digital marketing skills shortage in Australia

Australian businesses are increasingly concerned with digital marketing, according to the latest APAC Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard Report, but although we’re leading the Asia-Pacific region in embracing digital, we’re still lagging the rest of the world in our commitment to digital.

Australian companies slow to embrace digital marketing

The APAC report rates each country in the Asia Pacific region on four key measures; mindset, marketing adoption, organisational alignment and marketing skills. Australia and our Asian neighbours score well on mindset and marketers are eager to embrace digital. However, skill shortages (in house and external) as well as commitment from business leaders and the ability to wrestle with big data to make meaningful business cases for digital marketing continue to stymie the advancement of digital marketing in the region.

On average, Asia Pacific countries are allocating 10%-24% of their marketing budget to digital, considerably lagging the average global spend which is currently 25% – 35% of total budget. It is expected that by 2015, digital advertising will account for 29.4% of marketing spend in the region as compared to an estimated 36% of total budget in America.

Digital marketing skills lacking

Part of the issue, according to Liz Miller, Vice President of the CMO Council who commissioned the APAC survey, is finding people with the right skills to effectively understand big data, technology and marketing strategy.

Adobe’s General Manager of Marketing, Brad Rencher echoes these sentiments, explaining in a recent interview with online magazine CMO, that Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) must master both the science and creativity of marketing. “Today, marketing is all about the numbers and understanding how to segment data, utilise big data, back-end technology and databases,” he says.

Concerns over skill shortages started a couple of years ago. Early last year BRW named Senior Digital Marketing Manager the 5th hardest position to fill at the time. The 2012 APAC Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard also warned of skills shortages with almost half of the respondents saying they didn’t believe their current marketing team had the necessary digital marketing knowledge and talent.

Digital Marketing must become more integrated

Renker notes that whilst it was commonplace now for companies to have some kind of commitment to digital marketing and social, they’re both still often treated as the poor cousin of the main marketing department and not properly funded or integrated. His messages to CMOs was clear, “The digital marketing trend is not a fad, or something that will play out in the next one or two years.”

Interestingly, customers continue to embrace digital and are literally “forcing marketing’s hand to adapt” according to the report’s executive summary.

Marketing has always been about measurement, testing, data and consumer knowledge. The real challenge for today’s digital marketing manager is the amount of data coming in… all the time. All of which is entirely useless without the people who understand what to do with and know the pivotal marketing questions they need to ask to make meaning of it.

We believe that companies who master the science, art and numbers of digital marketing first will be hard to peg back in future years.

iFactory specialises in digital marketing and digital strategy for businesses who are keen to effectively integrate digital and social media in their marketing mix. Our talented team of designers, developers and digital consultants invite you to tweet or submit any questions you might have.

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