Digital Marketing Talent Lacking in Key Areas, Large Enterprises Say

November 11, 2013

OnlineMarketingInstitute-Digital-Marketing-Talent-Gaps-Nov2013Fewer than 1 in 10 large enterprise/brand organizations rate their marketing team’s current digital marketing knowledge as strong across all digital areas, finds a study [download page] by the Online Marketing Institute conducted with ClickZ and Kelly Services. That’s not to say that there are deficiencies all around, but rather that the team is strong in some digital areas, but weak or mediocre in others, according to 7 in 10 respondents. Confidence is lacking in some areas more than others.

Currently, about 3 in 4 respondents consider it important or very important for applicants to have analytics skills, but only 37% believe that their current employees are stronger or much stronger compared to the competition. Email marketing is the next-most important skill for applicants (73% considering it important) – and while respondents are a bit more confident in their employees, only 46% believe them to be stronger than other teams.

Confidence is weakest in mobile and marketing automation, with just 29% of respondents considering their teams to be better than the competition in those areas. And while respondents are a bit more enthusiastic about their teams’ skills when it comes to content marketing (41% rating their team better than the rest) and social media (40%), those skills are also more highly valued.

It bears noting that the sample size is quite small. While there were almost 750 respondents to the survey who have a need for digital marketing talent, the above data is confined to the 89 respondents from large enterprises (brand/enterprise organizations employing at least 100 individuals). Still, the preponderance of research supports these respondents’ positions. For example, a Duke University study found that on a 7-point scale (7 = has the right talent), almost 4 in 10 CMOs rated their company’s analytics talent as a 1 (12.9%) or 2 (25.4%). Other research has shown a large portion of agencies and production companies pointing to their clients’ social and content marketing talent gaps.

Add that all up and it’s easier to see why only a minority of marketers feel that their companies are proficient in digital marketing.

Resources are – unsurprisingly – a culprit. 4 in 10 large enterprises complain of not being able to fund the talent necessary for their workload, and more than one-third believe that new grads don’t have the necessary experience. Some find fault in their own practices: only 1 in 3 are satisfied with the way their company assesses new hires. But even with all of that, only 3 in 10 say their company will introduce a formal training program to improve internal digital marketing talent.

And then there’s this: 7 in 10 respondents from large enterprises agree that they’ve seen a sense of entitlement among young hires. Oh, those lazy, entitled Millennials!

About the Data: The web-based survey was fielded from August 18-26, 2013.

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