- Management consulting firm Smith & Beta's State of Advertising Report found that 62% of ad agency employees are asking for more advanced digital work from their teams, while 43% say they are not prepared for future work within the industry.
- The study surveyed more than 2,000 ad agency employees. 55% of respondents said they are no more than novices in their mobile strategy capabilities, with only 15% saying they are experts or semi-experts.
- Overall, only 7% of ad agency employees say they are exceeding client expectations with their digital advertising work, according to the study.
It's almost shocking to hear how far behind ad agencies are with regard to mobile specifically and digital in general.
"With a phone in almost every pocket, why have our skill sets not evolved to meet the opportunities that mobile presents?" Allison Kent-Smith, founder of Smith & Beta, told Media Post.
The report calls attention to the growing digital skills gap that is appearing in the marketing world. With the rise of digital channels and a growing demand for data-driven marketing, agencies are being challenged to reconsider what quantitative and creative skills a recruit needs in order to succeed as a digital marketer.
The longer respondents reported being in the industry, the less secure they felt about digital marketing and advertising. Ad dollars sometimes move away from the major agencies to smaller shops because they have an expertise in particular digital channels that are vexing the bigger players.
Established agencies may have to rethink their approach to employee education and hiring or they might face an even more uncertain future as new digital channels and technologies continue to disrupt marketing roles and take over advertising budgets.