If you were encountering a growing marketing skills gap at the start of 2020, then the onset of Covid will almost certainly have brought it into even sharper focus.

The rapid technological advances in the marketing industry over recent years, combined with a growing shortage of skilled candidates, has resulted in many companies struggling to keep up with the wheels of change that never seem to stop moving!

Then along came Covid! The pandemic forced all businesses to adapt and implement new ways of working and new technologies at breakneck speed. Business priorities that were at the top of the list at the beginning of the year may now have slipped down the ladder, replaced with the overriding need to deliver the capabilities for employees to work efficiently in a socially distanced world.

Marketing expertise is one of the most important investments a company can make, especially during challenging times when raising the profile of your products and services is more crucial than ever. But budgets that may have been earmarked for recruiting that new marketing professional, or the team training on inbound, may now have been channeled elsewhere.

So how do you go about quickly, easily, and affordably bridging the increasing marketing skills gap that many organisations now face in this new Covid world?

In-house marketing doesn’t always have to be the answer, in fact, it could prove to be a costly mistake in the constantly changing marketing landscape.

The marketing role is no longer just about great ideas. The digital transformation has meant that the job description has evolved to include everything from copywriting to SEO, analytics to graphics. It’s almost impossible for one individual or a small team of individuals to master all the aspects of the evolving marketing role and keep on top of the almost daily advances.

But just accepting this reality and living with the skills gap will inevitably have a long term impact on the future overall success of your business.

Using agencies to bridge the skills gap can be a fast, affordable and effective solution.

Not all in-house marketers are effective copywriters and SEO is still a mystery to many. Finding niche agencies that are experts in the specific skill sets you are lacking will instantly fill a skills hole and give you a head start.

Working with experts in their field will give you instant access to their knowledge, experience, and best practice. They will know the innovative ways to do things and the tools that will deliver. There’s no time spent learning or questioning your abilities. You can run campaigns with confidence that you are spending your budget wisely.

The digital transformation of marketing means there are updates and changes announced on an almost daily basis. It’s an impossible task for one Marketing director or his team to keep up with all of these. Niche agencies have to keep abreast of the constantly changing landscape in their specific aspect of marketing to stay competitive, meaning you don’t have to.

Without recognising the specific skills you need in your team, may mean you rush and recruit the wrong marketing professional. Working with niche agencies, who are experts in specific aspects of marketing, will allow you to see what qualities and skills you are lacking in-house. Taking some of your marketing externally will be a valuable learning experience. It will also give you the breathing space to ensure you are recruiting the right professionals and building a team for tomorrow.

A recent survey by the Digital Marketing Institute found that 70% of UK marketing leaders are concerned about the digital skills gap with talent in short supply.

As marketing technologies continue to evolve this is only going to leave many organisations playing catch-up. It’s time to address it now! Combining a realistic approach to your in-house marketing abilities with continuous training and a willingness to work with outside agencies should help organisations keep up with the pace of change and stay relevant and competitive.


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