The Institute of Direct & Digital Marketing

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by The Institute of Direct & Digital Marketing's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from The Institute of Direct & Digital Marketing is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Highlighting best practice
CEO Chris Combemale
“Quantum marketing”
skills challenge
The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM) has
provided qualifications and training to over 100,000
marketing professionals over the past 30 years. The
not-for-profit organisation, which is the training division of
the DMA, also publishes independent research, including the
Professional skills census which was released in 2018. DMA
CEO Chris Combemale tells
The Parliamentary Review
how the industry is changing and the need for companies
to continuously train their staff to make sure they are ready
for whatever the future holds for the data-driven and digital
marketing sector.
“We exist to support, encourage and raise professional standards. We provide
training to support every aspect of career development, from first steps on
the career ladder to the most senior positions in industry. Every one of our
programmes is designed and delivered by marketing experts. As a not-for-profit
social enterprise, we reinvest our profits into developing the next generation of
Marketing is evolving faster than ever, due to rapid technological advancement, the
proliferation of data and increasingly savvy consumers. In order to keep pace with the
changing environment and to attract and retain talented staff, organisations need to
cultivate a culture of continuous upskilling and professional development – not just
in the skills marketers use today but also in those they will need in thefuture.
»CEO: Chris Combemale
»Founded in 1987
»The IDM is the training division
of the DMA
»Based in London
»Services: Marketing
training and qualifications;
independent research
»No. of clients: Approximately
6,000 delegates, plus 75 in-
company training programmes
The Institute of Direct
& Digital Marketing
Professionalising the
marketing industry
To guarantee the success of our
industry for the next generation of
marketers, we need to develop a
framework where relevant training
experiences and qualifications are
utilised by entry-level marketers, all the
way up to senior data and marketing
professionals. The accountancy
and legal industries have long
been regarded as professions with
organised qualifications and career
development paths. To attract the
best talent, we need to professionalise
the marketing industry and provide
aspiring marketers with a clear route
for careerprogression.
Today’s aspiring marketer requires
a constantly expanding skillset, and
there is growing demand for highly
skilled digital and data marketers.
However, IDM research has found that
the industry is falling short in terms
of investing in structured training and
development programmes.
Skills gaps within the data
and marketing industry
Our recent research highlighted that
a number of significant skills gaps
exist within the data and marketing
industry. The IDM Professional Skills
Census 2018 found that 49 per cent
of marketers had not received training
in the key skills that they believe to be
essential to career progression. The
survey also highlighted some important
differences between the skills that
marketers currently employ in their
roles and the ones they believe they
will need to progress in their careers.
No fewer than 13 key skills gaps
were identified, including data, direct
and digital marketing, strategy and
planning, and project management.
Marketers are increasingly being
required to think like data analysts,
and data analysts are being required to
think more likemarketers.
Our analysis of skills gaps helps
employers and marketers to identify
areas where they need to invest
time and money in order to remain
competitive, address key challenges
and take advantage of future
opportunities. Organisations must
start seeing staff development as an
investment and not a cost.
Structured training programmes will
enable companies to retain talent. If
an organisation provides a continual
professional development framework
for their marketers to work within,
where it is well documented that
progress will be recognised and
rewarded, this undoubtedly will help
to increase staff loyalty in the long
run. The IDM Professional Skills Census
found that less than a quarter of the
respondents, 23 per cent, take their
newly acquired skills elsewhere.
Reimagining marketing’s
Today’s aspiring
requires a
Chris is the CEO of the DMA, comprising the DMA, IDM and TPSL
companies. He has over 35 years’ experience across advertising and
marketing experience in Europe, the USA and Asia/Pacific including
senior roles at agencies, brands and technology companies. In addition
to his commercial activity, Chris has taken a lead in industry issues
including legislation, best practice and education. His industry roles
include being Co-Chair of FEDMA, Chair of the JIC Mail board, and
seats on the boards of the Advertising Association, Asbof and CAP.
Highlighting best practice
The marketing industry also needs
to promote its key qualities more
effectively to undergraduates.
Recentresearch by Marketing Week
indicated that just three per cent of
students believe that marketing offers
the best career opportunities. We need
to make a career in marketing more
appealing and open up new routes,
such as apprenticeships. By helping
to improve the connection between
education providers and industry, the
IDM hopes to expand the talent pool.
Training for the future
Organisations need to tackle the skills
shortage head on and demonstrate the
full potential of a career in marketing.
This doesn’t necessarily mean financial
rewards. CPD is essential to motivate
staff, as it creates an environment
where marketers can see the value
in personal innovation and enhanced
productivity. If companies offer
marketers exciting opportunities to
learn and grow while embracing the
latest advances in technology, they will
be sure to attract the best minds.
Data skills will become even more
integral as the marketing industry
continues to transition from analogue
to digital, where real-time data analysis
will be a key part of any marketer’s role.
Automated systems will only increase
the availability and scope of data,
so marketers will need to be able to
interpret this information effectively and
understand how to communicate this
back to stakeholders and adapt their
marketing approachesaccordingly.
The data and marketing industry
is entering a period where the
opportunities are limitless for a
workforce that is creative, agile and
highly adaptable. The post-GDPR era
will help to bring marketing back
to its origins, where the intelligent
and ethical use of customer data is
rewarded with recognition and trust.
The challenge of the next 40 years
will be defined as much by business
integrity as by technological integration.
As the CEO of a social enterprise, I am
acutely aware of the potential impact
on the industry of ethical commerce
and corporate philanthropy. Training
the workforce of the future will require
a continuous reimagining of how
professional marketers develop the
knowledge and skills they need to
build successfulcareers.
The data and
industry is
entering a
period where
are limitless
“Future marketing
skills gaps” – IDM
Professional Skills
Census 2018

This article was sponsored by The Institute of Direct & Digital Marketing. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister