Resourcing needs for marketing are arising faster than companies are able to fulfil them. This is especially true when we’re in the midst of a candidate driven market.
However, what’s clear is that it’s not just a shortage of skills that we’re facing but also a gap between the resourcing need and the candidates competencies.
Why is there a gap?
A competency gap arises with changing environmental factors.
These could be external factors which are predominantly based on changing economic conditions like:
These environmental factors could also be internally driven from within an organisation, for example:
A change, regardless of whether it is internal or external, creates a gap between where we are today, and where we need to be in terms of resources and the achieving the business goals, and no clear way to connect the two.
This is the competency gap.
In which areas of marketing is there a competency gap?
Whilst there are varying degrees and sizes of skills and competency gaps there are three key areas where the gap is clearly obvious when it comes to marketing:
There is a big trend towards hiring digital marketing professionals. Every industry is being faced with the digital revolution and hence there is a scramble for resources. However, many digital marketers are technically strong, and their knowledge of marketing strategy needs to be assessed properly before they are able to deliver strategic plans and practical insights.
2. Insights and Messaging
Simply put, companies are missing the mark when it comes to presenting a powerful message to their target audience that explains how their offer will solve the customer’s problem. This stems from being unable to utilise on customer insights and capitalise them in a meaningful way.
3. Strategy and ROI
We are seeing more and more marketing professionals who are reliant upon tactics ahead of strategy quite possibly because many marketers are not confident at strategy development and there is an expectation by businesses on delivering rapid “ROI”, which in itself is a false metric for Marketing's overall performance. ROI is useful when evaluating individual campaign results and taking stock of the learning for continuous improvement.
What can be done to bridge the gap?
When it comes to resolving the issue around competencies and bridging the gap, the focus needs to be turned inwards. External factors are rarely within our control and so we must be responsive internally.
Immediately, business leaders can focus on these three factors:
Building competencies as a point of differentiation requires a strategic approach however the benefits are clear: your business will be seen as competitive and a leader; you will attract a higher quality of talent; and you will have a team that is continuously improving and have a greater level of skill that you can draw upon from within.
In this candidate driven market, the competency gap is evident and unavoidable, but it’s not a problem as long as you shift the focus to strengthen your business internally.
If you'd like help with building the right strategic mechanisms for building a world class Marketing team and resources contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org).