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Beating the Digital Skills Gap

With digital technology moving at a rapid rate and with more than 80% of all jobs in the UK now requiring some sort of digital skills, the digital skills gap is getting bigger and bigger. But how can companies stay on top of trends if they don’t have the in-house skills? It’s clear the ones that do will have a vast competitive advantage.

Throughout the 21st Century, tech has moved quickly. We’re a vastly different world now than we were even just ten years ago. One of the reasons for this rapid change has been the pandemic. 

A McKinsey Global Survey that was conducted in 2020 revealed that, because of the pandemic, executives were finding their companies had “accelerated the digitisation of their customer and supply-chain interactions and of their internal operations by three to four years. And the share of digital or digitally enabled products in their portfolios has accelerated by a shocking seven years.”

The report summarises: “Digital adoption has taken a quantum leap at both the organisational and industry levels.”

Are We Moving Too Fast?

As great as it is that we live in a more technically clever world, this also brings with it a huge problem. As stated in an article by Tech Monitor: “Technology innovation is developing at a faster pace than the skills needed to apply such technology… This is creating a vicious circle, whereby there are fewer people to do the jobs we desperately need to keep innovating. In time, this will slow down the pace of innovation, constricting the growth of our economy while we face a cost-of-living crisis.”

Innovation here is the key word. With a seemingly endless tech stack available to any business, it’s not about what tech you use anymore, instead it has to come down to how well it is utilised. Those who are more innovative and creative in their approach will undoubtedly get the best results, but that means you need confidence in what you’re doing.

Navigating Through the World of Digital Advertising

The digital skills gap is very prominent in digital advertising, and this could cause a problem for any marketing budget. It’s not enough to think “I want to advertise online”. There are a multitude of different ways to approach this. If we just take display on its own, there's a great deal to consider, such as contextual advertising or dynamic advertising, retargeting or geofencing. On top of the tactics you then also need to consider your overarching plan, how to optimise your spend, layered tactics, an omni-channel approach and an understanding of what you want to achieve.

Just knowing how geofencing works is only the first step of the battle. Every tactic will have a discipline of its own. The real winners will be the people who can blend tech together and optimise their digital skills to think creatively.

Where to Find Talent

A recent article from Performance Marketing World stated that the top 10 skills the modern marketer needs (in order of priority) are:

  • Digital marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Marketing strategy
  • Adobe photoshop
  • Email marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Advertising
  • Google analytics
  • Corporate communications

Gone are the days when a marketer can be a specialist in a specific area. In our present world, to get ahead you need to have a “swiss army knife” approach, with a set of very different skills at your disposal at any one time. There needs to be the perfect mix of creative and analytical, and you need to master the art of communication as much as be adept with Photoshop.

The need for this is clear: companies can’t afford to have huge marketing departments with specialists across the team. They need fewer people in-house to do more.

Or the more obvious option is to outsource.

Should You Outsource?

YouGov reported that seven in ten businesses outsource to third parties. Focusing more specifically on marketing, OnRec further reported that 42% of UK businesses don’t handle their marketing in-house, with one in three companies saying they do this because they can’t find someone qualified to do the role. And more than one in four admitted that outsourcing their marketing activity offers them cost savings in the longer term.

If we focus again on digital display advertising, a modern day in house marketer will need to have the knowledge to do this on top of social media marketing, SEO, strategy, content, email marketing and design. There is simply no way one person can be a master of all these elements. It takes a lot of focus to know how to optimise digital advertising.

We set up our Managed Service option for this reason only, and it’s been a hugely popular service for us. Whilst anyone can use Fluid Ads themselves and set up their own advertising campaign, our Managed Service option allows customers to tap into our expertise. And because we focus solely on digital display advertising, we have the wealth of experience and understanding to support clients in getting the most out of their campaigns.

It’s a tough decision for any business to make. Should you search for talent to bring in house or outsource that task? In a world that is moving at such a fast pace, it makes sense to tap into specialist teams that are already doing the job and outsource where you can. It will ensure you maintain that competitive edge.

If you’d like to explore our Managed Service option and chat to one of our team of experts, why not book a call with us.

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