Combatting the data and analytics skill gap in the marketing industry 

Data displayed on a tablet and print outs.

Andy Rice is the director of demand generation at Act-On.

Research shows that almost half of businesses are recruiting for data and analytics roles, yet 46% of businesses have struggled to fill these roles over the last two years. As marketing evolves, these skills are increasingly important for the industry. With this unprecedented growth in job vacancies, marketers must adopt new strategies to attract and retain talent in marketing roles. 

As a business’ martech stack grows, so does the demand for highly-skilled marketers to help process large data sets. As a result, the competition for talent across all industries is fiercer than ever before.

Hiring managers are best positioned to meet the demands of skilled data and analytics gaps through open and forward communication regarding the company’s expectations from new hires.

Transparent recruitment

To be successful in hiring, be transparent with prospective employees. Be clear about the challenges faced by the company, and how the given role can support and solve these problems. Anyone looking for a role focused on data and analytics wants to know the “why” behind the open request. When you’re transparent about the need for the role, the candidate can better assess whether it’s the right fit for them.

Along with transparency, it can be useful to explore the scope for professional growth and development when onboarding new talent. Marketers starting out in their careers are seeking an environment where their skills and contributions result in a meaningful impact on the goals of the organisation. Businesses must provide opportunities that can allow them to build new skills, capabilities, and experience. Within the organisation itself, recruits must be able to effectively learn and utilise new technologies to connect with customers and prospects. 

The role of automation

Marketing automation can alleviate the pressures on new marketers in several ways. By leveraging an automation platform, professionals can streamline various marketing efforts, allowing them to focus on meaningful tasks rather than time-consuming administrative work. Provided with rich and accurate data, marketers can easily leverage consumer insights to tailor content to what customers and prospects are looking for. Consequently, these platforms help marketers provide greater personalisation, improve efficiency, increase key performance indicators, and drive more leads and greater revenue.

The implementation of AI and machine learning have significantly simplified data processing across various organisations. Utilising these technologies can support marketers, helping identify trends and patterns that cannot easily be analysed. However, companies still require people to process this data and manage the interpersonal aspects. This is why it is important to develop an emotional understanding of the customer and leverage their insights into useful consumer data.

The new marketing normal

The post-pandemic reality has highlighted the power of data, and every industry is looking to fill its skills gap to meet customer needs. Now is the time for marketers to take full advantage of the opportunities and tools available to attract and retain new talent in these roles.

Automation technologies and machines can automate tasks and processes to an extent–but ultimately, the growing in-house demand for skills must be addressed to better utilise these technologies and reap the benefits as a result.

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person? Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.


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