Nov 2018

Closing Skills Gaps is the Urgent Priority for Digital Marketing Leaders

Dallas, TX - Marketing organizations today are not prepared to embrace digital changes and believe their workforces lack key technology and business skills needed to succeed. This was the key finding in a study released today by the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI), the global standard in digital marketing professional learning and certification.

The report, 20/20 Vision: A Marketing Leader's View of Digital's Future, shares insights from a survey of more than 200 executive and senior marketing professionals worldwide about critical challenges and opportunities for marketing teams and businesses in the lead up to 2020.

Marketing leaders revealed that as digital technologies continue to evolve, the knowledge and capabilities of employees lags behind, leaving many organizations playing catch up. To address this skill shortage, 82 percent of respondents indicate that their organization needs to invest more in staff training and development to upskill and reskill their marketing teams to remain competitive. This training needs to address not only gaps in technical skills, but also business skills including strategy and planning, analytics, research and leadership.

"As digital technologies rapidly transform business, marketers are recognizing the need to invest more resources in training and close skills gaps. There is an urgency to cultivate a talent pool that possesses the skills necessary to help their organizations remain competitive and relevant in the digital economy," said Ken Fitzpatrick, CEO of the Digital Marketing Institute. "To be successful in 2020 and beyond, a culture that promotes professional development, upskilling, and reskilling is going to be just as important in digitization as emerging technologies, effective strategies and increased budgets."

Technology Advancements Create Need for New Skills
When marketing leaders look ahead to 2020, more than two thirds of respondents cite app technology and artificial intelligence as the most important emerging technology, followed closely by social customer service and emotional engagement.

As organizations embrace these new technologies, there will be a dramatic change in the technical skills required by marketers. While today, leaders responded that the top three most important technical skills for marketers are content marketing, social media and website design and optimization, over the next few years only social media will remain a top priority. By 2020, mobile and marketing automation will take the top two spots as digital marketing priorities evolve.

"It is imperative that we invest in and take action on hiring talent that will keep pace with technological change," said Ty Heath, LinkedIn global lead for market education and member of the DMI Global Industry Advisory Council (GIAC). "The incoming wave of marketers aren't fully prepared to find footing in the shifting digital landscape that now exists. We need to move thoughtfully and quickly to meet the transformation in marketing and sales."

The full report, 20/20 Vision: A Marketing Leader's View of Digital's Future, is available for download here.

DMI is hosting a webinar on Wednesday, Dec. 5, to review this global research and explore the main trends affecting the digital marketing profession now, and in the future. Click here to register, or to listen to a replay of the presentation following the event.

DMI recently announced its U.S. expansion with a new office in Dallas to address the industry's education gap for imperative marketing skills. It also announced that HubSpot Academy selected DMI to provide exclusive sales and marketing training content.