As digital experiences are now at the heart of marketing, marketers are struggling to keep pace with consumer technologies and demands, and a pervasive talent gap continues to derail success. This is the key finding of Perpetual Evolution: The Interplay Of Talent and Technology in the Future Of Marketing released now Economist Group in association with the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI).

Based on a survey of more than 500 marketing executives around the world, Perpetual Evolution demonstrates that while marketers understand the line between “traditional” and “digital” marketing no longer exists, 74% believe that marketing organizations face a critical talent shortage due to a lack of digital skills that will be needed to meet ongoing customer demands. This talent gap includes digital experiences, marketing experiences as well as soft skills.

To address this talent shortage, the research indicates that marketers will place a strong emphasis on recruitment (47% say they will focus “somewhat or much more” on recruitment), and a sizable number (40%) say they will focus on recruitment and reskilling of their existing workforce equally.

“Consumers today don’t just expect companies to understand their needs, they expect those needs to be addressed with highly relevant experiences on the platforms and devices of their choosing,” said The Economist Group’s Mina Seetharaman, EVP, Chief Strategy and Creative Officer. “Unfortunately, the majority of marketers we surveyed say they have not kept pace with the technologies their consumers are using, while at the same time identifying customer experience as the leading driver of marketing success. The success story, though, isn’t just one of technology, but of the talent who can adapt to the ever-changing tech landscape with a creative and customer-focused mindset.”