Marketing pros are unprepared for digital change, study says
- The workforces of most marketing organizations are unprepared for digital change, according to a report from the Digital Marketing Institute. The institute surveyed over 200 global executive and senior marketing professionals.
- A majority of respondents (82%) believe their company must invest in staff training and development in order to remain competitive. App technology and AI were noted by the survey respondents as the most important emerging tech, while social customer service and emotional engagement followed closely behind.
- Today's marketing professional must be proficient in content marketing, social media and website design and optimization, the institute said. By 2020, researchers predict mobile and marketing automation will be increasingly prioritized as digital marketing priorities evolve.
The study is a reminder of the diverse industries impacted by technological change. While upskilling programs, partnerships and initiatives have trended toward addressing the plight of blue-collar workers, research continues to show that those working in the so-called "knowledge economy" will also need to adapt their workflows.
Digital fluency is a key example of the proficiencies needed for changing times. Analysts in one report predict new tech will leave behind as many as 1.8 billion young, unskilled individuals, many of them marginalized. That could be devastating not only from the consumer perspective, but also from a recruiting perspective. Success in continuous tech learning could lie in harnessing the disruptive technology itself, pushing organizations — in the marketing industry and otherwise — to act now instead of waiting for change.
Nevertheless, it won't be enough for HR to ask workers to adopt this mindset of their own accord. The ability to shift to emerging technologies and away from others will require a digital culture that prioritizes both training on and access to digital tools.