A new digital skills gap report has found the biggest problem in South Africa is a lack of employees with data analytics skills, followed by marketing automation, user experience, digital video marketing and digital content marketing. South African companies reported a lack of skills in the media industry including the advertising, media and online publishing sub-sectors.
The IAB SA, in partnership with The Red and Yellow Creative School of Business, published The 2021 Digital Skills Gap Report this week. The industry-wide survey highlights the key challenges faced by brands, agencies, and publishers.
All of the top skills identified as lacking are those vital in a digital world that requires employees to be adept at a range of digital tools and technology, regardless of their role, the IAB SA reports. Of concern is that an “overwhelming 83% of respondents said that they have to provide new employees with digital marketing and advertising experience – regardless of their position or prior experience”.
This finding is one of several that emphasises the need for improved training and education across the width and breadth of the industry, the IAB SA says.
CEO of the IAB SA, Paula Hulley, says the report is a “critical toolkit enabling both an understanding of the digital marketing skills landscape and an opportunity to nurture continuous learning opportunities at a time where it could not matter more”.
The Covid-19 pandemic has clearly speeded up the digital transformation process, and skills are not keeping apace.
Hulley says digitisation has never happened faster than it is happening right now. “This opportunity to equip our industry with critical insights on digital marketing skills gives the full digital marketing ecosystem a tangible opportunity to bridge the gap – and beyond.”
The reports points out that the exponential growth in the ‘digital-first’ approach is a much-needed boon for the industry, “but this gain necessitates an availability of the right digital-skills – some of which are in critically short supply”.
Head of the IAB SA’s education portfolio, Hello Computer JHB’s managing director, Joey Khuvultu, says the IAB SA’s objective and hope is that the learnings will be “a first step in providing data and insights to inform and encourage closer dialogue between education institutions and industry to accelerate our collective efforts to upskill employees and our youth.”
Interestingly, Covid-19 has had another far-reaching impact on the advertising industry – and that is the way we work now.
A massive 85% of respondents reported their companies would continue operating remotely indefinitely. With that, says the IAB SA, there is a growing need for soft, interpersonal skills in order for employees to effectively communicate and engage with a remote team. Also needed is that employees “become adept at self-management and self-motivation”.
The full report can be downloaded here.
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