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The Digital Marketing Talent Gap


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How to solve the digital marketing talent gap | Tested Digital Expert Ltd 2015

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The Digital Marketing Talent Gap

  2. 2. Background:  The Online Marketing Institute revealed that almost 750 global ad agencies face a serious lack of digital marketing skills. They claim there is a large talent gap between the skills that team members should possess and digital skills they currently have. Did you know over 90% of companies interviewed, felt they lacked digital skills? Can academia overcome this gap?
  3. 3. Research:  The report consisted of several key findings. The majority (71%) of large companies who took part believed their digital marketing team was strong in some areas, but weak in others. Furthermore, 15% of firms felt their team’s digital marketing skills were average whereas only 8% felt they were strong across all digital areas. Although most companies felt there was indefinitely room for improvement, only 22% on companies had a level- setting programme for improving skills. As a result the negative effects of the gap in these organisations are inevitable. Although three quarters of brand managers said having digital marketing skills were essential when hiring, 30% had difficulty distinguishing between candidates with the right skills and those without. In addition, only 10% used tests to measure digital marketer’s existing knowledge and skills. Thus meaning there is a large proportion of marketers who do not possess sufficient levels of digital skills to increase their firm’s competitiveness (profitability) against rivals. Working in digital marketing requires a vast amount of knowledge in various areas, such as; data, IT, corporate marketing, sales, PR and much more.
  4. 4. The Problem:  One reason for this gap could be due to organisations still using traditional hierarchal structures, where each division is separated into departments without much collaboration. “Hybrid” marketers are essentially the future of marketing as a whole, as they are tech-savvy in addition to being skilled in various regions, thus reducing the number of employees in organisations. Moreover, Universities have also been scrutinised for not regularly updating their marketing programmes, leading to a shortage of digital skills.
  5. 5. The Solution:  However, one solution comes from digital agencies, who are proactively seeking to close the digital gap through offering training initiatives to marketers and graduates. Digital Annexe, The Knowledge Engineers and techUK are just a few of the companies offering digital training programmes in order to increase marketing effectiveness, add business value and boost employee productivity.
  6. 6. The Solution:  Moreover research has illustrated that the UK will need an extra 745 000 digitally skilled employees within the next 3 years in order to keep up with the digital world. Therefore the UK government is reacting by pushing advanced technology based GCSE’s, such as app coding integrated into education in 2015.
  7. 7. The Solution:  In addition, Capgemini estimates that over 4.4 million IT jobs will be created by Big Data in 2015, however only a third will be filled so the need for such talent is now more imperative than ever.
  8. 8. The Solution:  UK University course leaders are also trying to address the talent gap in this rapidly changing market by launching new MSc’s in Digital Marketing at Universities such as the University of Aberdeen and the University of Chester. The primary aim of this new skills based course is to prepare current students for their demanding jobs through teaching digital marketing strategies, research methods, analytics tools and much more. This response from an academic perspective ensures marketing post- graduates have the relevant knowledge and skill set required in establishing a successful career in digital marketing.
  9. 9. The Solution:  Furthermore, Marketo – a leader in digital marketing software, is also supporting academia’s role in closing the talent gap by collaborating with Universities on digital marketing degree courses. Conversely, one problem in teaching a subject such as Marketing is that it is constantly changing and developing with the innovation of technology. Therefore creating an adaptable and agile marketing syllabus is fundamental for these Universities, in order to form a well prepared marketing workforce for the years to come.
  10. 10. Conclusion:  Overall, this talent gap has been described as “a war for talent” as technology based organisations are facing an acute shortage of the minority of “hybrid” digital marketers. However, this industry is making steady progress to ensure the next generation of marketers are well equipped through the aid of academia. Universities as well as digital agencies are now trying to bridge the ever increasing gap, but will it be enough?  Note: This article is the first of an ongoing series related to the Digital Marketing Talent Gap.
  11. 11. Our Aim:  At TDE, we aim to provide you with insightful information on the latest digital marketing news, so make sure you sign up to our blog and like/share our posts!
  12. 12. References:  branding/there-digital-talent-gap-154709  launches-research-institute-can-it-close-the- digital-marketing-talent-gap/  13/11/digital-marketing-skills-infographic/