Digital Marketing Skills Benchmark 2023

The Digital Marketing Skills Benchmark is the only study of its type and scope to look at skills across so many different industries and age groups. Rather than being based on opinion like many other studies, the benchmark core evaluates the skills of thousands of people. Published in October 2023, by Target Internet in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), the benchmark report gives you an industry reference you can trust.

The report highlights that “The demand for Marketers with a more general Marketing skillset remains. Recruitment is reporting a notable é
increase in demand for Marketing Managers and Marketing Executives.”

In relation to the digital disciplines breakdown the report shows that in general, digital marketing skills showed a more positive image in the last two years compared to during and immediately after the pandemic. However, improvements in most digital areas have been minimal and we are still
far from the level of marketing capabilities in all areas that our organizations really need.

The skills shortage in digital marketingcontinues to be a problem and many professions have only grown above pre-pandemic levels,
some fields have not yet recovered.

Social media, email, search engine optimization, lead generation and e-commerce skills have all improved significantly over the past two
years. Usability and online advertising have improved, but not quite to the same level. Analytics, Strategy, Mobile and PPC saw slight improvements, and Content and Marketing Theory
barely improved.

While we have seen Analytics and Data improve, from 29% in 2021 to 31% in 2023, this is still much lower than the previously recorded peak of 35%, reflecting much of the uncertainty and unknown Google ‘ i GA4 analysis suite.

It’s important to note that the small improvements we’ve seen have occurred in an increasingly rapidly changing environment, so that should reassure us that our investment in expertise is paying dividends. However, we must continue this investment and look for innovative ways to improve skills.

View and download the digital marketing skills benchmark report here.

Industries covered in the benchmarking report are:

Beauty and Cosmetics
Construction and Property
Consumer Goods
Education and Training
Electronics and Engineering
Events and Conferences
Financial Services
Food and Drink
Legal and Accountancy
Luxury Goods
Media and Publishing
Professional Services
Public Sector
Recruitment and HR



Introducing The Value Gap Calculator by The Gap HQ

The Value Gap Calculator is a great resource for you to show your clients and prospective clients, how their spend with you can be converted from a cost to an investment, based on the Five Pillars of Value.  The Five Pillars of Value are: Increase Sales, Increase Gross Margin, Increase Profit, and Increase Cashflow and Optimise Assets.

If your accountancy or bookkeeping firm is keen to accelerate business success for yourself and your clients, click on the links below to find out more.

How to Develop a Social Media Strategy

Do you fancy developing a social media strategy on your own, or are you just curious about what the process involves?  Social media can be very time consuming and so focusing your efforts on having a clear strategy will help to achieve successful outcomes.

Having researched several social media strategy guides, articles, blogs, videos and podcasts, one of the top ranking resources found is courtesy of global award winning NP Digital, a performance marketing agency based in the USA.  Neil Patel, the CEO of NP Digital has produced a helpful 8 minute video that breaks down creating a social media strategy into an easy, practical and SMART formula.  Here it is summarised with added commentary and links to some useful marketing tools:

  1. Set your goals and make them SMART goals i.e. specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. Think about how these goals can relate to and benefit your ideal audience e.g. to gain more website traffic from a particular audience to a specific landing page to increase registrations for a specific event, product or service etc.
  2. Select the most appropriate social media channels to help achieve your goals.
  3. Do a social media audit – focus on what’s going well that you can do more of; including an understanding of the most engaging types of  social media posts as well as the most effective days, times and frequency of posts.
  4. Create a profile of your ideal audience that’s relevant to your brand, values, and products or services.
  5. Understand your competitors. Research, what, where, when, how and for whom they are doing much better. How can you emulate this?
  6. Create lists of content ideas that work best for each social media channel.
  7. Create a content calendar and seasonal marketing tactics.  Manage implementation of social media posts using a project managing tool like and graphic design tool like Canva.
  8. Use a social media planning tool like Hootsuite to implement, track and analyse your efforts. Review all of the above elements of your documented social media strategy once or twice a year; and focus on improving your efforts.

For an even more in-depth guide, take a look at Hootsuite’s fantastic social media strategy article that also has videos and free templates.


[ Photo by Andrea Piacquadio ]

What’s your marketing game plan?

game plan - marketing strategy - create sales

Let’s talk about marketing strategy.  How well do you, and your marketing processes, know who your ideal buyer or customer is; what their needs are; where they hang out; and when and why they’re likely to buy from you? How satisfied will your buyer be as a customer; how long will they remain a customer and how profitable will you be as a business? These are key questions that your marketing strategy should consider.

The Chartered Institute of Marketing says “Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.” A marketing strategy therefore defines your overall business’ game plan for reaching your ideal buyer, and turning them in profitable customers who buy your products or services.

What’s your unique selling proposition?

What are your principles?  What’s your vision?  What are your businesses 3 main challenges? What are your 3 main goals? So, how about starting with an agreed marketing strategy? Taking your competition into consideration, your strategy would define the strengths and opportunities of your business offering matched to the solutions that your ideal customers are looking for.

The plan would need to consider which ‘P’s of the modern marketing mix will define your unique selling (or value) proposition (USP).  Some ‘P’s to really get you thinking are:  principles, people, product (or service), price, positioning, place, promotion, physical evidence, partnerships, process, performance, profitability.

Your strategy would then detail plans and tactics for targeted online and offline marketing campaigns to generate more enquiries or sales for your business. With some help on board, a results focused and hands-on approach to marketing would then help you:

– Win more profitable new business
– Sell more to your existing customers
– Improve customer retention.
– Create and develop sales collateral
– Keep ahead of your competitors.

For some examples of campaigns  view the Create Sales portfolio.

How much should I spend on marketing?

How Much Spend Marketing | Create Sales

These are some interesting questions that we’ve been asked about marketing services in general:

  • How much should I spend on marketing?
  • Can you guarantee marketing results?
  • How long does it take to see results?


In answer to the first question about how much you should ideally be spending on marketing, we answered:

“What you choose to spend on marketing will depend entirely on your own business and circumstances.  Generally, companies spend around 5 percent of their total revenue on marketing just to maintain their current position or around 10 percent to focus on growing the business. Companies in highly competitive fields generally spend more.”

To find out answers to the second and third questions as well as more answers to frequently asked questions about marketing click here.

8 Top Findings in Gartner CMO Spend Survey 2018-19
Gartner CMO Spend Results 2018-2019

How would you describe your brand’s style and tone of voice?

Brand Style Tone of Voice Create Sales Marketing

According to the founder and chief executive officer of, Jeff Bezos, “Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” The Amazon brand has remained strong despite the negative press that it may sometimes get in relation to it’s tax commitments. Amazon’s goal is to be earth’s most customer centric company. Everything they do is designed to serve the customer in the best possible way.

A strong brand is trusted, memorable and remarkable or unique in some way. Brand awareness in any industry gives that company an edge in increasing sales and generating loyal long-term customers. Overall, your brand identity includes the physical aspects of your company’s corporate identity (logo, colour scheme, style) as well as what your brand says, what its values are, how you communicate its concepts, and which emotions you want your ideal customers to feel when they interact with your business.

Take a look at some descriptive words listed below to help start you thinking about what your company’s brand style or tone of voice is. You can also write your own list of relevant words to choose from. Select up to five words that resonate with your brand and then get more specific about each chosen word, for example, for the word “friendly”; a friendly and mature tone of voice might say, “you’ll love these marketing ideas” where as a friendly and young tone of voice might say, “check out these great marketing tips”.


Some examples of well known brands and their personalities are as follows:


Words that define the Apple brand are: lifestyle, imagination, liberty regained, innovation, passion, hopes, dreams and aspirations. Apple focuses on giving ‘power-to-the-people through technology’. Their brand values are simplicity and the removal of complexity from people’s lives. They focus on people-driven product design and being extremely helpful to enable people and businesses to achieve their goals.


Crisp and clear, warm and relaxed, and ready to lend a hand are phrases that define the Microsoft brand. Miscrosoft’s tone of voice is crisp and clear. This means they’re to the point, write for scanning first and reading second. They’re natural, less formal and more grounded in real, everyday conversations. Occasionally they’re fun and they know when to celebrate. Microsoft show their customers that they’re on their side. They anticipate their real needs and offer great information at just the right time.


Friendly, reliable and charming; MailChimp’s tone of voice is human. It’s familiar, friendly, and straightforward.


Descriptive phrases that represent Porsche are: an expression of freedom; a unique attitude to life; and the realisation of a unique dream. The Porsche brand is all about unconventional ways, independence and individuality.


This iconic American brand is sold in more than 200 countries. It’s brand is described as happy, playful and refreshing. Coca-Cola represents the shared experience of having a good time.



155 Words to Describe an Authors Tone

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