Data analysis is the biggest skills gap for marketing teams

Marketing Week’s 2023 Career and Salary Survey reveals the skills gaps businesses are identifying, with a lack of understanding around data and analytics coming top.

Data and analytics is the most significant skills gap in marketing departments, according to Marketing Week’s 2023 Career and Salary Survey.

This may not come as too much of a surprise, given the increasingly important role data is playing in allowing brands to get closer to their target customers.

More than a third (34.4%) of the 3,000-plus respondents taking part in this year’s survey identify it as an area businesses are looking to improve.

For B2B marketers, the figure drops 29.6%, while for B2C marketers, it’s 34.6%. For businesses with a mix of B2B and B2C, it jumps to 39.6%.

Content and copywriting skills are also lacking in marketing teams, with 21.4% saying their business has identified it as a skills gap. This is followed by a lack of social media skills (20%), performance marketing (18.7%) and ecommerce skills (15.9%).

For B2B marketers, the order from highest to lowest is the same, with 21.5% pointing to content and copywriting skills, followed by social media (18.4%), performance marketing (16.2%) and ecommerce (13.3%).

Why are marketing strategy and brand management undervalued by businesses?However, for B2C marketers, a lack of social media skills is the second highest skills gap (23.1%). This is followed by content and copywriting (20.8%), performance marketing (18.4%) and ecommerce (18.2%).

Performance marketing is the second biggest skills gap for businesses with a mix of B2B and B2C (22%). Content and copywriting is next (21.8%), followed by social media (19%) and ecommerce (16.6%).

But how are businesses bridging these skills gaps? Despite worries about the job market, 43.7% of marketers say their businesses are hiring external talent to plug these deficiencies. Meanwhile, more than a third (34.1%) are upskilling their existing staff, and 31.7% are employing consultancies and freelancers. Just 11.8% are conducting a skills audit.

Social media most in-demand skill for marketersWhen asked if they’re seeing an emergence of new functions within businesses to address skills gaps, 10.7% say this is true for their business, while 69.1% disagree.

Of that 10.7%, 31.1% say data and insights are emerging, 26.5% say it’s ecommerce and digital, followed by content (13.3%), strategy (8.6%), and social media (8%).

Business development (6.6%), general marketing (6.6%), training and graduate programmes (6%), and tech (3.3%) are also emerging.

As part of our Anatomy of a Marketer series, which is based on data from the Marketing Week Career and Salary Survey, we take a closer look at the marketing skills that are needed, necessary and fundamental to success in the current and future environment, as well as those that aren’t.

Check out all the latest 2023 Career and Salary Survey content