CMO survey warns talent shortage is holding the industry back

Research also shows just 11% of global CMOs are confident they have completed their digital transformation journeys.

Digital transformation: pain point for marketers (picture credit: Busakorn Pongparnit, Getty Images)
Digital transformation: pain point for marketers (picture credit: Busakorn Pongparnit, Getty Images)

The majority of global chief marketing officers believe they have a long way to go on digital transformation, according to research from MediaSense and ISBA.

The study, Media 2025, showed that just 11% of global CMOs are confident that they have completed their digital transformations.

MediaSense, which is an independent global media advisor business, further stated that the study revealed a “noticeable maturing” of the industry with brands focusing on simplification and integration.

However, it argued that too many media brands are held back by internal silos, incompatible technologies, inadequate data and a lack of talent.

The report further showed that 82% of brands are either planning or in the midst of transforming their internal media operating model, while 76% are planning or undergoing a transformation of their external agency model. 

In addition, more than half (55%) of respondents said they expect to bring more functions in house, with 56% believing a skills shortage is holding the industry back.  

This figure has risen from 27% in 2015, which is when MediaSense first launched its Media20:20 programme and highlights that talent is a growing concern in the industry. 

Meanwhile, the future of cross-media measurement is in jeopardy, with 42% of those surveyed believing the ambition to find a better balance between brand and performance marketing “will never be realised” with almost half (49%) citing self-interest as a key limiting factor. 

According to the survey, CMOs are also likely to shift their attention towards sustainability and measuring the environmental impact of media, with 46% planning to focus more in this area.

Andrew Lowdon, director of agency services at ISBA, said: “The Media 2025 findings, especially those on talent, support ISBA’s industry imperative to attract and retain the brightest people across the industry and to continue to develop the case for advertising as a force for good.”

Ryan Kangisser, managing partner, strategy at MediaSense, added: “Covid has had a profound impact through (for many) an unanticipated growth of ecommerce, which has exposed acute gaps across talent and measurement.  

“Now is the time for greater cross-industry collaboration and leadership to find solutions which better support this constantly evolving and converging ecosystem.” 


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