Ad agencies are more confident in their digital skills than advertisers

Marketers around the world are not convinced by their digital advertising capabilities, despite continuing to increase global spending on digital channels.

According to a survey, conducted by the Boston Consulting Group and commissioned by Google, marketers place high importance on their digital marketing capabilities but only rated their digital skills at 57 out of 100 on average – exactly the same as they did when the research was last carried out in 2015.

This research looked at 2,200 marketers at 141 advertisers, across 41 countries, and 2,900 employees at 126 advertising agencies, in 28 countries. It found that there was a perceived skills gap between advertisers and advertising agencies.

Advertisers rated their skills at an average of 57, while advertising agencies placed themselves at 68. This was founded to be most evident in mobile advertising – where agencies scored 62 compared to 45 for advertisers – and digital targeting – 67 for agencies versus 53 for advertisers.

The lack of faith in digital skills is even more surprising when it is taken into account that digital channels now account for 33 per cent of global advertising, and are expected to overtake TV this year.

In addition, advertisers’ feelings toward their campaigns may be down to them buying more digital services from agencies – the digital share of agency revenues was more than 40 per cent in 2015. This shows that the absence of a connection between marketers, their campaigns and their consumers could be the reason behind them not being overly impressed with what they are offering.