#42 Adding depth to the talent pool for marketing operations, ft. Toby Murdock

Current demand for marketing operations is growing. Investment in people and tech is increasing, and team sizes are expanding – but the talent gap is not closing. For Toby Murdock, it comes down to the basic economic principles of supply and demand. Marketing operations is a highly technical, billion-dollar segment, which requires significant training, and yet 93% of people in it ‘fall into it’. 

This makeshift talent pipeline and lack of work-place ready education are creating problems for the digital marketing industry. Not least because it’s not scalable or sustainable in the medium or long term. The solution? Improve the talent pipeline to meet the growing demand. 

Skills gaps in areas such as mechanical engineering have been addressed through the higher education system. Digital marketing, on the other hand, evolves at such a rapid pace, it’s almost impossible to keep up. Tackling the talent shortage requires new education strategies and improved opportunities for upskilling the existing talent pool. At the same time, hard-coding skills in HTML and CSS are proving to be almost insurmountable barriers to entry.

When it comes to alleviating the skills gap, no-code solutions like Knak go a long way in helping digital marketers focus on the creative aspects of their campaigns and lower the technical barrier to entry. At the same time, there’s also potential for marketing platforms to open their doors for free to enable future talent to get inside and train.

Videos and online quizzes can go so far, but deep, job-ready knowledge requires synchronous human interaction, personalized feedback, and project practice that simulates the real world, things like stakeholder interviews, defining requirements, and presenting results. Platform-specific academies have moved the ball forward, it’s still not enough to get future markets job-ready.

Highway Education hires and pays talent to train. Listen to the full podcast to find out how it works.

Follow Toby Murdock on LinkedIn.


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If you have any feedback, or want to chat, feel free to reach out to Pierce on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter @marketing_101.

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