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Design Skills Emerge as a Top Skill Set for Mature Digital Marketing Organizations

May 30, 2017 | HANOVER, MD | For media inquiries, please contact us at

TEKsystems Releases Industry-Specific Intelligence on Digital Marketing Spending, Skills Needs and Challenges Based on Organizational Maturity 

In advance of the UXPA 2017 International Conference, TEKsystems®, a leading provider of IT staffing solutions and IT services, today highlighted study findings that explore design-related marketing priorities within organizations. Data was examined on four subsets based on how organizations self-identified the maturity of their digital marketing efforts. TEKsystems will be exhibiting at UXPA 2017, June 6–8, at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto.

Key highlights from the survey include:

Less than One-Quarter of Marketing Organizations Realize Full Digital Maturity; Design Skills to Gain in Criticality in Next 12 Months

Q: Which of the following best describes the status of your organization's digital marketing strategy?


Optimized – we have fully optimized our digital marketing strategy to provide the best possible customer/user experience


Integrated – we have developed a digital marketing strategy that is integrated into our overall marketing strategy


Informed – we have experience with digital marketing approaches but are still formulating a strategy


Ad hoc – we understand the potential of digital marketing and are experimenting with different technologies and approaches


Q: Which specific digital marketing skill sets do you expect to increase in criticality at your organization over the next 12 months? (multiple responses allowed)


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#2 (84%)

#1 (100%)

#1 (88%)

#1 (89%)


#1 (92%)

#2 (87%)

#2 (83%)

#2 (72%)


#3 (76%)

#3 (80%)

#3 (78%)

#3 (72%)

Percent of marketing leaders who expect these skill sets to increase in criticality at their organization over the next 12 months

TEKsystems’ Take: Design skills are consistently identified as a top need regardless of digital maturity. As companies start to formulate their approach to a digital marketing strategy, there is a nearly unanimous belief that design is a criticial need. In fact, it remained a top critical future need as organizations progressed through the integrated and optimized stages of the digital lifecycle. Comparatively, marketing leaders indicate that over the next 12 months, digital design skills will have a higher impact than either analytics or development skills on digitally mature organizations.

Nearly Two-Thirds of Organizations Rely on Internal Sources to Address Design Skills Needs; Digital Agencies Rank High as External Source

Q: Thinking specifically about design, approximately what percent of your organization's 2017 digital marketing needs are or will be addressed through current internal and external resources? (average percent)


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Internal Resources





External Resources





Q: Which external sources will your organization rely on most to support digital marketing design needs? (select all that apply)

Source Ranking

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Digital agency (28%)

Digital agency (35%)

Digital agency (31%)

Enterprise integration and consulting firm (33%)


Staff augmentation services (16%)

Staff augmentation services (30%)

Niche service providers (19%)

Digital agency (28%)


Niche service providers (16%)

Enterprise integration and consulting firm/ Niche service providers (analytics, design, etc.) (26%)

Enterprise integration and consulting firm (14%)

Staff augmentation services (21%)

TEKsystems’ Take: Regardless of digital maturity, approximately two-thirds of marketing leaders consistently default to an internal model for supporting design needs. This may indicate a preference for more control and consistency of the brand, or that the bulk of the design work can be done with internal talent, and organizations shift to an external partner for more specialized needs. If they do look externally, it appears they take a two-pronged approach of either hiring a separate digital agency or augmenting their design staff through a contractor model.

“It’s clear that organizations with optimized digital marketing strategies have taken the guesswork out of determining which skills they need and how to best source the skills that provide the best possible customer/user experience,” said Jason Hayman, market research manager, TEKsystems. “While it’s true that they have more budget devoted to this task, their approach is carefully considered, and they prefer to first look internally, then, when necessary, externally to enterprise integration and consulting firms for the skill sets they need. Those skill sets, including analytics, development and design, are key to not only developing the features and functionality that matter most when it comes to the user experience, but also to measuring the effectiveness of the various tools being created and deployed.”

In March, TEKsystems issued findings on the current state of digital marketing initiatives within organizations (“Less Than One-Quarter of Organizations Employ Optimal Digital Marketing Strategies”), and will provide a central resource of additional research in June 2017. For the State of Digital Marketing 2017 Survey Report, which provides detailed information on the state of digital marketing trends, including budgets, challenges and skills needs, click here..

TEKsystems’ Jason Hayman is available for additional commentary. For more information about the survey, or to schedule an interview, please contact Nathan Bowen at

About TEKsystems

People are at the heart of every successful business initiative. At TEKsystems, an Allegis Group company, we understand people. Every year we deploy more than 80,000 IT professionals at 6,000 client sites across North America, Europe and Asia. Our deep insights into IT human capital management enable us to help our clients achieve their business goals–while optimizing their IT workforce strategies. We provide IT staffing solutions and IT services to help our clients plan, build and run their critical business initiatives. Through our range of quality-focused delivery models, we meet our clients where they are, and take them where they want to go, the way they want to get there.