The digital realm has witnessed a notable enhancement in the core skills that marketers heavily rely upon. Nevertheless, the incessant demands of emerging technologies have given rise to a conspicuous skills gap across a myriad of industries. This revelation stems from a comprehensive study conducted by Target Internet, in collaboration with the esteemed Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).
Analyzing the Dynamic Shifts: Insights from a Robust Dataset
This year’s exhaustive report delves into insights garnered from over 10,000 marketing professionals, spanning the years 2018 to 2023. It sheds light on pivotal short and medium-term trends, opportunities, and challenges permeating the marketing sector.
Navigating the Turbulent Waters: Impact of a Rapidly Changing Marketing Landscape
A parallel study conducted by CIM accentuated the intricate environment in which marketers operate. Alarmingly, 19% of respondents expressed their belief that they possess only a fraction of the requisite skills for their roles. More strikingly, a staggering 79% perceived a complete transformation in the skill set demanded by their jobs over the past decade.
As marketers grapple with the assimilation of emerging technologies like generative AI, Google Analytics 4, Web3, an expanding martech stack, and a proliferation of social media platforms, the broadening spectrum of skills expected from marketing professionals continues to burgeon.
The accelerated pace of development mandates that businesses delve deep into their resources, persistently investing in training and development, even amid economic uncertainties.
Charting Growth Amidst Gaps: The State of Marketing Skills
The report discerns an upward trajectory in several key marketing disciplines. Social media exhibits an impressive 8% growth, closely followed by Ecommerce & Lead Generation (5%) and Email Marketing (5%). However, this positive trend is not universal, as Content Marketing (1%), Analytics & Data (2%), and PPC (2%) register more modest increments.
Despite the overall positive trend, improvements in most digital marketing areas remain relatively marginal and far from ubiquitous. A discernible marketing skills gap persists, with certain disciplines experiencing only marginal increases from pre-pandemic levels, and some areas still struggling to recover.
The rapid evolution in the marketing sector poses a challenge for marketers to stay abreast of the latest developments, affecting their teams’ ability to meet business objectives and ultimately impacting the bottom line. Sustained investment in training is imperative to ensure teams possess the requisite skills to thrive in the competitive marketing space.
Unpacking Variations Across Levels: Addressing Skill Disparities
The research brings to light that marketers at various levels have indeed enhanced their skills over the past year. However, a notable regression is observed in some junior roles, underscoring the imperative for continuous training at all levels:
- Interns have seen a commendable 18% increase in their skill levels, particularly in general marketing.
- Assistant/Graduate level roles exhibit the least progress, with scores regressing in four of twelve areas. The sole area of significant progress is observed in Social Media (+9%).
- In contrast, the Head of Department group has progressed in all but one area of capability, while Directors demonstrated advancements in all twelve competency areas, positioning these groups in line with or above the all-seniority average.
Navigating the Confidence-Competence Divide
The benchmark analysis suggests a conspicuous gap between confidence levels and actual skill proficiency across the majority of tech-driven marketing disciplines. With exceptions in Marketing Theory, Email, Ecommerce, and Lead Generation, confidence consistently surpasses actual ability. This incongruity is most pronounced in Content Marketing, Usability, and Social Media.