Monday, 15 October 2012 13:22

Digital marketing is growing – and so is the skills gap

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Australian marketers are getting better at digital marketing, but many of them lack the skills to get the most from the technology, says a new report by Responsys.

Email marketing company Responsys has released its third annual Big Australia Report, looking at digital marketing skills in Australia. The report says that Australian digital marketers are “increasingly savvy, but still face significant challenges when it comes to lack of time, resources and a widening gap in digital expertise”.

Three quarters (74%) of Australian digital marketers say they concentrate of the targeting and segmentation of their digital marketing campaigns more than the sheer volume of messages sent (28%). This underscores that digital marketers are taking a more sophisticated approach in the way they engage with their audience.

But at the same time, the report shows that half (52%) of digital marketers say that their team is not sufficiently equipped to analyse and action the amount of customer data available through digital channels. In addition, while half (49%) of marketers expect digital marketing budgets to increase in the next twelve months, and only 37% intend to employ additional digital marketing staff, suggesting that the workload of today’s marketer is set to rise further.

Over half  (57%) of Australian marketers feel there is a lack of digital expertise in their organisation, and more than two thirds (70%) believe they have equal or more digital marketing experience than their manager, suggesting that the gap in digital expertise is widening among Australian marketers.

Simon O’Day, Vice President of Responsys Asia Pacific says there is “an increasing divide between marketers who are using technology to build lasting, individual relationships with consumers versus those who rely on mass distribution of messages.

“While it’s encouraging that skilled marketers are now focusing on more targeted forms of digital communication, a significant number are failing to use existing customer data to optimise and execute smarter campaigns. It’s clear that the next generation of talent is pushing those in more senior positions. Unless Australian marketers start moving with the times, in a few more years we may see the younger, savvier digital marketers landing the top strategic marketing jobs over their older and less digtally aware counterparts.”

Other key findings from the report include:

  • More digital execution is now done in-house. Just over a quarter (28%) of Australian companies surveyed outsource digital marketing activities, compared to more than half (57%) in 2011. This indicates that those with digital marketing skills are becoming more confident at executing their own campaigns.

  • Less than half understand the impact of the proposed e-Privacy legislation on their business. Less than one quarter (22%) say they understand, and another third (35%) have only a partial understanding. This suggests that digital marketers are not prepared for the ramifications that the proposals could have on their day-to-day activities.

  • Digital marketers anticipate sending higher volumes of email, mobile and social media messages. In the next year, 70% of digital marketers expect to send a higher volume of email campaigns and 64% plan to send more individual emails. In addition two thirds (68%) of digital marketers believe they will send more social media messages and almost half (48%) anticipate the volume of mobile campaigns they send will increase.

The full report is available at no cost, with registration, from Responsys’s website.


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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson sadly passed away in Jan 2021 and a much valued senior associate editor at iTWire. He was one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is the author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’

He was in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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