In a survey recently commissioned by The Marketers' Forum, findings show that professional marketers are more focused on presentation skills than on core skills such as e-commerce.
The survey of 400 students, mostly postgraduates working in marketing in major UK businesses showed that only 10% of students interviewed said they felt e-commerce is critical to marketing, whilst 67% of students viewed presentation skills as critical with nearly a third wanting to hone these skills.
Commenting on this finding, Quentin Crowe, Managing Director of The Marketers' Forum said; "We train young professional marketers who are working in the industry and I am constantly shocked that people are more concerned about their presentation skills than critical communications devices.
The skills that are a source of competitive advantage are more important than delivering a slick presentation yet that is not what is seen as important according to our survey.
"In fact in addition to knowing they are poor at online marketing and are not keeping pace with developments, they are rarely able even to do basic break even analyses.
"The findings are attributed by students, in part, to the fast pace of change in e-commerce but also to many fundamentals missing from the school and university and even marketing postgraduate education system - especially where financial skills are concerned.
Commenting on this, student Gemma Dentith says; "The survey results alarm me having worked with many online marketing agencies to develop my skills, then witness the results that online generates - if your brand sells products to consumers or businesses then e-commerce is a fundamental transactional tool with online being a multi-facet platform.
However, when studying myself, I found that there is definitely a shortage of integrated off- and online marketing courses in the market - that is until now. Unlike traditional marketing, online skills need continuous investment to gain that competitive entrepreneurial edge, purely because of the vast speed and pace of new online marketing tools at a brands' disposal."
The Marketers' Forum is introducing a set of short courses this Autumn in response to the findings of the survey, which include a one day E- Marketing - Pods Blogs and Wikis and a one day course on E-Marketing Analytics covering pay per click, web design, Google analytics to provide immediate design and monitoring skills.
The courses are open to existing Marketers' Forum students and any other applicants.
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