Ask any marketer what the most pressing issue of the industry is, and talent shortage is almost the default answer.
Advertising veteran and currently marketing lead of Club 21 Linda Locke (pictured) said that one of the biggest gaps in skills required and what is currently available in marketers is good business sense.
âBetter business and marketing skills – a real understanding of business drivers, market conditions, competitors, customer psyche and behavioural insights (are needed). These skill sets are generally lacking or exist at too superficial a level,â said Locke.
She added that as a senior marketer, what she is looking for in talent is a real understanding of the digital landscape and social media, combined with traditional skills, âAs it is almost impossible toÂ think and work in old silo channels any more. The key is an integrated approach even if “integratedâ is an overused word,â said Locke.
She added that at Club 21, the solution has been to grow its skillset organically; experiment and learn. âMost of our hires are local or locals who have worked abroad and returned with the relevant skills,â she said.
So far, for its marketing team, it has been investing in people for whom âdigital is a way of lifeâ.Â âWe are seeing that is really working as it is now eliciting interest and willingness from some of the more mature people in the company,â said Locke.
In an earlier interview with Marketing, Pete Mitchell of Mondelez also emphasised the need for younger talent in more power.
âThere needs to be whole strata of people that are not over 40, think digital first, are themselves digital natives, or have learnt the digital language and it has opened their eyes to the modern comms world. These people need a senior voice at the decision table both in marketing departments and in agency groups,â said Mitchell.
âPut simply we need more younger people to be given more power and put forward their ideas to clients, with the backing of their peers. We need a whole new connected group who are data people, who are themselves tapped into the rapidly changing world of AdTech, understand it and can utilise it well,â he added.
Mitchell also endorsed the idea of growing talent organically, if supply doesnât meet demand.
â If such people with any real experience are scarce (and they generally are) then we must recruit them at junior levels and train them up quickly.â
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