(Promo XTRA) Marketers need to acquire new skills necessary, especially in the areas of analysis, measurement and search engine optimization, which are becoming more important than traditional marketing competencies, such as branding and product promotion, a recent study found.
The study, conducted by marketing solutions provider Coremetrics, San Mateo, CA, entitled The Face of the New Marketer, reveals that the majority of marketers said they needed to improve their abilities in these newer fields and that hiring staff with this expertise is a major challenge. The study also found that traditional education methods are not adequately geared to address the growing shortage of marketers versed in digital marketing techniques.
“This study found that analytics and search engine marketing are being prioritized because they can reap enormous return and have a direct impact on an organization’s online, and even offline, revenues,” said John Squire, VP-product strategy and general manager, marketing services at Coremetrics in a statement. “But, as the marketing role becomes much more scientific, many marketers are finding that they are not equipped with the skills and best practice knowledge needed to tackle today’s challenges.”
The study asked marketers which skills they needed to perform their jobs, which had become the most important over the past two years and which they most needed to acquire or improve.
Seventy-three percent of respondents reported that analytics and measurement skills have become more important over the past two years. These skills are viewed as more important than branding (23%) and product promotion (13%). Eighty-six percent said their decision-making is more reliant on analysis than two years ago.
In addition, the study found that search engine marketing (SEM) skills are becoming more vital to a marketer’s role.
Thirty-one percent of respondents said SEM is the most important skill in their current role, while 60% said that SEM skills have become more important over the past two years. As a result, some 50% said they needed to improve their analytical abilities, 41% said that their SEM skills needed improvement and 83% found it tough to hire staff with these skills. Meanwhile, 71% said traditional training and education methods are not adequately geared to the needs of today’s marketing organizations.
“A divide is opening up between those organizations that have the resources and expertise to optimize their online marketing and those that haven’t, with the former gaining the competitive edge,” Squire said. “Marketers that acquire such skills are becoming the new heroes in their organizations.”
The survey of 120 senior marketing professionals in the U.S. and U.K. was conducted in June.