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.
The Institute of Direct & Digital Marketing
Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
14 | THE INSTITUTE OF DIRECT & DIGITAL MARKETING
CEO Chris Combemale
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
“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 thefuture.
THE INSTITUTE OF DIRECT
&DIGITAL MARKETING (IDM)
»CEO: Chris Combemale
»Founded in 1987
»The IDM is the training division
of the DMA
»Based in London
training and qualifications;
»No. of clients: Approximately
6,000 delegates, plus 75 in-
company training programmes
The Institute of Direct
& Digital Marketing
15THE INSTITUTE OF DIRECT & DIGITAL MARKETING |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
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
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
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 likemarketers.
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.
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.
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
16 | THE INSTITUTE OF DIRECT & DIGITAL MARKETING
The marketing industry also needs
to promote its key qualities more
effectively to undergraduates.
Recentresearch 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
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
The data and
skills gaps” – IDM
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review
This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.
In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.
We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.
With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.
And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.
As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.