BCG Survey Reveals Performance Gap in Marketers’ Digital Skills Development


Consumer companies are lagging in the development of essential digital-marketing skills, particularly in high-impact channels and capabilities, such as mobile, video, and testing.

That’s the lowdown from a new survey by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which found that advertisers rated themselves at an average score of 57 out of 100 on the firm’s Digital Capabilities Index (DCI). Two-thirds of companies scored 60 or lower on the survey, which were consistent across all 41 of the countries surveyed.

“The survey found that advertising agencies put themselves in better—if not great—shape, with an average score of 68,” according to a provided report summary. “About two-thirds of agency respondents ranked their organization’s digital skills at 65 or higher, still far from a best-practice 100.”

A new report — “A Disconnect and a Divide in Digital-Marketing Talent” — encapsulates the survey results. It was commissioned by the Google Digital Academy.

The biggest weaknesses for both advertisers and agencies were shown to be in the mobile and video channels.

“Given the pace of technological change and the growing influence of digital technologies throughout the marketing function, we expected advertisers to show material improvement in our current survey,” said Dominic Field, a BCG partner and report coauthor. “Instead, we found more inertia than action, as well as low scores in some surprising areas.”

Field lamented the low scores advertisers and agencies gave themselves on testing (50 and 59, respectively).

“Testing, learning, and optimizing an approach in campaign development are among the most powerful capabilities enabled by digital technologies … and essential to using digital channels effectively,” Field added.

You can download a copy of the report here.