PR and the Marketing Technology Skills Gap

Keeping pace with the rate of change in marketing technology has become a full time job – and not just for marketers. Communications professionals, too, need to become more analytical and technological to run well-informed, measurable programs.

So, how in this wave of ever changing technology do we keep our heads above water here at SHIFT?

Prioritize learning

We started to notice the move towards more widespread marketing technology adoption in our client base in the last 18 months. In order to arm our staff with the necessary skills we designed our Marketing Technology Immersion program, in which nearly all SHIFTers have been trained in tools ranging from Google Analytics to Social Advertising, survey best practices and keyword/SEO research.

We also installed a policy as an agency that each team can go “heads down,” where we set aside dedicated time to keeping up on key trends.

Share the knowledge

Creating training courses and setting aside time is great, but you also need to create ways to distill and provide context both the news and on why it matters.  At SHIFT we run a daily blog and a weekly SHIFT Happens newsletter, which daily and weekly provide summary news from the front lines of PR and Marketing.  Our agency marketing team regularly publishes eBooks on issues and trends clients and staff shouldbe aware of, including trends in Google Analytics, SEO, Influencer Research, such as “Google Analytics Basics for PR Professionals” and “The Future of Marketing.”

The need for this will only increase.  There was a great roundtable by McKinsey recently with leaders from Facebook and Google which included a key section on skill gaps.

Dianne Esber: The question that Brian and I get asked all the time by every client is, “I need more people like that. How do I hire them?”

Nicolas Franchet: The reality is you have to train them, right? They don’t exist. It’s a new skill set. There are new platforms. Even in search, which has been around for ten years, it’s still a hard skill set to find. For the traditional enterprise, you want to start retraining your people.

With the oncoming wave of automation, Internet of Things and AI, marketing’s rate of change will only increase.  Taking the time to properly focus and train your teams, and putting mechanisms in place to help them prioritize on what’s new and how it will drive your business forward will be a crucial in determining the market winners and losers in the coming months and years.

Need help keeping up? Sign up for our newsletter or check out some our eBooks, such as our measuring PR in the 21st Century.

Want help integrating marketing technology into your strategy? Contact us today.

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