Stop Talking And Start Doing! Time To Shrink The Skills Gap In Marketing Automation

Published: August 9, 2011
  • Demand generation strategy (including social media & inbound marketing)
  • Resource allocation
  • Lead management process
  • Content strategy
  • Metrics & benchmarking
  • Revenue performance and impact

These areas of focus are key strategies that can be the difference of marketing success or failure for organizations. However the truth is, many professionals are still grappling with adapting to these new demands and developing these strategies. The result of this is that many are behind the curve when it comes to delivering the value and return on investment their organizations expect.

A recent study by the UK-based Fournaise Group highlighted the disparity that exists between today’s marketer and their organizations. Here are two findings from the research study:

  •         73% of CEO’s stated that “marketers lack business credibility and are not the business growth generators they should be.”
  •         72% of CEO’s state that “marketers are always asking for more money, but can rarely explain how much incremental business this money will generate.”

As you can see, the gap is overwhelming!  But why is there still a gap between what is being asked of marketers and what they are delivering?  The simple answer is today’s marketer does not have the proper skills or knowledge to perform their roles and execute the strategies mentioned above. This gap was highlighted at this year’s 2011 Sirius Decisions Summit when the firm’s research revealed that less than $1,000 is spent annually on training of marketing personnel. In addition, when asked if their marketing people had the right skill set to succeed only 1.1% responded with a yes.

This gap that has been identified further highlights the need for education to be delivered to marketers and for organizations to broaden their view by understanding that marketing does not happen and today’s marketing requires more than just experience in marcomm and graphic design. Today’s marketing must be able to engage their customers, deliver revenue impact and be able to enable sales and the business as a whole. In essence, today’s marketer requires a completely new skill set.

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This has been the drive behind the founding and launching The Marketing Automation Institute.. Launched in collaboration with industry thought leaders and vendors, the MAI is committed to educating and equipping today’s marketing automation professional with the necessary skills they need to be successful. This learning will be accomplished by training and certification and through the power of community. We believe that while being educated by professionals is vital, learning from those who are in similar roles and struggling with the same things will be vital.

While marketing automation has been around for 10+ years, it is just beginning to mature and marketing landscape has shifted dramatically and brought us to a very exciting time in the world of marketing. It is time to stop talking about what needs to be done and begin educating and equipping so that it can be done.

The demands on marketing have never been greater and with these demands come great opportunity to contribute to our businesses. The key will be gaining the right education and knowledge to succeed and closing the skills gap that is rampant throughout marketing organizations.

Carlos Hidalgo is the Executive Director of The Marketing Automation Institute and CEO of The Annuitas Group. Hidalgo is a thought leader in the marketing automation and lead management space and has worked with over 50 companies in defining and developing automation strategies. As a co-founder of The Marketing Automation Institute, Hidalgo is focused on educating, equipping and enabling marketers to meet the new demands and develop the best practices to keep pace with the ever-changing and evolving buyer and buying process. Prior to his current roles, Hidalgo has held various global marketing roles at McAfee and BMC Software. You can follow Carlos on Twitter @cahidalgo or email him at

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