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Marketers 'lacking digital confidence'

07/10/2013

There has been no shortage of bugle-blowing about the UK's potential as a hub for digital marketing, following in the footsteps of the country's burgeoning tech sector.

However, a new report from Adobe has suggested there is a lack of digital confidence among the UK's marketers, who expressed concerns they may not be ready for the challenges and changes expected over the coming decade.

Only 48 per cent of respondents considered themselves highly proficient in digital marketing, while the majority admitted they have received no formal training for their role but instead learned on the job.

"Marketers are facing a dilemma - they aren't sure what’s working, they’re feeling underequipped to meet the challenges of digital, and they're having a tough time keeping up with the pace of change in the industry. What's worse, no one hands you a playbook on how to make it all work," said Ann Lewnes, Adobe's chief marketing officer.

Leaving aside the unusual idea that a playbook would ever show you how anything worked, unless Ms Lewnes was offered computer manuals and design guides for her bedtime stories, it is clear that the sector is feeling some uncertainty as the pace of change picks up.

While the growing popularity of tablets and the 'always-on' mentality of modern consumers offers an unprecedented opportunity for engagement, it also poses a major challenge for businesses not ready to embrace the future.

Skills such as creativity remain central to success in marketing, of course, but simply relying on the old platitudes without utilising new technology will see firms fall behind their more forward-thinking counterparts in the sector.

This was highlighted by the fact that 76 per cent of respondents feel marketing has changed more in the last two years than it had in the previous 50.

But firms "who are taking smart risk and who are training their teams to be more 'digital ready' will be in a great position to capitalise on digital's full promise", concluded Ms Lewnes.

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