ALEx stories

Close The Year, Close the Marketing Skills Gap

Chelsea Iversen Dec. 19, 2019

For marketers, 2019 has been a year of growth.

Media and Communications hiring in the U.S. is up by 40 percent compared to last December. The industry now encompasses more touchpoints, job descriptions, and business functions than any previous years.

But such explosive growth leaves a gaping hole between expectations and real-world execution. Now more than ever, marketers are trying to close the marketing skills gap as quickly as possible so they don’t get left behind. In a recent UK-based survey, only 37 percent of marketers said their teams possessed all the skills they needed to deliver on their marketing objectives, whereas more than half (54 percent) admitted that their team was short on marketing skills.

So what are the biggest areas of concern? Here are just a few marketing skills gaps that are still looming as we close out 2019 — and solutions to help you close them in the new year:

Martech value

There has been a flood of martech agencies this year, providing nearly every service you can think of — from data visualization to conversational marketing and chatbots. Here’s a look at Scott Brinker’s 2019 Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic, which gives us a good look at what marketers are up against. (Hint: there are several thousand martech brands listed on there.)

Deciding which tech to deploy in a sea of services can be overwhelming, and marketers need a team that understands the ROI of everything in the marketing stack. Everything. Otherwise, how do you know what value (if any) the tech you’re deploying is adding?

Marketing skills gap: Understanding the ROI of the marketing stack

Solution: Create a flowchart to visualize your marketing stack (including deployments and needs), and train your in-house team to identify gaps and track ROI.

Data science

Marketers are collecting more consumer data today than ever before. There’s so much data available, in fact, that marketers often struggle with understanding what to do with it. That’s why they’re turning to talent with expertise in processing and analyzing data. That’s why data scientist job openings have increased by 56 percent since 2018.

Marketing skills gap: Analyzing marketing data and putting it to use

Solution: Make sure your existing team knows the basics (things like third-party data and deterministic vs. probabilistic data), and consider using data analysis tech or an agency to help.

Digital trends

Marketing leaders are looking to their teams to lead initiatives and keep up with trends. They need people who are in the know all the time. There’s no way one CMO or head of marketing can keep up with it all — and that’s where a well-developed team comes in. But, it’s tough to find talent with digital expertise when tech is changing every day.

Marketing skills gap: Keeping up with trends

Solution: Try subscription-based learning to let your team train themselves on new trends in marketing and advertising as they happen.

Want to learn more about how to close the marketing skills gap in 2020? Read our new report: Generating Value in the New Era of Marketing