How the Rise of Digital Marketing is Worsening the Talent Shortage

In our digital world, customers hold the power. Instead of relying on sales for answers, they are reading peer reviews on Facebook, researching prices online, and comparing products from their phones while shopping in stores.

All of this easy access to information makes today’s customers more self-sufficient. In turn, fewer and fewer seek guidance from sales.

Because of this shift, businesses are relying more on marketing to create meaningful customer relationships. Relationships that drive brand awareness, customer experience, and revenue.

This is causing business functions to blend as marketing becomes more responsible for customer support and sales too.

The added responsibilities may seem daunting, but it’s doable. Provided that marketing has the right data. And lots of it.

Turning big data into marketing wins

As our world becomes more digital, successful marketers must be part creative and part data scientist. They need big data and they must know how to analyze it to extract insights. Insights that help them take the right actions.

When they do it well, marketers can manage the end-to-end customer experience on their terms. This requires knowing what customers want, when they want it, and how they want it delivered.

Getting it right can help marketers:

  • Stay top-of-mind by increasing relevance. Nearly 50% of smartphone owners use or plan to use their phones for mobile shopping. PlaceCast, a location-based data management platform, helps enterprises capitalize on this trend. To date, PlaceCast states their location-based ads motivated over half of their users to make a purchase.
  • Win and keep customers by understanding them better. American Express Company analyzed 115 variables to predict potential account closures. In the Australian market, they can now identify 24% of accounts that will close within four months. This enables marketing to take proactive actions to reduce churn.
  • Increase sales by raising engagement. High-end retailer Neiman Marcus provides responsive rewards that reflect the customer’s buying habits. They do this by marrying a behavioral segmentation method with a multi-tier membership reward program. The result: Neiman Marcus significantly increased sales of more profitable products to their most affluent, higher-margin customers.

Who’s going to do the work?

So much data flows through social networks, mobile, and email, marketers are investing more into those channels. It’s not just because of the potential gains, it’s also because companies that don’t keep up can quickly become obsolete.

Utilizing big data is so important that over 80% of marketers say that over the next two years, they will rely on technology to engage customers and build trust.

But here’s the problem: Digital technology created such a rapid change in marketing these last five years, the talent pool still hasn’t had time to catch up.

  • 40% of companies surveyed were struggling to find and retain data analytics talent.
  • Data scientists were the third fastest growing skill in demand on Upwork. With a 16% rise in job postings over the past year.
  • By 2018, it’s expected there will be 905,000 more jobs involving data management and interpretation skills
  • 1.5M more data-savvy management roles are expected to open in the U.S. by 2018

Not only is demand outpacing supply, fewer people are looking for jobs. The latest ratio of unemployed Americans to open jobs is a low 1.4 to 1.

What’s more, a growing number of professionals are shunning traditional jobs to go freelance. The latest Freelancing in America survey reports 35% of the U.S. workforce freelances. And that number is growing.

It’s not just the freedom and flexibility that entice these workers. Freelancers report more work satisfaction, control over their career progress, greater respect, and higher income than working 9-5 jobs. Convincing them to give it all up will be a tough sell.

It’s time to get creative

In today’s digital world, business roles are blending, which leaves marketers responsible for more. Mainly more customers and more revenue. Adding to the pressure, companies are demanding that marketers quantify their impact.

It takes skilled people to get it all done. Despite the shortage, the talent you need is out there. But you likely won’t find them using traditional means. Especially when the roles you’re filling seem to shift as quickly as technology advances.

If you don’t already have a strategy in place to fill this new marketing talent gap, get started now. You can see modern workforce solutions by downloading Marketing’s New Talent Shortage: How to Fill the Gap that Tech Created.

This new eBook from Upwork reviews the digital marketing roles in highest demand, how to secure the talent you need, and more. Download it now.