SYDNEY: Two-thirds of marketers in Australia have expressed doubt about their digital skills and believe the industry needs to take steps to address the issue, a new survey has found.

An AdNews poll of industry practitioners found that only 32% of respondents agreed that Australian marketers are effective at digital marketing – or are "getting there" – while almost half, 48.7%, agreed with the statement that "we're a long way off".

The survey followed a recent separate poll of marketers in the US, which found only 48% believed they were highly proficient at digital marketing while 80% said they received digital training on the job.

The results for their Australian counterparts prompted a number of industry experts to offer advice on building digital skills.

Amer Iqbal, the head of strategy at digital agency Deepend, urged marketers to put more trust in their digital agencies across all communications activity, in order to explore how technology can enhance the overall marketing effort.

He said that marketers could improve their skills by understanding the native strengths that digital can deliver across a range of areas, which he identified as measurability, attribution, campaign optimisation, organic reach and deep engagement.

Meanwhile, Jodie Sangster of ADMA, Australia's largest marketing and advertising association, observed that the Australian market is not suffering from a lack of skills, but rather from a mismatch of skills.

She suggested that often people working in digital often lack the technical skills required for data-driven marketing, while others who do come from that background lack the digital skills.

Meanwhile, Brendan Fearn, the head of marketing at the White Agency, urged businesses to recognise the role digital plays across their operations and to "deploy collaborative cross-functional teams to make decisions".

"The length of time a corporation takes to respond to an emerging opportunity can often mean they miss the boat," Fearn said.

Data sourced from AdNews; additional content by Warc staff