Why organisations need to upskill their people

16 Feb 2018

  • Leadership
  • Digital Marketing
  • Data-driven Marketing
  • Customer Experience

By: Richard Harris, Managing Director, IQ

We all know about the unprecedented speed of change in business and in particular marketing. We’re all feeling it and desperately trying to get ahead of it.

Harnessing more advanced Data-driven strategies (D) and using powerful Technology (T) can significantly affect business results with senior management seeing real benefit from leveraging data through powerful technology or:

D+T = $

There’s one problem here. Unfortunately the equation is wrong – it doesn’t work.

Here’s why: A lot of digital transformation projects fail in large part due to the lack of People (P) with the right skills to execute.

Research actually shows, the equation should be more like this:

D+T+P (skilled people) = $


But where are all the skilled people?

Due to the rate of change in technology, there is currently a shortage of skilled candidates. However this doesn’t mean that organisations don’t have the right people for the job – they may just need training in new skills.

The trouble is, training today is often ad-hoc and done in isolation. Organisations need to develop a holistic approach to training and ensure that existing skills within teams are harnessed.

Peer-to-peer coaching could save significant dollars, while assessing where the gaps are and focusing your budget where it’s needed most can deliver great results.  

How to get started

In an effort to help organisations understand what skills they need to support their business strategies, we have created IQ for Business along with a framework that defines the capabilities that marketing professionals should possess in five key areas:

  1. Data-Driven Marketing - applying data insights to marketing strategies in order to optimise ROI.
  2. Digital Marketing - the effective use of digital channels to reach and engage with an audience.
  3. Content Marketing - producing relevant content to support customer-centric marketing.
  4. Creative - managing the creative process.
  5. Marketing Analytics - distilling actionable insights from company data.

The framework has been used to build a service whereby companies can:

Define the skills people in certain teams should have given their role and responsibilities
Determine what skills (and to what level) currently exist within the team
Identify gaps between required skills and current skills that may represent a risk to strategy or an opportunity to utilise unknown skills

The skills assessment is a way for businesses to prioritise their efforts on training where it will provide the best value i.e. fills gaps that are important to the business.

How the assessment works

For each professional capability standard, we have five levels from Entry level to Advanced.

Each level contains between four and six capabilities that we would expect a marketer to have at that level.

Skills assessment levels

For each capability, we defined five behaviours - how people apply that capability in their role. When presented with a capability, the individual chooses the behaviour that best describes them. This score is then compared to the industry score for that role.

The difference between the assessment and the industry score can then be used to determine if there are underutilised skills or gaps in the team for which training will be needed.

To hear more about IQ for Business enquire below.


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