking platform StudioSpace, monitors the actual briefs posted by chief marketing officers (CMOs) and brand owners on the platform.
October’s report showed that demand for agency skills in UX and UI design climbed 2.3% since September (to 14.8%), with a variety of brands looking to rapidly prototype new ideas this quarter.
The number of briefs looking for teams with software development skills has also increased over the month, from 10% in September to 11.1% in October, as investment in building new digital products and services continues to grow.
Although social and content briefs retained the top spot on the report (coming in at 18.5% of total briefs) for the fourth month in a row, it is clear that brands are looking to step up their digital processes and re-establish themselves in an increasingly technological world.
Marketing products is important, but these incoming customers need to be held and impressed by the company they’re buying from.
“It’s clear that brands are looking for external resources to boost internal capability as they undergo digital transformation,” says StudioSpace CEO Pete Sayburn.
“Much of this transformation is driven by a move to Direct to customer (D2C), and we’re finding that brands enjoy the flexibility to upweigh or downweigh external UX/UI resources for critical delivery crunch-points.”
Digital rebranding becomes increasingly common as companies gear up for the new year, and brands like Nationwide and MA Financial Group are definitely setting current trends in this respect.
The increase in software development-oriented briefs, reflects again a desire to outsource technical skills and to capitalise on the ever-growing digital landscape.
“Indeed, 2023 saw a 7% increase in app downloads, and it’s clear that brands are looking to participate in this increasingly mobile culture,” adds Pete.
Interestingly, the number of briefs looking for agencies with creative and production skills fell from 10% to 8.6%.
“This is possibly because brands are just coming out of strategic planning and are not yet in ‘execution mode’ for key campaigns,” says Sayburn.
This conclusion is also echoed in the decreasing number of briefs looking at media buying: whilst still ranking in the report’s top 10, demand has fallen by 1.3%.
In contrast, SEO and PPC continues to see a strong performance as marketers continue to invest in digital performance marketing to drive growth.
In this category, briefs are ranging from top of the funnel brand awareness through to bottom of the funnel acquisition, analytics and everything in-between.
October’s report also saw a re-entry from copywriting. Sayburn attributes this to “demand from brands for external help to write compelling copy during ‘awards season’, as well as a need to develop tone of voice for new brands and product ranges.”
As 2023 draws to a close, brands are looking to prepare themselves for an influx of new customers. Whilst for some, maintaining an active social media presence with a consistent tone is a large part of this, many businesses are looking to rebrand and start afresh for the new year.
It can be difficult to know exactly what 2024 will bring, and what sorts of categories brands will continue looking outwards for help with. Luckily, the reports of 2023 are a good place to start.
At an upcoming event Studiospace will be revealing the capabilities most in demand during 2023, and their predictions for hottest trends of 2024. If you’re looking to get ahead of the curve for your brand (or agency!) then this isn’t an event to miss.
You can book a place for the online event at the link below.