In a time of austerity, training isn’t always front of mind. However there are five key reasons why I believe now is the time to invest, not just money but also time, in getting good at digital.
1. Digital is no longer an add-on; it is very much here and now. The 2011 ad spend figures which we revealed yesterday show that digital is worth a whopping £4.78bn and for H1 made up 27% of all marketing spend (the full 2011 % figure is yet to be announced). All marketers, experienced or inexperienced, old or young, need to get on board to ensure they don’t miss the boat.
2. The UK economy is far from rosy. The growth of the digital advertising industry is one of few positive stories. The internet now contributes 8.3% of the UK economy, that’s more than healthcare, construction and education. Anything that paints a positive picture in the business world should surely be celebrated and more importantly capitalised on.
3. The advertising industry is inherently competitive, and so are its employees. Marketers cannot rely on their employer to pave their career path for them, but must be proactive to keep ahead of the game, seeking out the latest news, views and trends for themselves.
4. Hiring new talent is expensive. A recent study by the CIPD reported that half of the UK organisations surveyed have had to reduce their recruitment budget, and are focusing their energies on retention. Investing in people is a better way for businesses to improve their staff, nurture digital leaders and keep employees engaged.
5. It is one thing to know what digital is, but only those who truly understand how it is changing business and how to act upon this will survive. Thinking strategically, knowing how to use data, how to structure your team, how to respond to your consumers or your competitors are all essential skills to ensure success.