The 'Professional skills census' report, from the Institute of Digital & Direct Marketing (IDM), investigates the challenges facing marketers in ensuring their skills stay relevant and up-to-date.
The survey identified some key differences between the skills marketers currently employ in their roles to the perceived skills they require for career progression, highlighting 13 key skills gaps that marketers believe need to be addressed.
IDM managing director Jane Cave said: "In a fast-changing environment, it's important for marketers and the businesses they work for that they continue to cultivate a range of skills. Not just the skills they use today, but also those they will need in the future."
The survey found that only half (51%) of marketers have had training in any of these top priority skills. The majority of these can be classified as direct/digital marketing and management skills, with other key areas including data and strategy/planning. The exact skills that marketers say they need to develop in order to progress their careers include:
· Direct/digital skills: Mobile marketing (+19%1), marketing automation and integration (+12%), search marketing (+12%);
· Data skills: Analysing customer data/insight (+12%), data analysis and reporting (+10%), data and database management (+7%);
· Management skills: Appraising employee performance (+16%), presentation/public speaking (+15%), marketing finance (+12%), client/stakeholder management (+9%);
· Strategy/planning: Optimising campaigns (+13%), briefing agencies & evaluating performance (+7%), communications planning & strategy (+10%).
Cave added: "To attract and retain talented staff, and remain relevant in an environment that thrives on innovation, organisations need to promote a culture of continuous upskilling and reward employees for their professional development. Our analysis of skills gaps helps employers and marketers identify areas where they need to invest time and money in order to remain competitive, address key challenges and take advantage of future opportunities."