32% of brands have a marketing skills gap but most struggle to find 'quality talent'

3/4 of senior marketers also said their firms needed to do more on the diversity front / Unsplash

UK brands are facing a skills gap in their marketing departments. However, over half of marketing bosses say it's a struggle to recruit quality talent and that their company isn't diverse enough.

32% of senior marketers said their own teams lacked the skills to deliver 'brilliant' brand work, but 54% said talent was in short supply, according to research from recruitment firm Aquent.

A further 60% of the 109 marketers surveyed said applicants who did apply to work in their marketing team were often underskilled. Only 37% said their current team had all the skillset they needed to deliver.

Despite brands like Arla and P&G recently in-housing some elements of advertising and media production, when it came to creativity 43% of marketing bosses said they still outsourced this to agency partners, even though it was a core part of their own day-to-day.

Recruitment needs to be more diverse

Following on from recent IPA research that found an overwhelming 93% of agency leadership to be white, the survey found that brands still have work to do on the diversity front too.

Three-quarters of senior client-side marketers said that the senior leadership team in their company wasn't diverse enough. Respondents also considered their firms to be challenged on the diversity front, with 27% saying that the 'straight, white male' leadership only wants to recruit in their image.

However, more positively, equality is further up the agenda for 24% of brands with marketing leaders saying their company is actively working towards a more diverse culture with women, people of colour and members of the LGBTQX communities in leadership positions.

Although the average chief marketing officer tenure currently stands at three-and-a-half years and internal agencies like Jaguar Land Rover's Spark 44 have been open about their struggle to keep in-house creatives inspired; brand marketing leads gave a more optimistic view of their turnover.

51% of those questioned by Aquent said members of their internal marketing and the creative team stayed in their roles for between two to five years, and only a quarter (27%) said the average time in role was below two years.

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