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The digital marketing skills gap: developing a digital marketer model for the communication industries.

Royle, Jo; Laing, Audrey


Jo Royle


Scholarly literature suggests digital marketing skills gaps in industry, but these skills gaps are not clearly identified. The research aims to specify any digital marketing skills gaps encountered by professionals working in communication industries. In-depth interviews were undertaken with 20 communication industry professionals. A focus group followed, testing the rigour of the data. We find that a lack of specific technical skills; a need for best practice guidance on evaluation metrics, and a lack of intelligent futureproofing for dynamic technological change and development are skills gaps currently challenging the communication industry. However, the challenge of integrating digital marketing approaches with established marketing practice emerges as the key skills gap. Emerging from the key findings, a Digital Marketer Model was developed, highlighting the key competencies and skills needed by an excellent digital marketer. The research concludes that guidance on best practice, focusing upon evaluation metrics, futureproofing and strategic integration, needs to be developed for the communication industry. The Digital Marketing Model should be subject to further testing in industry and academia. Suggestions for further research are discussed.


ROYLE, J. and LAING, A. 2014. The digital marketing skills gap: developing a digital marketer model for the communication industries. International journal of information management [online], 34(2), pages 65-73. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 14, 2013
Online Publication Date Dec 14, 2013
Publication Date Apr 30, 2014
Deposit Date Sep 22, 2015
Publicly Available Date Sep 22, 2015
Journal International journal of information management
Print ISSN 0268-4012
Electronic ISSN 0143-6236
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 34
Issue 2
Pages 65-73
Keywords Marketing; Communication; Social media; Digital; Skill gap
Public URL


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