CIM boss unveils new marketing research in Belfast

Pictured at the Belfast launch of the CIM research are Carol Magill (CIM network manager Ireland), Jason Marty (Baker & McKenzie executive director in Belfast), Chris Daly (CIM chief executive) and Eleanor Gilliland (senior business development manager)
Carol Magill

CHARTERED Institute of Marketing (CIM) chief executive Chris Daly presented new research into the challenges and opportunities facing marketers at a seminar in Belfast - and the report highlighted a worrying lack of strategic direction for marketers, and reveals senior management potential for marketers if they have the right skills.

Key findings of the member survey, which was presented in front of over 50 marketers attending an event hosted at Baker McKenzie in Belfast, show that:

• In the year ahead, marketers are most excited about getting more involved in the strategic vision for the company (63%) and driving change within the organisation (61%);

• Some 93% think a marketing skills gap at a strategic level is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses today; yet only 14% listed upskilling as a priority for 2017;

• 28% of marketers say marketing has a more strategic role to play in the business, but 34% say it still does not have the seniority needed to effect change;

• 40% of marketers say they have a clear picture of what the business intends to do in the next 6-12 months and how marketing will help to support those goals; but 19% say they do not feel the business objectives have been clearly communicated to marketing.

One possible trend identified in the report is a skills gap at a strategic level and the move towards specialism which is limiting marketers' strategic insight as evidenced by research that showed that:

• 93% of marketers believe a marketing skills gap at the strategic level is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses today. This can be attributed to the rise of specialist marketers and specialised training.

• 85% think the trend towards specialism could limit marketers' vision when creating a broader marketing strategy, which could explain why so many marketers think the profession is overlooked when it comes to developing business strategy.

• Additionally, 92% of marketers think specialising in one area of marketing can mean other skills are less developed, which could include more general skills such as developing marketing strategy.

• Surprisingly despite these concerns about skills gaps, only 14% of marketers included upskilling staff as a priority for the next year.

Chris Daly said: “Marketers need to have a strong understanding of the fundamentals of professional marketing and its impact on the business and have the ability to take a step back from the day to day delivery and understand the motivations behind their customers' decisions.

"Only then can they develop the right strategy and implement measures to capture and retain their audience and driving meaningful business growth.

"For marketers needing to close the strategic skills gap, continual professional development (CPD) must play an integral role in their career path.”

For more information about the Chartered Institute of Marketing, visit CIM Ireland has its own network manager and local volunteer board. For information about CIM Ireland events and local news go to

:: Carol Magill is CIM network manager for Ireland.


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