Talent Disconnects and Talent Solutions | Marketing Maestros | Blogs | ANA

Talent Disconnects and Talent Solutions

March 5, 2020

By Elliot Lum


The ANA Education Foundation (AEF) conducts an annual talent study that captures the perspectives of three key stakeholders:

  • Academia: professors, deans, career counselors
  • Industry: marketers, agencies, talent leaders
  • Talent: new hires and undergrad students

Last year, the AEF published a study on the Diversity Disconnect. This year the AEF published a study on data and analytics, where the AEF uncovered three key disconnects:

  • Disconnect No. 1: A perception problem exists with students who view marketing and advertising as more qualitative than quantitative, creating a ripple effect on the type of talent entering the industry. Many students who select marketing or advertising as a major select it because is seen as fun and creative versus quantitative and analytical. The industry is becoming increasingly quantitative, and we need to attract talent that has the right technical skill set to deliver marketing insights that drive growth for the business.
  • Disconnect No. 2: Significant obstacles exist for companies to provide real and contextualized data to academia, which hampers the ability to connect data and analytics to business outcomes in the classroom. Many companies struggle to provide real data to universities for students to use, due to security concerns, privacy restrictions, and limited executive time. Students will often learn about data and analytics in isolation without the ability to connect it to business outcomes because of this lack of access to company data.
  • Disconnect No. 3: The shortage of data and analytical skills is not just technical — the true premium is placed on candidates with a combination of hard and soft skills together with a business mindset. While it’s true that the industry is facing a skills shortage for technical talent in data and analytics, the shortage doesn’t end there. Research has shown that the skills shortage is a combination of technical skills and communication skills that help drive business outcomes. Together, this combination of skills is what is most in demand by the marketing and advertising industry.

The AEF outlines three key solutions that map to these disconnects:

  • Solution No. 1: Evolve the Best Jobs Ever campaign. The AEF and McCann Worldgroup launched the Best Jobs Ever campaign in late 2019 to expand the perception of marketing from just ads and sales to encompass the kinds of roles that exist today, from experience design to data and analytics. The Best Jobs Ever campaign will evolve and emphasize the importance of data and analytics as the campaign evolves.
  • Solution No. 2: Build marketing case studies. During Talent Week, the AEF brings together analytics executives and academics who work together to build marketing case studies with data and analytics at the core. This working group will make sure these case studies are topical and timely that can be used directly in the classroom to simulate how data and analytics is used in a business context.
  • Solution No. 3: Leverage ANA resources. The ANA has significant resources for talent interested in data and analytics to leverage, such as conferences, committees, and online workshops. The ANA is positioned to enhance the skill sets of data and analytics professionals through continuous education.

The AEF welcomes academic and industry participation in any of these initiatives as we look to drive business growth. Please contact Elliot Lum to find out more.

You must be logged in to submit a comment.