Skills & Expertise

Digital Tech Spending is Outpacing the Performance of Digital Marketers

There’s a continuing digital disconnect in marketing

Digital marketing budgets are growing at a breakneck pace, but according to a new report, investments in the essential digital marketing skills needed to handle these larger budgets is lagging far behind. This is particularly true in high-engagement channels and capabilities, such as mobile, video and testing. Translation: although spending on digital technology may be up, the performance of marketers continues to remain stagnant.

BCG, in their recently published report, “A Disconnect and a Divide in Digital-Marketing Talent,” cites that worldwide spending on digital advertising topped $180 billion dollars in 2016, and double-digit growth is expected for 2020.

The consulting firm compared this aggressive digital ad spending to the results of a survey assessing the skills of digital marketers. BCG asked 2,200 marketers at 141 advertisers in 41 countries, and 2,900 employees at 126 advertising agencies in 28 countries, to assess themselves across a digital-marketing framework consisting of nine skill categories. The results were that, on average, marketers assessed themselves as inadequate.

More troubling, is that these marketers’ scores didn’t budge within an 18-month period. This signals a growing divide between mega digital advertising budgets and the strength of the capabilities that actually generate strong return on investment (ROI).

The risk for many advertisers is that they keep falling further behind, as we emphasized in 2015, since digital technologies and the complexity of their application are advancing at dizzying speed. While many companies are struggling to develop digital content and employ social media, digital marketing is already moving toward new capabilities. The most significant may be personalization, marketing to individual consumers at scale.

The moral of the story is that marketers cannot afford to remain stagnant. Without continuous learning, marketers, and the organizations they call home, will be left on the wrong side of a widening digital marketing chasm. It’s imperative that marketers learn constantly; and that advertisers, that want to continue to grow in capability, understanding and reach, give a wide berth for their marketing talent to keep growing.

Mediabistro understands this challenge and our courses are created to meet the needs of the busy, time-strapped marketer that needs to update his or her skills.

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