Marketers Want to Learn How to Use Cutting Edge Tools, but Many Companies are Falling Behind


Are the robots actually going to take over? It sounds laughable to some and frightening to others, but a McKinsey Institute report says that automation and robots could replace 800 million jobs by 2030. And while most of those jobs will likely be administrators and construction equipment operators, there is simply not a world in which marketers in the future opt out of learning how to use automation and new digital tools. The problem is, the majority of companies that employ marketers are not yet utilizing the cutting edge tools that marketers need to master in order to continue to have strong, relevant skills for the future.

“We’re all going to have to change and learn how to do new things over time,” McKinsey Institute partner Michael Chui told Bloomberg.

In the 2018 Marketing Hiring Trends Report, we reported that digital marketing remains the most in demand skill across the marketing ecosystem (59 percent of marketing teams are in need of a team member with digital marketing skills). The trends that are impacting marketing hiring follow rank and file. Automation, technology, and outsourcing are all advancements directly connected to the digital space and made possible by digital technology.

This trend of using technology to get more work done with fewer resources first came on the scene during the financial crisis when marketers, faced with shrinking budgets, had to get creative. But ten years later, automation and outsourcing are the new normal and are not going away any time soon.

While companies have been able to run tighter, leaner ships utilizing these tools, when it comes to strategy, these tools are simply no replacement for humans.

While the trend is that automation and advanced technology are becoming more and more integrated into the world of marketing and will be non-negotiable components of business in the future, alarmingly, only 10 percent of enterprises are considered digitally “superior” according to a recent study conducted by Randstad. In this context, “superior” means companies have fully implemented technologies like automation, artificial intelligence, and collaboration tools in the workplace, as well as invested in strategies for training or reskilling workers to be digitally savvy.

The majority of companies (at 52 percent) are still “developing,” and 38 percent of companies qualify as “proficient,” falling somewhere in the middle of their digital transformation.

In addition, 90 percent of employees desire new digital skills in order to further their careers, according to Randstad. These respondents were largely dissatisfied with the digital tools offered by their current employers. But the benefit is not only to employees for becoming more marketable. If employers embrace technology and help their employees acquire these new skills, it will provide employers with a tangible solution to talent shortages as well as provide a way to attract candidates.

Adopting technologies like automation, artificial intelligence, and collaboration tools would be a win/win for companies who need skilled talent and for marketers who recognize that the future of marketing lies in knowing how to use and manipulate these tools.

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by McKinley Marketing Partners