Digital marketing talent gap exposed

Companies have been publishing websites and dabbling in digital marketing for 20 years now, with 2013 marking the Internet’s 20th anniversary. Since that time, the world’s Internet user population has grown to 2.4 billion and customers have moved their buying cycle online.

ClickZ identified a digital marketing talent gap in their web-based survey conducted in August 2013 with some 750 organizations who have a need for digital marketing talent. This talent gap undermines organizational achievement and threatens revenue growth.


Organizations who commit to ramp up internal skills or outsource skills will gain market share and realize top line business benefits— while others will not survive.

The upside for professionals and job seekers with training and experience is they will obtain well-paid, rewarding career opportunities. Following are some of the survey’s key findings:

  • There is a pervasive, deeply running digital marketing talent gap.
  • Employers perceive spotty levels of knowledge, skill level and experience.
  • There is a need for solid, measurable and accurate digital education.
  • Significant challenges in locating talent result in a lack of consistency without any industry standards.
  • There is a sense of entitlement among young employees interfering with the ability of organizations to generate results.

Are you surprised?

While 84 per cent of Canadians are online, 20 per cent of Canadian companies with 10 or more employees don’t even have a website; and only 17 per cent of Canadian businesses sell online according to Business Development Bank of Canada.

Adobe’s Digital Distress survey from September 2013 revealed that 52 per cent of marketers surveyed did not feel proficient in digital marketing. Moreover, most marketers don’t have formal digital marketing training with 82 per cent learning on the job.

Importantly, 66 per cent of all marketers surveyed by Adobe think companies won’t succeed unless they have a digital marketing approach. They are right!

I’ve been teaching Digital Marketing Management at The University of Toronto, School of Continuing Studies since 2009, and the interest and demand for digital training continues to grow unabated.

Talent is available and at the same time aspiring and ambitious digital marketers are making the effort to upgrade their skills and knowledge.

Michelle Pellettier
Michelle Pellettier
Michelle (Corsano) Pellettier is a digital marketing coach and enabler, and senior marketing strategist. Her specialty is technology marketing and using technology to market. Michelle teaches Digital Marketing Management at The University of Toronto, School of Continuing Studies. Burst Technology Marketing helps organizations grow their business and advance purchase consideration by engaging customers through digital communications and converting web visitors to leads.

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