The Six Biggest Skills Gaps That Post Covid Marketers Are Facing


The last year has meant big changes in terms of what marketing teams have been creating and how marketing teams work together. Using over 40,000 points of data from our Flock Skills Assessment Tool, we’ve been able to identify the top six current core and technical skills gaps marketers are facing in this new world.

Data, Tech and Digital Management

Marketers have a skills gap when it comes to understanding the current issues within the data, tech and digital landscape, navigating risks and applying consistent approaches across the organization, as well as realizing the opportunities that changes may present.

We suggest:

  • Identify markets that are doing well in this area, or create a steering group to develop best practice, how-to guides and immersion programmes
  • Develop education, training and potentially online support services e.g. online tutorial videos
  • You may also consider specifying marketing tech and data dedicated roles, or considering Marketing Operations teams

Channel Knowledge and Innovation

The gaps here are around identifying, leveraging and evaluating the most relevant medium to engage the audience; activating the right message, through the right medium, at the right place and at the right time.

We suggest:

  • Creating Channel Planning Formats and templates, or in-sourcing appropriate research and tools
  • Ensure Agency roles and responsibilities for integrated communications planning are clear, and the agencies collaborating on integrated channel plans
  • Develop an appetite for innovation and provide agency contractors with remuneration incentives for innovation
  • Ring fence budgets for innovation “test and learn” pilot programmes

Digital Media Integration

Another common skills gap is around Digital Media Integration. This skill is about influencing the development digital media strategy and implementing digital media transformation in line with the needs of the customer.

We suggest:

  • Ensure you have SME inside your organisation or have access to independent consultancy, not linked to the agency
  • Training to ensure teams  have the means to understand the new digital media ecosystem
  • Working with your agency to develop ongoing a transparent digital strategy, and reporting  

Digital Excellence

We are seeing a clear gap around the ability to understand, manage and execute a broad range of digital marketing / communications skills.

We suggest:

  • Ensure that there is a clear digital strategy that is a part of a broader marketing strategy
  • Clearly define best practice, roles, processes and KPIs
  • Develop program of L&D
  • Leverage agency resources
  • Ring fence budget for new technology investments

Agency & Vendor Relationships

We very often see marketing teams with skills gaps around clearly defining the type of agency required and managing an effective agency relationship to drive results.

We suggest:

  • Ensure you have clear roles and responsibilities for Agency Management, and each agency is amped into an accountabilities grid
  • Ensure that Agency management is a part of key marketing staff appraisals
  • Training your team on Agency Management
  • Working with procurement to have a clear SRM strategy including putting in place a 360 appraisal

Budget Management

Marketers have long struggled with the ability to manage, analyse and understand core financials of business, and in this new world we live in this is still key skills gap.

We suggest:

  • Build a clear budget process and RACI, that runs in sympathy with other corporate processes
  • Ensure that the budget is transparent and that you have a process to enable agility
  • Understand what works and what hasn’t worked in your previous years’ budget
  • Build a clear ROI framework for building business cases for additional budgets required

So, you can see the new environment requires new skills and many marketers are struggling to fill them, but there are some really simple practical steps to take to do so. If you would like to find out more about our Skills Assessment Tool, and how we can identify and benchmark your teams’ core and technical skills, as well as leadership and cultural behaviours click here.