A few weeks ago I was talking to Maureen Blandford about marketers, marketing technology, and the need for all of us to move faster.
Our conversation turned to skill sets and the current digital and technology skills gap in marketing today. A thought I had in that conversation has been gnawing at me since: “Today’s marketers don’t have the aptitude for marketing technology.”
We continue to hear about the skills gap in marketing today and marketers are continuing to get trained on technology. But it isn’t closing the gap. If anything, as we rely more on technology in marketing, the gap is actually getting worse! Why?
Because today’s marketers don’t want to deal with technology.
I complete my time sheets because I have to. It is a requirement, and I’ll here about it from my boss if I don’t. I don’t love doing my timesheets. I have no passion for it. (Well, actually I do, but it isn’t a good kind).
Many marketers approach technology the way I approach timesheets. It is a functional requirement. Just one more thing they need to deal with in their day. This is why we are facing a shortage of the skills we need today, and the situation continues to get worse.
The solution to today’s marketing skills gap isn’t training. It is hiring people who are genuinely interested in and curious about marketing technology. People that look for ways technology can solve their challenges and aren’t phased by using technology in new or unexpected ways.
Training many marketers today to use technology is a band-aid that just briefly covers up the problem, until our marketing technology changes again a few months later.
So let’s stop focusing on training the wrong people and start focusing on hiring people with the interest in and aptitude for the technology we will use today and into the future.