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Digital skills improvement lags due to tech demands, says CIM study
Tue, 12th Dec 2023

A recent report brought out by The Chartered Institute of Marketing, which analysed data from over 10,000 marketing professionals, suggests that while the core digital skills marketers depend on have improved, the increasing demands of new and evolving technologies are causing a skills gap across the majority of industries.

The IT, Technology and Telecoms industry, which has traditionally lagged behind in several marketing disciplines, is now demonstrating positive growth in numerous areas. This includes a noteworthy 16% increase in Ecommerce skills and a 14% rise in Social Media skills, in comparison to 2021.

The data, gathered from 2018 to 2023, brings to light fundamental short and medium-term trends, opportunities and challenges throughout the marketing sector.

Despite these significant advances, the industry still lags behind the average in many areas. It seems to be overly confident in its skill levels; General Marketing skills have dropped by 5% in comparison to 2021 figures.

Besides, while the industry has a 49% confidence level in its Analytics and Data skills, it has only achieved a skill rating of 34%. Furthermore, the report suggests that there is a requirement for improvements to the industry's digital marketing skills.

Given the growth in new technologies encompassing generative AI, Google Analytics 4, Web3, an expanding martech stack, and an increasing number of social media platforms, it is unsurprising that the range of skills expected from IT, Technology and Telecoms marketing professionals continues to expand.

The report underlines the benefits of businesses effectively leveraging digital platforms and strategies to improve engagement with clients.

Marie Wilcox, Panaseer, CIM South East Chair, comments on the report, "Despite General Marketing, this is an immensely encouraging set of results for the industry's marketing capabilities. There has been double-digit growth in five disciplines, with many others nearly there, providing an excellent launching pad for further development."

With predicted macroeconomic disruptions over the coming 12 months, marketers' capacity to adapt and respond to industry changes will become even more crucial. Continual learning in response to digital skills will enable marketers to address challenges and build stronger relationships with customers, as well as promote their career development.

Summarising the benchmarking study, Daniel Rowles, CEO of Target Internet, said: "This year's benchmark results underline significant opportunities as well as notable risks for all types of businesses."

"Companies and individuals that embrace a culture of continuous professional development will have a real opportunity to stand out, especially with the rapid advancement of technology. Additionally, it emphasises that cutting back on training is an ineffective strategy for boosting productivity and driving growth."