Marketing Execs Bullish on New Talent, Focused on Digital Tools

A new survey provides insight into the minds of Minnesota’s marketing executives.

Marketing Execs Bullish on New Talent, Focused on Digital Tools
Twin Cities marketing executives think recent college grads are of a higher caliber as they enter the field than those who graduated five years ago. But it’s also hard to find entry- and mid-level talent in the field.
Those are among the findings of a recent survey conducted by local marketing firm YA and the University of Minnesota’s Institute for Research in Marketing. It focused on both talent in the marketing sector and how digital is transforming the industry.
The survey found that while 49 percent of execs think college grads have improved—and another 40 percent said they think they’re about the same as half a decade ago—many still worry about the skills that fresh workers possess. Asked which skill is most missing among young marketers, executives said problem solving and critical thinking topped the list (26 percent) while ability to effectively communicate tagged just behind it (24 percent).
And there was good news for the Twin Cities, too: About one-third of marketers thought it was easier to attract young talent to the region over other Midwestern cities, while another 38 percent said it was about the same.
The survey also asked about how digital is affecting the marketing field. Every single person asked said that digital is more important now than five years ago, though 61 percent said they’re at least one year away from fully adjusting to how digital, social media and mobile are shaking things up.
“Shifting to digital/social/mobile is critical to the very survival of virtually all of today’s companies,” YA president and CEO Chris Behrens said in a statement. “Those who don’t focus the time, talent and money needed to implement new technology will be left behind.”
The findings come from 63 Twin Cities marketing executives from both private and public companies.

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