Unless you've been living under a rock, it's pretty obvious that marketing has become incredibly technology-focused. Instead of sending out batch and blast emails and conducting other random acts of marketing, marketers are increasingly exploiting the value of data-driven decision making to deliver more personalized communications and engage more effectively with customers. Heading into 2015, 65 percent of marketing executives planned to up their spending on marketing technology this year, with nearly a third planning to increase their spending by at least 25 percent, according to a study by Conductor. But as marketers increase their use of marketing technologies, they're also struggling to address a widening marketing technology skills gap to execute on these efforts, a topic I'd written about earlier this year.Among the 25 hottest skills that got people hired in 2014, four of them were in marketing: SEO/SEM marketing; marketing campaign management; digital and online marketing; and channel marketing, according to LinkedIn. In some cases, marketers are utilizing agencies and other third parties to provide needed expertise to address skills shortages.
Having the right skill sets can help improve marketing ROI and efficiency. For instance, marketing agency R2integrated recently helped a large technology client to clean up its contact list and help them to segment its contacts in a more effectively, according to co-founder Chris Chodnicki.
With marketing technology talent in short supply, some marketing leaders are taking creative approaches to filling the skills gap. Some are stepping up their recruitment of college grads who are digital natives and many of whom can be trained in sorely-needed disciplines such as digital customer experience design. Others are tapping into military veterans groups such as IAVA and are hiring and training veterans to help address their marketing technology skill requirements.
As the marketing function continues to evolve, the roles needed within the marketing organization also continue to change. How marketers go about addressing these needs will be worth keeping an eye on.