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Customer service and marketing skills:


Approaches to customer service, marketing and communication are evolving, with social platforms increasing in prevalence.

As such, the workforce will need to become skilled in new media literacies to engage with customers and achieve sales and marketing targets.

There is a current cross-sector project underway looking at developing Consumer Engagement through Social and Online Media to improve social platform & marketing skills.


Industry skills needs

Generic skills

In their 2018 Skills Forecasts, IRC’s ranked a series of 12 generic skill categories, in priority order.

Customer service / Marketing (which aligns directly with Social Platform & Marketing skills) received an average ranking of 7th (out of 12) across all skills forecasts.


Priority skills

Social Platform & Marketing skills were also identified to moderate degree by industries that reported on priority skills in their 2019 Skills Forecasts.


The following industries identified Social Platform & Marketing skills as a priority in their IRC Skills Forecasts:

  • Arts, Culture, Entertainment and Design
  • Client Services
  • Corrections and Public Safety 

These industries focused mainly on the need for skills relating to:

  • Self-promotion and marketing
  • Online and social media
  • Community engagement.

Internet job postings

Internet job vacancy postings that contained requests for customer service & marketing skills were examined for occupational trends. This includes skills related to sales, telephone marketing, social media and communication. The chart below compares the percentage of internet job postings in each occupation (ANZSCO Major Group) that requested customer service & marketing skills.

Internet job postings that requested customer service and marketing skills, by occupation (2016-19) 

Source: Burning Glass Technologies’ Labor Insight™ Real-time Labor Market Information tool.

Unsurprisingly, customer service & marketing skills were most often requested for sales workers, with 78% of postings for these occupations containing at least one skill. Clerical and administrative workers and managers also had higher rates of customer services and marketing skills requested. Labourers, machinary operators and drivers and technicians and trade workers had lower rates of these skills requested, suggesting these occupations are less often customer facing.

The following graphic shows examples of occupations where customer service & marketing skills are highly requested, and some examples of the types of requests employers are making for those in these occupations.

As well as the general communication and sale skills, employees are requesting the ability to work with new social media technology such as Instagram and Facebook. For higher level positions there is interest in those who have used their skills in different contexts, such as both sales from businesses to other business and directly to customers.

Case studies

Arts, Culture, Entertainment and Design Industry

The Arts, Culture, Entertainment and Design industry includes a wide range of individuals and organisations who contribute to the creative economy, and is made up of four distinct sectors:

  • Live performance and entertainment: dance and musical theatre, dance teaching, and live production and technical services
  • Music: music performance and composition, music sound production, and music business
  • Screen, media and broadcasting: broadcast technology, and technical screen and media production
  • Visual arts, craft and design: subspecialties across a range of visual art disciplines

According to the Culture and Related Industries IRC's 2019 Skills Forecast, customer engagement through online and social media is a imperative skill for workers within this industry, primarily as these workers often are sole operators and need the skills to communicate and engage directly with their customers (and audiences).

The need for social platform and marketing skills are ever increasing with the growth of social media as a platform to promote, distribute and sell art to a wide range of audiences. In addition, the evolution and growth of the gig economy presents a need for artists to be skilled in self-managing their careers as freelance workers.

According to the Culture and Related Industries IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast, the following changes are expected to impact skills needs for workers:

Artists, art dealers and galleries utilise technology and social media platforms to promote and distribute art, allowing them to reach a greater range of consumers. For example, 91 per cent of galleries surveyed said that they actively use social media to promote their gallery, art and artists. Therefore, workers in the sector require the skills and knowledge to establish a digital presence, engage audiences through digital platforms, and distribute and promote art.

The changes to the landscape of freelancing work will affect the Culture and Related Industries in different ways based on sub-sector and specific job roles. In some areas it may be prevalent, for example, more visual arts, craft and design professionals, have chosen to self-manage their career rather than to depend on galleries or other third parties to help with management.

Client Service Sector

The Client Services sector provides an array of essential services to the Australian public, services which are generally provided across the wider Community Services sector, and include:

  • Career development
  • Employment services
  • Counselling
  • Financial counselling
  • Family dispute resolution
  • Celebrancy.

According to the Client Services IRC's 2019 Skills Forecast, the widespread use of social media and online activities signifies the importance of establishing and maintaining a profile on social media amongst the Client Services sector:

Due to the mass-adoption of online and social media by the general public, it is important for almost every industry today to establish and maintain a high profile on social media. Online and social media is applicable to, and provides benefits to, the Client Services sector, and there is therefore a need for students to develop online and social media skills to aid in their work-readiness. (Client Services IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast)

These skills are of particular importance for celebrants. As highlighted in the Skills Forecast, Commonwealth-registered marriage celebrants are required to undertake mandatory ongoing professional development each year, and this can include activities relating to social media and marketing skills, such as:

  • Social media marketing
  • Knowing how to create appropriate social media content
  • Creating and maintaining a social media presence
  • Social media as a marketing tool
  • Networking using social media.

Updated: 03 Sep 2020
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