A new survey reports that brand marketing has surpassed digital as the most sought after skill by marketing employers.

Recruitment specialists Michael Page asked 500 UK employers to name the best way that marketing departments can boost business in 2013. Brand received 29% of the votes, marking a 10% increase in perceived importance from last year.

Considered in 2012 to be the most prized ability, online and web development fell to 21%, sharing second place with customer relationship management. Social media also experienced a slight dip from last year, dropping from 9% to 6%.

Paul Sykes, managing director of Michael Page, suggests that the decrease in the value of digital marketing reflects a “cautious and competitive” market, in which “brand differentiation” is crucial to success.

For a more detailed report on the various areas of marketing to specialise in, read our article on the subject.

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