Talent Management in Digital Marketing
Challenges and opportunities of talent management in digital marketing
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Tajdin Hassan Written by Tajdin Hassan on September 9, 2016


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With the advent of modern technology, marketing in the digital space is experiencing unprecedented growth. Digital channels are playing a crucial role when it comes to connecting with and engaging consumers with brands.  According to E-marketers, digital spending will be 30% of the total pie in 2016 globally which is worth $178 billion.

We are now living in an ever-changing era where 42% of the global population is active Internet users and 29% of the population is connected through social media. And this phenomenon has changed the way we used to interact with brands. The revolution of Smartphone has made our daily media interaction ‘screen based’ which is also bugging a lot of psychologists as they are complaining about the reduced amount of f2f human interaction.The behavior of the consumers and brands are different in digital space, which is highly influenced by the emerging social platforms. And the marketing organizations are facing the challenges created by this shift. Digital marketers, who will play the pivotal role in achieving the competitive edge in the market, are facing the most difficult and challenging question- do we have the right skill to operate in this ever-changing digital world?

We are now living in an ever-changing era where 42% of the global population is active internet users and 29% of the population is connected through social media. This phenomenon has changed the way we used to interact with brands. The smartphone revolution has made our daily media interaction ‘screen based’ which is also bugging a lot of psychologists as they are complaining about the reduced amount of f2f human interaction.The behavior of the consumers and brands are different in digital space, which is highly influenced by the emerging social platforms. And the marketing organizations are facing the challenges created by this shift. Digital marketers, who will play the pivotal role in achieving the competitive edge in the market, are facing the most difficult and challenging question- do we have the right skill to operate in this ever-changing digital world?

New research from Boston Consultancy Group shows that today’s marketers don’t have that right skill and shortfalls are bigger than most companies assume. This skill gap needs to be addressed and initiatives also need to be taken to close these gaps. The alarming part is marketers are focusing more in catering today’s needs rather than embedding the capabilities and skills required for tomorrow.  Though the traditional marketing skill is and will continue to play a key role but it must be kept in mind that it won’t be good enough to rule the digital space in coming days. As the new digital services and tools are constantly evolving, marketing organizations must become responsive to these changes. Companies that are not good at digital marketing will find it difficult to attract digital talent compare to that organization doing well at digital marketing. It requires a whole transformation in the marketing function. In fact, it requires marketing talent transformation across the organization to achieve the desired completive advantage.

Now the challenge lies from where to start to make this transformation happen as talent and skill go side by side, it should start right away. The senior leadership team at first should assess the current marketing skill development program of that organization.  They must be able to answer whether the current “Learning and Development” program is able to close the digital marketing skill gap. In fact, they should look into the fact whether their “L&D” program is compatible with fast-changing digital and social life of the consumers.  This certain shift in marketing has given birth to newly defined roles and demand creation of digital talent. Nowadays the agile marketing organizations, while exploring the talents, no longer looking at graduates with marketing degrees. The need for technically proficient and specialized human resource in marketing is in high demand. This is true for some roles such as data analytics, data scientist, Content manager, SEO specialist, UX designers and developers and so on. CMO’s are more interested in hiring people who worked for non-traditional roles in digital and branded content.

Human brains cannot be honed overnight. This should be a gradual process. Companies need to define the role of digital marketing at first with an objective of achieving business goals and then needs to go back to the drawing board. This strategic approach will enable the marketers to better connect with the consumers in social and digital space to achieve the completive advantage. The digital technologies are evolving and will continue to do so. It highly requires C suit commitment to transform a marketing organization to a skilled digital operation.  This digital transformation has just begun. The organizations that have already started the journey and also started adapting the talent management will have more opportunities to create competitive advantage.

This article was originally published in The Daily Star 

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