Digital Marketing Talent Study: Skills Are Inflated and Talent Is Slim

November 5, 2013 by

New research by OMI, in partnership with ClickZ and Kelly Staffing, reveals Fortune 500 companies and global agencies face a serious digital marketing skills shortage.

I'm thrilled to announce the release of our new 27-page study, the State of Digital Marketing Talent: Part 1 (Overview).

This past summer, we surveyed 747 executives from the Fortune 500 and global agencies on the state of digital marketing skills and training within their companies. Grab your free copy here (worth over $495).

Overall, the study found that executives are unhappy with the skills of digital and social media team talent, and there is a large talent gap hurting sales, employee retention, and marketing ROI.

But there is good news too!

This is also a tremendous opportunity for marketing and advertising leaders to gain a competitive advantage through digital marketing training and level-setting programs.

Here are some of the key findings of the report:

There is a large talent gap—a substantial difference between the digital marketing skills team members should possess, and the skills they currently have.

71% of large companies believe their digital team is strong in some specialities, but weak in others, with sizable gaps in every area studied.

Only 8% of those surveyed believe their employees are strong in all areas of digital marketing.


Brands and agencies perceive spotty levels of knowledge, skill level and experience.

There is a need for talent at each level (entry, mid-tier and executive), with knowledge and skill gaps observed in the most crucial areas, including analytics and marketing automation.

Large companies are in particular need of entry-level social media marketers, and mid-tier managers in content marketing and web analytics.

Agencies perceive particularly strong gaps in mobile, analytics, and marketing automation.

Brands and agencies face challenges in locating talent, and this results in a lack of consistency.

30% of large companies and 24% of agencies are unable to adequately distinguish between individuals with the right skills, and those without.

There are missed opportunities for improving skills acquisition.

Level-setting programs are infrequently used, impeding returns on marketing investment.

Just 22% of large companies have a level-setting program.

Skill assessment plans are used infrequently and characterized by frequent dissatisfaction.

Companies recognize the value of assessment and measurement, yet an absence of standards and insufficient onboarding programs put employers at a competitive disadvantage.

There is a broad sense of entitlement among young employees.

This attitude results in significant risk of career self-sabotage, and interferes with the ability of the organization to generate results.

70% of respondents say that new employees expect to advance or be hired for upper-level positions before proving themselves.

Companies are in need of solid, measurable, and accurate digital talent education.

Programs are sorely needed but few are implementing formal team training programs.

Close to 80% would value an on-demand library of digital marketing classes, with almost 70% being interested in customized eLearning of digital marketing skills or in-person workshops or training

Close the talent gap through digital marketing training and education.

I've seen firsthand how closing the digital talent gap can transform companies through our own eLearning programs.

For the agency, this translates into winning more business and increasing client retention rates.

For the Fortune 500 company, this translates into increasing market share and generating a significantly higher return on every marketing and advertising dollar spent.

And for the individual, it means expanding career opportunities, satisfaction, and salary growth.

If you haven't already, get your copy of the 27-page study now. We look forward to hearing your thoughts. Let's close the talent gap together!

Your evolution starts here. Try our classes for free.10 day free trial

10 day free trial