According to the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) and MediaSense, almost half of the stakeholders (46%) of publishers, brands, agencies, and technology companies, agree that the industry is in the middle of its “worst-case scenario of talent crisis.” In addition, more than three quarters (77%) think the industry is getting short of media talent. They need talent that can play influential media roles in their organizations. On the other hand, two-thirds (23%), agree that lacking skills and talent will be the foremost hurdle to the industry’s growth.
The study sample included 400 stakeholders from the most influential media platforms, advertisers, tech companies, and agencies. In contrast, the advertiser respondents are held responsible for more than $110 billion in annual communication spending. The director of Global Media Services at WFA stated that the media talent crisis is affecting all areas of the industry. However, the change is majorly reflected in the agency, which further affects the ability of the client to run their campaigns globally.
According to the report, respondents addressed the question about the areas where they feel a lack of talent. After analyzing the US data, respondents said they had witnessed high scarcity in “Data and Analytics.”
CMOs say Data and Analytics is the most critical area where skill gaps have been a persistent problem in the past. 64% of agencies and 71% of advertisers have agreed to this. So, the need to priortize focusing on this area is the goal for the next 2 years.
According to 84% of the respondents in the USA, E‑commerce or Retail Media is the second most cited area where the lack of talent in media roles has been observed. During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Retail Media was rising and so was the need for investment in this particular sector. The number of advertisers planning to invest in it was also increasing. So, it became the ultimate growing area that needed the most expertise and talent.
7 out of 10 respondents in the USA cited “Management” and “Omnichannel Planning” as other areas that need to fulfill the requirements of talent. At the same time, less than half of the respondents said that they think Social and Influencer Marketing, Media Buying, and Talent Management also have a talent shortage.
It’s pretty evident from the above statistics that Data and Analytics have the most potential to emerge as the top capability. According to 69% of the respondents, Data and Analytics will be among the top 3 skills and capabilities that will increase its importance soon. Digital marketers also have the same opinion. Other than that, E‑Commerce/Retail Media was the next most cited area by 46% of the respondents, while only 35% indicated Measurement as the area that needs more talent and skills than it already has.
If you expand the respondents to the entire sample for the study, it highlights two factors that are the main reasons for the perceived shortage of talent:
According to 76% of the respondents, talent management, training, and development are not appropriately prioritized. These areas lack both the attention and resources to be able to serve their purpose effectively.
Obviously, there are other factors too. According to two-thirds (68%) of the respondents, the young talent is looking for a more significant “purpose” in the industries. At the same time, the other 61% pointed out that it is poor client/agency behavior that continues to cause the huge decline.
Another fact worth mentioning is that 3 in every 10 people raised the issue that the work is less attractive because of too much automation nowadays. However, 6 in 10 agreed that the best media talent is switching to tech platforms.
Currently, it is impossible to ride the wave as it won’t help in future growth. So, the need is to address the current talent shortage implicitly. It’s high time to take the initiative of reanalyzing the balance between work and life and investing more resources and efforts into talent in more effective ways to get the maximum positive impact at the end of the day.