The rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning has triggered yet another looming skills crisis, with marketers identifying these techniques as the most important areas they must develop to keep ahead of the game.
The ‘Business Skills Census 2019’ from the Institute of Direct & Digital Marketing (IDM) asked marketers to identify the skills and challenges facing organisations today and their importance in the future.
Skills in AI and machine learning were found to be available within just under half (45%) of organisations, according to marketers, however, over three-fifths (64%) stated that these skills would be important to the future success of their respective organisations, revealing a substantial skills gap (19%) within this survey.
Furthermore, 87% state that developing skills in AI and machine learning is vital to their organisation’s current success, a factor that the IDM insists highlights the urgency with which businesses will have to address this knowledge gap if they hope to succeed.
The IDM’s Professional Skills Census 2018, which focused on marketers’ own abilities, also highlighted that AI and machine learning had the biggest skills gap, with a 25% difference between perceived importance between marketers’ current roles and for future career progression.
AI and machine learning are already driving intelligent marketing and data analytics, which is resulting in a rise in jobs requiring these skills. According to a 2017 analysis from jobs site Indeed, the number of roles in AI has risen by 485% in the UK since 2014, and there are twice as many jobs requiring AI and machine learning skills as there are applicants.
DMA head of insight Tim Bond said: “Future-proofing a business requires a commitment to supporting the development of knowledge, workers and their ability to take advantage of technology in the form of AI in particular.
“As data and marketing intelligence continues to transform the way businesses communicate with customer, the demand for marketers that are equipped with an ever-expanding skillset will increase. In the not-too-distant future, businesses and their marketing teams will need to be equally proficient in analytics, creative thinking and AI integration.”
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