A third of brands hit by data and analytics skills gap

With a third of marketers saying their business is looking to fill a data and analytics skills gap, brands are prioritising external hires over upskilling existing staff.

The fact brands are waking up to the power of data will not come as a surprise to most marketers, who have seen the analytical side of their role rise in importance over the past couple of years.

While the need for businesses to get to grips with data was prevalent pre-Covid, the pandemic has ramped up the desire to get closer to customers, serving them in real time with new products and services designed for the post-crisis reality.

Exclusive data from Marketing Week’s 2022 Career and Salary Survey reveals demand for data talent has exposed a skills gap brands are fighting to fill. A third (33.4%) of the 4,463 respondents report data and analytics is the main talent issue for their business.

The demand for data skills is followed by content and copywriting talent (17.6%), performance marketing expertise (17.3%), social media talent (15.6%) and ecommerce skills (14.6%).

With data and analytics emerging as the most persistent skills gap for a third of businesses, it makes sense that the role of data specialist has become more in-demand for 27.3% of brands.

Salary Survey 2022: Marketing asserts its strategic power

The next most popular hire among almost a quarter of companies is content manager (24.9%), followed social media manager (23.8%) and performance marketing manager (19.2%). To a lesser extent, marketers have seen demand rise for ecommerce managers (16.9%) and paid social managers (11.7%).

While recruiting to fill the skills gap is a pressing issue for many brands, the survey reveals a clear preference within business to hire external talent rather upskill existing employees.

The data shows brands are almost twice as likely to bring in external talent to bolster their workforce (40.1%) than they are to train existing staff (21.3%).

The analysis suggests the urgent need to fill gaps in data, content and social media roles means companies are on the lookout for talent who can hit the ground running, rather than investing time in upskilling from within.

The challenge for brands is that senior data specialists, social media managers and content managers are in high demand in the current context, as the Covid-fuelled ‘Great Resignation’ means marketers are exploring new career opportunities in greater numbers.

To get a better sense of the skills gap issue, Marketing Week has spoken to a variety of marketers to get their views, looking in-depth at the differences and similarities in hiring priorities based on business size and whether they operate in a B2B or B2C context.

Click here to read the second feature in our series, exploring what the data skills gap means for marketing

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