ADMA: Shift To Online Accelerates Marketing Skills Gaps

ADMA: Shift To Online Accelerates Marketing Skills Gaps

As more and more business activity moves online, there is a widening skills gap for marketers looking to reach customers in the digital world.

ADMA’s recent Marketing Skills Assessment has found there is a rapid need for marketers to improve their digital skillset.

“The recent ADMA Marketing Skills Assessment shows that gaps exist mostly in the emerging and newer areas of marketing – data science, analytics, CRM, CX, martech and ecommerce – which is perhaps not surprising, but it does indicate a pressing need for marketers to focus on their professional development,” ADMA CEO Andrea Martens said.

“This gap is not the case for businesses that are ecommerce natives, but more for those businesses that are coming from traditional disciplines who have had to quickly pivot and adapt to a new consumer expectation in a shifting, evolving and predominantly online environment.”

Conducted with 136 marketing practitioners and grounded by ADMA’s marketing Capability Framework – which examines the four key marketing operational quadrants (Discovery, Strategy, Planning and Execution) – the ADMA Marketing Skills Assessment was developed specifically for the Australian market.

The research drills down into 12 capabilities and 35+ skills. Insights and trends have highlighted the key skills gaps seen at various levels in the marketing profession, with a view to the future and how CMOs can build their skills to progress professionally.

ADMA Advisory Committee member and The Iconic CMO, Alexander Meyer, was an expert contributor to the recent ADMA Skills Assessment ‘Mind the Gap’ event.

Meyer said while traditional offline businesses must quickly get up to speed with digital marketing principles, those pureplay online businesses are not immune to the skill gap, with many needing to revisit some of the more traditional brand-building marketing skills.

“Most businesses right now have a big focus on doing online well because COVID has accelerated the journey to the digital and online. For us, it’s almost the opposite…we now need to move up the funnel and the competitive landscape has become different and harder because everyone is suddenly trying to win online,” Meyer said.

“In the last 20 years the offline world has really not treated the online world with enough care and diligence, but the online world has been lazy sometimes, harvesting purchase intent so easily through cookies, that we haven’t done enough work on the strategic side. We’re now in this emerging world where there’s not going to be a differentiation anymore.

“The skillset that has become ever more relevant in the last 12-18 months is connected to strategy, brand governance, brand architecture building, really good go to market planning, project management. The professionalisation of project management on the strategic side is where we really saw a need to upskill and hire differently once we’d identified the gaps for the future.”

Fellow presenter and ADMA Advisory Committee member, David Morgan (Principal of MacMORGAN Next Practice Growth), said the CMOs he speaks to all talk about transformation, but they all talk about it differently. And that’s because when we think about learning and the world of marketing, we generally learn from what we’ve done in the past and we try to do it better.

“But the future is very, very different and there are so many new areas to explore, like journey mapping, analytics, behavioural economics. We have to find what we need to do next, and how to upskill ourselves, but experience from the past is not going to help us,” he said.

“We need to undertake capability assessments help us with gap analysis to understand where we are, what skills our teams need to develop and where the gaps are. It’s an exciting time, but it’s also a really difficult time because we’re entering a period of marketing we’ve not been in before and we need to learn new skills in line with that. And we need to do it quickly.”

“This sense of urgency around upskilling and general professional development is one that ADMA have heard loud and clear, having slashed the price of their renowned Digital Marketing Certificate, to further support marketers with this need to maintain and refresh their expertise.

“It’s no surprise that professional development tends to take a back seat when we’re busy getting on with the job. But it’s something we must carve the time out for,” Martens said.

“ADMA is dedicated to ensuring Australian marketers have access to the latest knowledge, training and education to not only be successful in their current roles, but to prepare for the future of the industry and their own career progression.

“And that again is why it is so important to understand the capability of a marketing team, and be able to identify the areas that require attention – to ensure ongoing individual and team success. The skills needed to be successful now and into the future are constantly evolving, and we must keep pace with this change.”

The ADMA Marketing Skills Assessment is a powerful tool providing the data teams need to evaluate their capabilities now, and what will be required for them to succeed into the future. It provides actionable reporting and a training pathway at both the team and individual levels, encompassing every aspect of the diverse marketing profession to provide marketers with a real-world capability blueprint.

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ADMA Andrea Martens

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