Mind The Gap: The Ever-Growing Skills Gap For Digital Marketers

10 mins

Year on year, the digital economy continues to scale, having an inescapable influence on org...

Year on year, the digital economy continues to scale, having an inescapable influence on organisations across the globe. As a result, businesses inevitably have had to embrace the evolving technological landscape in order to compete in the global economy.

The numbers speak for themselves. By 2020, it is predicted that the intensified use of digital technologies could add $1.36 trillion to total global economic output. But of course, there is one issue – the overwhelming skills gap in this space.

This isn’t news to anyone. Marketing & Digital professionals recognise the need for ground-breaking skills to match the fast evolving digital opportunities that have arisen over recent years.

So, what is the root of the issue?

Undoubtedly, the need to go digital has been accepted by all. Marketers have had to come to terms with the fact becoming more digital is critical to businesses being able to grow and compete with one another. However, modern marketers feel they don’t have the necessary skills.

Traditional marketers struggle to upskill, marketing students graduate on a syllabus that doesn’t even scratch the surface on digital technologies, not forgetting digital professionals possessing inconsistent abilities due to a lack of training across the board.

From data analysts and CRM positions, to PPC and paid social, new roles are being created all the time. A strong marketing team in today’s era should be built around a healthy balance of creative flair and analytical intellect, a right-brain and a left brain so to speak. Below is a brief list of some of the emerging roles that are in high demand from businesses across industries:

- PPC – with paid search continuing to drive significant acquisition in the e-commerce sector, the number of businesses - investing in this specialism is only growing.
- Content – keeping your consumers engaged with compelling and insightful content is a big priority for marketers now, with both ‘traditional’ written and more ‘modern’ content such as video & audio all playing a part of a wider content strategy.
- SEO – search engine optimisation roles are highly sought after – who doesn’t want to be on page one of Google?
- CRO – specialists in CRO are becoming hard to track down as businesses become increasingly reliant to optimise the flow of traffic and conversions of a website.
- Digital Acquisition – an ‘all round’ digital marketer is extremely difficult to come by. A lot of marketers now are focusing on a specific digital channel, rather than experience in paid, earned and owned.
- UX Designers – this role has become the ‘talk of the town’ in the world of tech, with rising demand for designers who can create user-centric web designs.

Speaking with the experts…

“Over the last 10 years, I have seen an evolution from full-mix marketing to the birth of digital marketing as its own sector. From that, key areas within the digital space, such as CRM, analytics, performance marketing from PPC and paid social have developed. I’m finding new roles are being created all the time, in my opinion, due to a lack of evolution in the education system. There is a complete skill-set gap for some of these digital channels.”

Andy Sellers, Co-Founder of 3Search, Digital Recruitment Agency

“When I ask my clients who run digital and marketing functions what roles they find hardest to recruit, more often than not the answer is junior level performance marketing vacancies. When trying to understand why this is the case, it becomes clear that there just isn’t the volume of applicants with this skill or knowledge in the market available to them. Finding new candidates with this experience is often our biggest challenge and we need to be creative in how we source this in demand skill set for our client base.”

Michael Judkins, Senior Marketing Consultant, 3Search

“The roles in e-commerce are proliferating. They’re getting more specific and detailed and finding people who have the relevant experience is really tough. Many businesses are fighting for the same roles in London, from front-end development and UX, to anything around product management and development.

Angus Jenkins, E-commerce Leader, Figleaves

Take a look at the full video, as part of our 3Search Meets series, here: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6544172175836893184

Bridging the Gap:

As part of our contribution to make a change and help clients find top candidates, we are hosting an event for all those working in Performance Marketing roles. Whilst delving into a slice of pizza (or two), we are hosting a Q&A on the future of performance marketing and how it will impact your career.

To find out more about this event and attend, please click the image below to grab your ticket!


3Search is an award-winning UK recruitment consultancy, specialising in marketing, strategy & transformation, and tech positions. Whether you’re seeking new talent or looking for your next career move, we can help. Learn more at www.3search.co.uk.

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