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The biggest digital marketing skill gaps in 2024

By Anjana Jayasena, Analytics Manager at Semetrical 

Today’s marketing world demands technical savvy like never before. Many of our clients face challenges in mastering key technical elements, such as smoothly implementing consent mode v2 and ensuring data flows seamlessly for actionable insights. With Analytics enquiries on the rise, it’s clear that businesses must prioritise bolstering their skills. It’s not just about staying ahead of the competition; it’s about empowering brands to make confident, data-driven decisions that drive real growth. Here are some of the biggest digital marketing skill gaps this year:

  1. Analytics 

According to MarketingWeek*, ‘Data and Analytics’ are the biggest skills gap faced by the marketingindustry in 2024, an issue currently experienced by over one third (36.9%) of brand-side marketers. This presents an increase from last year, where data skills were lacking in 34.4% of marketing teams, showing a widening of the gap.

The inability to effectively gather and analyse data is proving a significant barrier for brands and poses a serious area of concern for businesses. We’ve witnessed these challenges among our clients, increasingly so in the past year, with a much greater number of prospects coming to us with Analytics, specifically GA4 related enquiries. According to our Sales team, analytics issues currently make up the largest proportion of our enquiries!

  1. Performance Marketing

Interestingly, one of the most integral elements of Performance Marketing is the ability to analyse data. As such, it’s no surprise that Performance Marketing comes in second place after Data and Analytics.

While you don’t need to be a data wizz, it definitely helps to feel comfortable around large data sets in order to track and analyse the effectiveness of your campaigns and leverage data to deliver highly targeted campaigns too.

  1. Content

In 2024, 18.1% of marketing teams* report a skills gap when it comes to ‘Content and Copywriting’ skills. Providing augmented writing assistance and even content generation, generative AI was used by 76% of marketers** for basic content creation and copywriting in 2023, helping in some way to fill content gaps.

While it is debatable whether AI can be classified as a solution to replacing content skills, the general consensus among digital marketers – and Google – is absolutely not.

  1. Social media 

Surveys* show that 14.8% of marketing teams lack Social Media skills, which is particularly shocking given that 77%*** of businesses use Social Media as part of their marketing strategy

According to HubSpot****, the biggest challenges faced by marketers in Social Media include creating engaging content that generates leads, reaching their target audience, growing and retaining followers, as well as keeping up with trends and algorithm updates.

  1. E-commerce 

It is reported that 12.1%* of marketing teams are suffering from a lack of eCommerce skills, encompassing a variety of areas.

Much like Performance Marketing, eCommerce Marketing is heavily reliant on data skills in order to understand consumer behaviour, improve customer experience, track sales, and optimise strategies. Again, this reiterates just how critical analytical skills are in your marketing teams.





Photo by Elio Santos on Unsplash

Cash-strapped Gen Z wants brands to recognise social issues

Gen Z expect brands to demonstrate purpose beyond profit, even in the face of economic instability, as they report the highest concern (90%) of all generations about social issues, which has a clear impact on their purchase decisions.

That’s according to Dentsu’s 2024 Read the Room: Pursuing Happiness report, which finds that 75% of Gen Z are more likely to buy from brands that give a portion of their sales to charity and 70% say they prioritise brands that demonstrate emotional intelligence in their advertising – both findings are the highest of all generational cohorts.

The research also finds that Gen-Z donates the highest proportion of their salary (5%) to charity compared to other generations. That’s despite more than half (57%) of Gen Z reporting that they are extremely anxious about their finances in the immediate future. An additional 78% agreed they would be more likely to purchase from a brand that makes its products sustainably.

The research delves into the influences behind buying decisions across a wide range of generations and industries – from Boomers to Millennials to Gen Z – to give brands insights in consumer mindsets in 2024 and beyond.

It finds that Gen Z, those born between 1997 and 2012, view charitable donations and social activism as a core pillar of their personalities, with brand identity linked to personal value systems. Gen Z want to buy from brands that are actively doing good for society, not just through words, but through authentic action.

Even among Boomers, more than a quarter now prefer to buy from a brand exhibiting a strong sense of purpose. Consumers will ultimately move away from brands that fail to back up sustainability and social initiatives with evidence. Brands must gain deep knowledge of their customers’ value systems, and then communicate clearly how they are delivering on those values. In doing so, brands can create new consumer demand, unlocking new value in new spaces.

Angela Tangas, UK&I CEO dentsu, said: “In another economically challenging year, a people-centered   focus must be a priority for brand strategy and business growth. Our insights reaffirm that understanding both consumer and customer behaviours, anticipating their needs and creating new ways to meaningfully and authentically connect is critical. We can clearly see that consumers, especially Gen Z, expect more from brands in terms of environmental sustainability and social impact, at a time when technology is enabling new experiences and cultivating new behaviours. The demand for purpose means authenticity is paramount, which will be key to unlocking wins today and preparing for tomorrow.”

Photo by Zana Latif on Unsplash