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Marketer study warns of skills shortages in digital marketing in Australia

Liz Miller

Liz Miller, VP of CMO Council

Australia’s marketing industry industry is facing a growing skills shortage, particularly in the area of digital marketing, a new study has found.

The second APAC Digital Marketing Performance Dashboard Report has warned that while Australia may lead the broader Asia-Pacific marketing in the adoption of digital, under investment and a lack of people with required skills could hamper growth in the coming years.

“The biggest challenge that the Australian market is facing is talent, so it is being able to find the right people with the right skill set, particularly around data and technology management,” said Liz Miller, vice president of marketing for the US-based  CMO Council, which commissioned the Asia-Pacific study. 

“The biggest gaps, particularly in Australia, are around the technology and marketing team and people who understand the development of content and the development of the customer but who also have deep analytical skills,” she said.

The latest Dashboard report was conducted by the CMO Council together with Adobe and surveyed 276 senior marketers within the Asia Pacific region.

Miller also warned that many organisations were underfunding their digital operation.

“I don’t think they are managing it right, I think they are underfunding it”, she said.

“Organisations as a global average are spending 25-35 per cent of their marketing budget on digital but in the region most marketers are spending between 10 and 24 per cent.”

David Scribner, head of Virgin Mobile Australia, took part in the study and said it was useful to understand the state of the sector.

“As a company, we try to put the customer first in all of our thinking, and that has been a big influence on how we map out our digital strategies,” said Scribner “We have full support from the senior level for digital, and we allocate our budgets around what we think is the best fit for the customer journey.”

“The main way we measure ROI is from what customers share with us in conjunction with studies we conduct to correlate their involvement in various channels,” he said.

Miller said that these issues would continue to grow in prominence but that the most urgent for Australia was the “talent gap”.

“We have to address the talent gap between people who understand marketing technology and also data,” she said.

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