Marketing skills have become an increasingly urgent topic for b-to-b CMOs. Marketing leaders are faced with a growing skills gap fueled by sweeping organizational and technological changes affecting the marketing function. In SiriusDecisions’ 2016 global CMO study, 81 percent of respondents indicated that they plan to increase the use of external providers to acquire specialized skills, while 77 percent of respondents stated they plan to revise or enhance the skill set of existing marketing staff. These responses aren’t mutually exclusive, as 96 percent of respondents indicated that they plan to do both. The data is clear – an overwhelming majority of CMOs plan to acquire, revise or enhance the skill sets within their marketing function over the next two years.
When CMOs were asked to select the skills that are most critical to revise or enhance for their organization over the next two years, these were the top five responses, in order of priority:
Unfortunately, the skills gap issue facing marketing leaders isn’t going to spontaneously fix itself. CMOs must use a combination of new hires (when talent and funding is available), specialized external providers, and formalized marketing training programs to gain the skill sets needed for their organization. Given the priority of improving marketing skills, SiriusDecisions recommends that CMOs establish a dedicated marketing enablement role or team within their organization to provide focus around internal marketing professional development.
Interested in learning more about improving key marketing skills through enablement? Join us at SiriusDecisions 2017 Summit in Las Vegas in May to learn more about “Marketing Enablement: The Most Critical Function You Don’t Have.”
Marcia Trask is a Research Director at SiriusDecisions. She brings over 20 years experience to the Marketing Operations Strategies advisory service. Her areas of expertise include marketing technology, process development, strategic & campaign planning, organizational development, and sales alignment/enablement. Follow Marcia on Twitter @marciatrask