Emerging Roles in the Digital Economy

Emerging Roles In The Digital Economy

Over the past ten years, a huge array of never-before-imagined jobs have emerged while companies navigate the digital space.

Navigating all the new roles being created by the digital economy can seem daunting. But this is why I chose to write this blog.

What are the talents you should be looking for as your company evolves and how do you support your current teams helping them grow as their job have evolved?

The evolving job market is challenging professionals to continually hone new digital skills to help them adapt to new roles that have been emerging over recent years. Digitization and e-commerce boom has opened many new career paths, particularly for those who can combine social intelligence and creativity with analytical skills.

As Forbes points out, “Though technology has made certain occupations all but obsolete, it has also created a wealth of new career paths that didn’t even exist a decade ago.”

Ten years ago, who would have thought that you could make a career out of influencer marketing? Who could have imagined “chief listening officer” gaining prevalence as a job title? Yet, we’re now hearing job titles like “e-recruitment specialist” and “growth-hacking manager” being tossed around on an everyday basis.

Why? Companies are rebundling tasks into new job roles as automation changes what humans do on the job. As a result, companies are becoming smarter and more creative as they learn to leverage their human potential more effectively.

You might be wondering what qualities and skills candidates need to bring – and employees need to hone – to fill these emerging roles. We’ll now go deep into some of those specifics, pointing out which skills people can learn and which ones they should start out with.

Influencer Marketing Manager

With the abundance of ads bombarding your target market every day, it takes more to hook a new lead or customer than ever before. Leveraging the voice of influencers gives the brand credibility and visibility in an increasingly crowded market, helping innovators connect with their target market faster and more effectively.

In fact, entire companies are emerging just for this purpose – though you can do it in-house, too.

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Having someone who’s dedicated to the strategic deployment of these messages is key. A great influencer marketing manager will build relationships with influencers while also helping to develop or influence content about products and tracking the results of these partnerships. They will organize events inviting designers, stylists, bloggers, and YouTubers who can debate about the new Fashion trends or highlight the next color of the season presenting their selection of products.

In addition, it creates great content that brands can post on their social media channels to engage with new audiences or re-engage with their current customer database. Some events are also broadcasted live. Some retail brands have innovated with Ambassador programs geared towards specific audiences to tap into specific demographics to engage more meaningfully and drive customers to their sales channels.

What skills are most essential for an influencer marketing manager?

  • Stellar communication skills.
  • A strong understanding of social motivators.
  • A passion for current events, culture, and appetite to understand trends
  • Strong writing and storytelling skills.
  • Emotional intelligence to find the right Brand Ambassadors to reach out to the largest audience
  • Capacity to pick the right products for Influencers to feature them and tap into various demographics
  • Negotiation skills to work on contracts as we have seen an evolution in handling relationships with influencers.

An influencer marketing manager who is naturally funny and witty can help create the scintillating copy to share with influencers. So, someone with strong communication skills and an interest in the world around them can brush up on their writing skills and current events knowledge to take on this role.

At the end of the day, the goal is to build solid content for Brands to engage with new clients or have a constant dialogue with their current audience.

Data Scientist

A data scientist, or data analyst, make sense of the ever-increasing volume of data that companies now have at their fingertips. Having a knack for proposing excellent business ideas driven by data is incredibly valuable for this role. This person needs to have all of the following abilities:

  • Aptitude for synthesizing large amounts of complex information.
  • Ability to structure and explain data.
  • Strong business acumen.

Having a deep understanding of statistics and a proven track record of using data to guide organizational choices is invaluable for this role. Thus, if priming a current employee for this position, helping them hone the ability to clearly explain data to a non-expert audience and talk through how it may influence strategic options will prove vital.

Growth-Hacking Manager

This role involves thinking strategically to further a company’s growth with the help of solid data. While similar in some ways to the role of a data scientist, this one is more focused on the strategic thinking element. A growth-hacking manager needs all of the following abilities:

  • Understanding of the various consumer acquisition channels.
  • Knowledge of how to use data visualization tools.
  • Ability to think strategically.
  • An experimental mindset, thinking outside of the box to identify emerging opportunities.
  • Experience in product development as well as web analytics.

Focus on identifying someone with the self-confidence and imagination to pitch innovative solutions. Look for someone who not only has a vision but also the self-assuredness to persuade the group to believe in the vision, too. For a current employee, mentorship from a leader can help build those qualities.

Paid Search Specialist

A paid search specialist is a master of pay-per-click (PPC) marketing. This role involves researching keywords as well as designing and monitoring PPC campaigns, all while staying abreast of the latest updates in the ever-changing realm of Google AdWords. The most important qualities include:

  • Strong research abilities.
  • Great communication skills so they can communicate with clients and the rest of the marketing team.
  • An agile mindset and a thirst for knowledge (as best practices are constantly evolving).

Employees can be trained in certain skills – like researching keywords – but having an agile mind and inquisitive nature must come naturally.

Consumer Experience Manager

This role helps retain loyal customers by giving them the experience they want. The consumer experience manager (CEM) communicates between various levels of company management and the customers they serve. The following skills will help a CEM succeed in the role:

  • Excellent customer service skills (including patience, empathy, and communication abilities).
  • A background in administration.
  • Ability to synthesize different perspectives to then generate creative solutions to problems.

Look for someone with an aptitude for working with others and generating creative solutions. You can always train them in how the structure of your organization functions, but you can’t train empathy and patience (at least, not in a reasonable time frame!).

App Designer

As the world goes mobile, all companies need a mobile-friendly presence – which requires well-designed apps. Therefore, an app designer should have a knack for graphic design and the creation of intuitive user interfaces. The following qualities are vital:

  • Ability to create visually appealing design solutions.
  • Passion for technology.
  • Strong understanding of content marketing.

Similarly, an app developer can take the app designer’s ideas and turn them into reality through code. A tech-savvy person could work to become an app designer by brushing up on design skills but also their content marketing knowledge.

Recruiting for the Digital Economy

All this brings us to another pressing question: How can you prepare for even newer roles that may emerge within the next five years?

Employees can future-proof their careers by staying agile in their learning. Because jobs are less static now than ever, workers should strive to develop a versatile portfolio of skills. As Forbes states, “It’s impossible to have all the skills needed, but it is possible to prove you can learn new skills.” Showing your hunger for learning and your passion for staying up-to-date on changing trends will put you ahead of the crowd.

Finally, we will continue to see the blurring of boundaries between existing roles, requiring employees to get to know disciplines and roles outside of their own field. As you prepare to hire new talent or help your employees upgrade their own skills, consider whether any of these roles could help you reach the next level of ingenuity and hit your strategic goals.


AdWeek, “How Influencer Marketing Is Fueled by an Age-Old Social Theory”

BBVA, “10 New Jobs Created by the Digital Economy” https://www.bbva.com/en/ten-new-jobs-created-digital-economy/

Chief Marketer, “Influencer Manager: A New Role at Publishers”https://www.chiefmarketer.com/influencer-manager-a-new-role-at-publishers/

Deloitte, “What Key Competencies Are Needed in the Digital Age?”

Digital Marketing Institute, “10 Jobs That Didn’t Exist 10 Years Ago”

Digitalist Mag, “22 Facts on the Future of Work in the Digital Economy”

Forbes, “5 Ways Digital Technology Is Changing Your Job”

Forbes, “15 Essential Digital-Focused Roles Your Company Will Need to Fill” https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2017/10/27/15-essential-digital-focused-roles-your-company-will-need-to-fill/

Forbes, “How to Future-Proof Your Career in a Digital Economy”

McKinsey, “Rethinking Work in the Digital Age”

Neil Patel, “Why Your Team Needs a Growth Manager”


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Elise de Saint Didier

Elise supports DTC and b2b organizations in growing and scaling through hiring the right talent. She spent 15 years as an eCommerce leader building successful organizations.

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