HomeBlog Bridging the Marketing Skills Gap

Bridging the Marketing Skills Gap

May 06, 2013|Jennifer Ross

As the complexity of the b-to-b marketing landscape grows, one of the challenges that marketing leaders face is identifying the skills needed across the marketing organization. The infusion of technology in marketing has introduced the need for a specialized technical skill set in areas such as digital, social, mobile and CRM.

As the complexity of the b-to-b marketing landscape grows, one of the challenges that marketing leaders face is identifying the skills needed across the marketing organization. The infusion of technology in marketing has introduced the need for a specialized technical skill set in areas such as digital, social, mobile and CRM.

Some organizations are addressing the skills gap by establishing demand centers – central or regional hubs of shared marketing services where these specialized skills reside and can be leveraged by other marketing resources. Whether or not you have a shared services model, it’s important to assess the entire marketing organization to determine whether it possesses the skills and knowledge required to effectively execute your marketing strategy today and in the future. You also need to focus on maintaining those skills across the organization. Here are a few considerations for bridging the marketing skills gap:

  • Develop marketing certification. Learning the latest and greatest developments in a specific field enhances an employee's contribution. Implementing a marketing certification program designed to meet the needs of your organization not only ensures you have a plan for addressing a skills gap, but it also provides a structured path and incentive for marketers.
  • Allocate budget for training. When it comes to budget allocation, many marketing leaders are tempted to sacrifice training dollars for more spend on demand programs. Ensure that budget is allocated for skills enhancement and that employees are obligated to make use of the available training budget.
  • Establish performance objectives. Annual performance objectives for most marketers are geared toward contribution to pipeline and attainment of revenue goals. However, it’s important to include goals and objectives that address professional development. Career progression planning provides an opportunity to design a development program that maps to the needs of the organization and fulfills employees’ desire for growth.
  • Evaluate potential hires. Specialists have in-depth expertise in certain areas, but they may lack the broader leadership skills necessary to be effective in generalist roles. However, generalists often do not possess enough in-depth knowledge to excel in the “new” b-to-b marketing world. Ask interview questions that reveal a candidate’s adaptability, level of comfort with complexity and problem solving skills. An example of a concept learned in the past and applied in a different way can be an indicator of a candidate’s learning agility.

 

Jennifer Ross

Jennifer Ross is Senior Research Director of Marketing Leadership Strategies at SiriusDecisions. Throughout her 20 years as an executive-level marketer, Jennifer has employed integrated, multi-channel inbound/outbound marketing campaigns to generate demand, increase brand identity and awareness, and drive business growth. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @Jenross17.

Join Us at #SDSummit