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70% of UK marketing leaders concerned about digital skills gap

Although 96% of marketing leaders in the UK believe digital marketing is important to the success of their organisations, 70% report they are concerned about a digital skills shortage in the industry.

The study by the Digital Marketing Institute surveyed more than 200 executive and senior marketing professionals worldwide about challenges and opportunities for marketing in the lead up to 2020.

UK organisations are currently experiencing the greatest skills gaps with paid social media advertising (71%), paid search advertising (70%), marketplace selling (71%) and SEO (66%).

The greatest anticipated challenges by 2020 will be keeping up with the pace of technological change (54%), creating engaging digital to contend with noise from other brands (49%), and recruiting the right talent (53%).

Addressing a digital skills shortage

The respondents revealed that as digital technologies continue to evolve, the knowledge and capabilities of employees lag behind, leaving many organisations playing catch up. To address this skills shortage, 83% of respondents in the UK indicated that their organisation needs to invest more in staff training and development.

Some 89% of respondents from the UK reported their digital marketing budgets increased over the last two years, with 39% of those reporting a significant increase, and 83% expecting their digital marketing budget to increase further by 2020.

Ken Fitzpatrick, CEO of the Digital Marketing Institute, said: “As digital technologies rapidly transform business, marketers are recognising the need to invest more resources in training and closing skills gaps. There is an urgency to cultivate a talent pool that possesses the skills necessary to help their organisations remain competitive and relevant in the digital economy.”

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