Brands are faced with a global shortage of data-driven marketing professionals

Recent advances in digital data and software have opened up opportunities for companies to gain insight from customer data in order to improve their knowledge of the market. However, according to a recent global survey of data science professionals by IT consultancy, EMC, there is a global shortage of the skills needed to progress the usage of data insight and to take advantage of the opportunities it provides. This indicates that there is likely to be an increase in the demand for data-expert marketers to fill marketing jobs.

The results of the survey showed that there is a distinct lack of confidence in making decisions based on new data. The forms of data that provide the biggest opportunities are known by data scientists as “big data”, this refers to the process of analysing the large data sets created by sensor systems, transactional data and web logs. The survey highlights that organisations need to devise their structure in a way that encourages data lead decision making in marketing departments.

The lack of data professionals in marketing is likely to have a large impact on brands and the situation is unlikely to improve until more emphasis is placed on the importance of this profession. Young people need to be encouraged to study scientific/analytical degrees at university in order to produce more graduates with these types of skills that have an interest in working within marketing. The EMC survey supports this and notes that the majority of their survey respondents believe that graduates are the solution to improve the current data skills shortage situation.

Despite the need for more data based marketing professionals, the Head of Research and the Chartered Institute of Marketing has commented that digital marketing courses continue to be those most in demand and these are the subject areas that are being continually developed. However, the CIM’s digital focused courses do incorporate elements of data analytics.

Alex Carter, Managing Consultant, at Brand Recruitment has found that there has been an increase in the number of clients looking for candidates with data and analytical skills as they look to capitalise on data insight advances by recruiting for data-driven marketing jobs. Brand Recruitment works with major FMCG brands as well as a variety of other clients and is continually working on marketing analyst jobs and insight roles.

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