Half of marketers believe they ‘lack training in key skills for future’

Jul 23, 2018 | Digital marketing skills

Half of marketers (49%) have not received training in the key skills they believe are essential to their career progression and future in the industry, according to new research.

The Professional Skills Census Report, from the Institute of Digital and Direct Marketing (IDM) discusses the challenges facing many marketers in ensuring their skills stay relevant and up-to-date.

The survey identified some important differences between the skills marketers currently employ in their roles to the perceived skills they require for career progression, highlighting 13 key skills gaps that marketers believe need to be addressed.

“In a fast-changing environment, it’s important for marketers and the businesses they work for that they continue to cultivate a range of skills. Not just the skills they use today, but also those they will need in the future,” comments Jane Cave, MD of the IDM.

The survey found that only 1 in 2 (51%) marketers have had training in any of these top priority skills. The majority of these can be classified as direct/digital marketing and management skills, with other key areas including data and strategy/planning. The exact skills that marketers say they need to develop in order to progress their careers include:

  • Direct/Digital skills: Mobile marketing (+19%1), Marketing automation & integration (+12%), Search marketing (+12%)
  • Data skills: Analysing customer data/insight (+12%), Data analysis & reporting (+10%), Data & database management (+7%)
  • Management skills: Appraising employee performance (+16%), Presentation/public speaking (+15%), Marketing finance (+12%), Client/stakeholder management (+9%)
  • Strategy/planning: Optimising campaigns (+13%), Briefing agencies & evaluating performance (+7%), Communications planning & strategy (+10%)

Cave adds: “To attract and retain talented staff, and remain relevant in an environment that thrives on innovation, organisations need to promote a culture of continuous upskilling and reward employees for their professional development. Our analysis of skills gaps helps employers and marketers identify areas where they need to invest time and money in order to remain competitive, address key challenges and take advantage of future opportunities.”

For further information about the IDM’s ‘Professional skills census’ report click here.


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