MOM Study: COVID-19 saw advertising and marketing firms benefit due to digitalisation

Out of approximately 256,000 people employed in the month of June 2020, 15,200 of them are found to be from the marketing and advertising industry. According to a recent report by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), COVID-19 has affected the firms offering professional services unevenly. While the architecture and engineering subsector, law firms, and accountancy subsector have been negatively impacted, the accelerated pace of digitalisation has benefitted firms offering consultancy, design and advertising and marketing with their digital expertise.

The report added that the demand for advertising and marketing roles such as content strategists, community managers and commercial and marketing sales executives remains high. This comes as companies seek to stand out among the growing number of competitors in the digital sphere.

Skills that enhance career prospects in advertising and marketing include transferable ones such as account management, customer service, data analytics, data management, sales and business development, marketing, and social media management.

MOM's report added that skills to be acquired include digital marketing strategies, marketing data analytics and visualisation, as well as digital content strategy.

The salary range for commercial and marketing sales executives was found to be from SG$2,250 to SG$4,500, with SG$3,250 being the average. Meanwhile the salary range for advertising and marketing professionals ranged from SG$4,750 to SG$9,500, with SG$7,250 being the average. A more in-depth salary guide into different roles can be found here.

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In efforts to help mid-career jobseekers who do not have the required skills but are keen to join the industry, MOM has offered career conversion programmes for digital advertising professionals, content strategies and in-house digital communications. Mid-career individuals can also apply for company attachments under its SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme in roles such as digital media assistant, content producer, project executive and social media executive. These roles are also available to fresh graduates under the SGUnited Traineeships Programme, according to MOM.

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Additionally, MOM found that design services, especially in user experience/user interface (UX/UI), gained prominence recently as businesses sought to enhance online presence and digital touchpoints. The sector saw 19,200 people employed in the month of June. Graphic and multimedia designers and artists are found to be earning a salary range of SG$6,750 to SG$9,250, while interior designers and decorators were found to be earning a salary range of SG$2,900 to SG$4,600. 

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Transferable skills that could enhance career prospects in the design sector include design thinking, data visualisation, negotiation skills, and stakeholder management. Meanwhile, skills to be acquired include interactive design and user experience research methodology. For mid-career jobseekers who are keen to join the design subsector, MOM also offers career conversion programmes for designers (furniture and lifestyle) as well as UX/UI digital or spatial professionals, which it said saw a 40% increase in uptake since the pandemic.

The demand for digital capabilities in the advertising and marketing industry is not new. Earlier in August, a report by Kelly Services Singapore, developed in collaboration with SkillsFuture Singapore, also showed a high demand in digital roles such as digital marketing executives, digital marketing managers, and digital marketing specialists. Furthermore, digital marketing ranks second in the list of top skills sought after in the industry, following sales. Other skills that are sought after in recent months also included delivery optimisation and eCommerce campaign management.

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