Digital marketing key to employers’ growth strategy

Posted: Tuesday, 23 August 2016 @ 11:14

A survey amongst employers has found that investing for the future and keeping ahead of the competition - rather than cost - is the main driver to taking on a digital marketing apprentice

The survey was conducted by leading work-based training organisation Intec Business Colleges.  It reveals that three quarters of respondents see digital marketing forming the core of their future marketing strategy and close to 90% of them recognise that taking on an apprentice in this capacity is an investment for the future and one which allows them to ‘grow their own’ talent.

Darren Bunting, managing director of Intec, says: “According to the SkillsFunding Agency, there was a 66% increase in people starting Digital Marketing apprenticeships last year so we wanted to see what was driving that growth.  Half of the organisations we questioned said they needed to be better at these skills to be the leader in their field, so they are watching the competition and don’t want to be left behind.”

Earlier this year it was announced that the UK is the first country in the world to spend more than half of advertising budgets in the digital arena and 77% of businesses plan to increase their digital marketing budgets this year.  It’s clear that businesses need to harness the power of digital media to keep pace with the market and ahead of their competitors.  

When it comes to utilising new technology, social media came out top with the companies surveyed, with all of them having a Facebook and Twitter presence.  Few currently undertake advertising through Twitter (25%) and half advertise on Facebook, though many more expect to do so in the next year (Twitter 60%, Facebook 80%).  All plan on using YouTube in the next 12 months and 60% intend on advertising through this medium.  With two thirds (62.5%) currently using e-commerce, 80% intend to do so in the near future and all respondents will be using Google Adwords and online advertising in 2016.

The employers were asked about the advantages of taking on an apprentice in this field: 45% saw it as a way of growing their digital marketing capabilities, a fifth said it was a way of keeping their organisation up to date with latest techniques and a similar number said that taking on a young person meant that they would grow and learn within the culture of the business rather than having to change someone older who has their own way of doing things.  It appears that finance is not the key driver, a surprisingly small number (11%) stated that it was more cost effective to take on someone young and unskilled as opposed to recruiting a trained staff member.

Switched on businesses are also seeing the need to upskill existing staff in digital technology, Intec’s Software Training division has seen a surge in demand for training and has launched three new courses in digital marketing: Google Analytics, Social Media Essentials for Business and E-mail Marketing.

Employers wishing to take on a digital marketing apprentice should contact Intec on 0808 100 1155.  Planned courses and venues for Social Media courses are available at


Media enquiries:  Claire Salmons 01788 819740/07795 012029​