"One challenge that has been very prominent for digital
marketers is the hiring of great talent, and companies are finally
getting the budget to do that," said Laura McGarrity, VP-digital
marketing strategy at Mondo, a technology and digital-marketing
According to the study, the top hiring barriers are finding
skilled talent (cited by 65% of respondents); the cost of quality
staff (30%); attracting top talent (21%); retaining top talent
(16%); and culture fit (26%).
"Turnover has been a really big issue," Ms. Garrity said, noting
that the average tenure for digital marketing professionals is 12
months to 18 months. By comparison, average CMO tenure is 45
months, according to executive recruiting firm Spencer Stuart in a
March 2014 report.
"There is such high demand and it's such a new space -- people
are hopping around to find the best jobs," she added. "It is a
candidate's market, particularly in digital marketing."
The top skill sets companies are hiring for this year are
digital/social (54%), content creation (44%), big data/analytics
(33%) and mobile strategy (30%), Mondo found.
More traditional marketing skills are lower on the list. Only
24% of companies plan to hire marketers for creative services, and
22% for product/brand expertise.
"Every week or every couple of weeks there is a new technology
emerging," Ms. McGarrity said. "People with a very specific
technical skill set -- say an Eloqua expert -- are few and far
The study also asked marketers which digital platforms will
drive customer engagement in the future. It found that today,
mobile is seen as a key driver of customer engagement by only 24%
of respondents, but in the next three to five years, that will
increase to 70%.
Video will increase as a key driver of customer engagement from
13% today to 61% in the future; and social will increase from 38%
today to 49% in the future.
Another finding was the shift to a more "elastic" workforce,
defined as a combination of permanent and freelance or contract
"One big thing we're seeing is the shift from a permanent
workforce to more of a contract and freelance workforce," Ms.
Garrity said. "This is a shift. Marketing has not traditionally
been about hiring contract resources."
Today, 42% of companies are made up of 100% permanent workers,
while in the next 12 to 18 months that is expected to decrease to
23% of companies, the study found.
And while only 1% of companies are now made up of a 50/50 mix of
permanent and contract workers, that is expected to increase to 30%
in the next 12 to 18 months, according to the study.