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Skills gaps, restructures, outsourcing: 5 interesting stats from Salary Survey 2024

Data remains marketing’s biggest skills gap

For the third year in a row, a lack of data and analytics skills has been identified as the top skill gap within marketing departments.

Exclusive data from the 2024 Marketing Week Career & Salary Survey reveals over a third (36.9%) of the more than 3,000 marketers surveyed say data and analytics is the biggest skills gap within their team. This figure is up from 34.4% in 2023.

A further 19.6% say performance marketing is a major skills gap in their team, up from 18.7% who highlighted the same issue last year.

That said, 18.1% of respondents note a gap in content and copywriting skills within marketing, a slight improvement on the fifth (21.4%) of marketers reporting the same skills gap in 2023.

Some 14.8% of respondents believe a lack of social media skills is an issue in their team, down from 20% last year. Just 12.1% of the marketers surveyed say a lack of ecommerce skills within their department is a major concern, an improvement on the 15.9% who identified the same skills gap last year.

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Source: 2024 Marketing Week Career & Salary Survey

‘On the backburner’: Marketing leaders on tackling the upskilling imperative

Restructures ramp up

As disruption continues to exert pressure on business, almost half of marketers (46.5%) report working in a team which has restructured over the past 12 months.

This figure is a five percentage point increase on the 41.1% of respondents experiencing restructures in 2023. The 2024 figure is, however, down on 2022 levels when the aftermath of the pandemic sparked restructures among 56.5% of marketing teams.

Over a quarter of marketers (28.5%) saw their team merge with other functions, down from 34.5% in 2023. Team mergers were more prevalent in larger businesses (35.4%) of 250 employees and over than in SMEs (21%).

This year 12.1% of teams saw specialisms removed compared to 8.9% in 2023. However, fewer specialisms were added to teams – 15.5% compared with last year’s 19.8%.

Source: 2024 Marketing Week Career & Salary Survey

‘If you’re not in one, you’re probably about to be’: Why are so many marketing teams restructuring?

Happiness dips among marketers

Budget pressures, restructures and skills gaps are just a few of the factors contributing to falling levels of happiness among marketers.

Just over half (55.6%) of the more than 3,000 marketers responding to the survey say they are either quite happy or very happy in their role. By comparison, 61.5% of the 2023 sample reported being happy in their role.

Indeed, more than a fifth (22.2%) of the 2024 respondents are either not very happy or quite unhappy, while 22.2% report feeling indifferent to their job.

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The data suggests senior marketers are most likely to feel happy in their role, despite the inherent pressures of leadership. CMOs and marketing directors are the happiest (58.9%) of the sample, followed by those at executive level and below (55.7%) and managers (54%).

In terms of age groups, Gen Z respondents emerged as the happiest marketers (62.7%), ahead of Gen X (55.5%) and Gen Y (54.4%).

Source: 2024 Marketing Week Career & Salary Survey

Just half of marketers are happy at work, survey reveals

Brands opt for outsourcing

Amid growing workloads, stagnant recruitment and an expanding list of responsibilities, marketers are looking outside for inspiration.

Almost half (46.2%) of Career & Salary Survey respondents have chosen to outsource an element of their marketing to an agency, specialist or consultancy over the past 12 months.

For more than a quarter of marketers (28.7%) outsourcing has become crucial due to the shrinking size of teams. Other factors in play include a lack of skills in-house (48.7%), a perception there is no need to employ someone full time (28.9%) and a cost-saving exercise (14.4%).

Indeed, 24.5% of marketers have seen their team plug gaps by outsourcing to consultancies or freelancers in 2024. The push for external expertise is more prevalent in B2B brands, 53% of which have outsourced an element of their marketing, versus 40.6% of B2C organisations.

The most common skill being sought outside businesses is digital marketing. More than a quarter of marketers (28.2%) say digital marketing has been outsourced over the past year, followed by content (16.6%), public relations (13.5%) and market research (10.3%). Just 9.5% of marketing teams have outsourced responsibility for social media.

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Source: 2024 Marketing Week Career & Salary Survey

‘Why wouldn’t you?’: Marketing leaders on the rise of outsourcing

More responsibility as pay squeezed

Amid a persistent cost of living crisis, with teams being stretched and restructured, marketers are also dealing with the reality of doing more for less.

According to the Career & Salary Survey data, 40.1% have been asked to take on more responsibility without seeing a sufficient increase in remuneration.

More than two-fifths (42.6%) of senior marketing leaders report a rise in workload without an appropriate salary boost. A further 40.7% of marketers in management roles say their salary is failing to keep pace with an increasing workload, an opinion shared by 38.4% of junior marketers.

The issue appears slightly more prevalent in larger organisations, where 41.5% of marketers say their remit has grown while their salary has remained stagnant. The same is true for 38.7% of marketers working within SMEs.

Source: 2024 Marketing Week Career & Salary Survey

What can be done to solve marketing’s problem with work overload?

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