One of the insightful things that has been said to me recently came from an independent consultant working at a major FMCG client. He said: “The problem here is that we have some people who are world-class at marketing to the masses, but they haven’t got a clue about how to speak to a customer.”
Australia has come up trumps in a new worldwide survey analysing how confident and capable marketers feel about delivering digital marketing activities.
The new Global Digital Knowledge Survey 2014 produced by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Australia and The Knowledge Engineers found 36 per cent of Australian respondents were ‘completely confident’ in their ability to delivery digital marketing, against a global average of 33 per cent. Next in line were UK marketers at 35 per cent, followed by the US (21 per cent).
Australian marketers also proved the most interested in learning more about digital marketing, with 80 per cent stating they are ‘very motivated’. This contrasted with 70 per cent of US respondents and 69 per cent in the UK.
We’re also more confident about delivering digital advertising related marketing activities locally. The IAB report found 40 per cent of Australian respondents were ‘completely confident’, against 30 per cent of UK and 20 per cent of US respondents.
The only area Australians showed less confidence was social media marketing: 34 per cent felt ‘fully confident’, compared with 39 per cent in the UK.
It should also be noted the percentage of marketers still lacking confidence in their digital abilities remains higher overall: More than half of all Australians said they’re still ‘not fully confident’ in their digital strategy, for example.
As highlighted in a variety of recent reports locally and globally, securing the right digital and data skills remains the biggest challenge in achieving success. For example, the recent <i>The big and small of big data</i> report from Torque Data and Sweeney Research together with ADMA found just 10 per cent of senior marketers claim to be using data well, and only 9 per cent said they were driving significant results from big data marketing programs.
In the latest IAB/The Knowledge Engineers report, 80 per cent of Australians said they were not ‘fully confident’ in their data and eCRM skillsets, and 73 per cent said the same of their search capabilities.
Just over two-thirds of Australians also saw a gap in their mobile marketing skill set, despite the fact that they are more confident in delivering mobile marketing initiatives than their UK counterparts. In addition, the percentage of display advertising budget allocated to mobile activities is still smaller in the UK than globally – 14 per cent in Australia versus 23 per cent in the UK.
When it comes to the most important areas of strategic marketing development, 35 per cent of Australian organisations nominated digital and integrated strategy as the area to invest in for the future.
The latest report was based on a survey of more than 8000 media and marketing professionals globally including 423 Australian respondents.
In response, the IAB has launched two new professional development certifications to tackle the skills gap still hindering global digital marketing activities as well as establish a benchmark for digital knowledge. These are the Digital Media Sales Certification, and the Digital Ad Operations Certification.
The programs are assessment-based and certifications are valid for two years.