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5 challenges of hiring professional digital marketers in Nigeria

Through the agenda-setting conversation which could readily be described as the most insightful digital marketing event of the year 2022, the Association of Digital Marketing Professionals (ADMARP), has highlighted five major challenges of hiring efficient digital marketing professionals in Nigeria, as submitted by industry experts during a panelist conversation.

The session, led by Abimbola Ogundiran, Sr Mgr, Playhouse Communication; Okeroghene Egbi, Head, Marketing, Renmoney; Tobi Asehinde, Founder DMSI; and Omobolanle Akingbala, CMO, Hirefoster bore deep into the core of some of the factors affecting the digital marketing profession in Nigeria. 

Nobody believes it is a truly professional industry

Tayo Oyedeji explained: “There is still a need to market the industry itself to brands as a specialist offering. As full professionals in the digital marketing space, the biggest problem you have is that nobody believes that it is a truly professional industry.”

Outdated templates, poorly thought-out hiring process

Abimbola Ogundiran on his part believes that there is a huge challenge on the part of the HR Managers and employers.

He said: “We have a lot of HR managers using outdated templates, poorly thought out hiring process which I think is the fundamental problem. And there is that perception that digital marketing is a generalist role. You really need to understand what you want. HR managers also need to evolve with time and also understand that you need to be trained as well and understand the relevance of IT/Technology, and digital marketing experience.”


Low qualifications/ incompetencies

Buttressing the need for the regulation of the digital marketing profession in Nigeria, against the backdrop of “unqualified individuals” parading themselves as digital marketing specialists, Ogundiran said: “We have a lot of people that call themselves digital marketing professionals, and then you realize they have not gone through the basics.”

Validating Ogundiran’s premise, Okeroghene Egbi said: “We have lots of candidates entering into the funnel, but finding someone who has the exact balance of the skill set you need for that particular job, so you end up combing through, asking questions, doing different competence tests to find the exact mix that you need. I think these are happening because the certifications or the way people get trained right now is to teach you a little bit of everything and leave you to find the path you are very strong at. But then, how do we make it clear that there are different streams and specialities required to do this job?”

In the same vein, Tobi Asehinde shared that while some might have gone to one training or the other, a lot of people call themselves digital marketers without a proven experience or strong portfolio to back their claims.


Ogundiran went further to identify remuneration as another major challenge that births the migration of professionals to “better” climes. 

In his words, Ogundiran explained: “When you look at the remuneration of digital marketing in this country, it is not as competitive as you would find in other markets. So what you find is massive movement. A lot of people go into other countries to practice digital marketing. Basically, the really good digital marketers are leaving the shores of this country and going to other markets, making it all the more difficult to retain talents.”


On the premise of background knowledge, Egbi pointed: “When I talk to people, most times, what I tend to see is people who have expertise in just one area, or people who have preference for one area, but you really won’t know until you start digging in or start having a conversation with them. So you would see someone who has defined their niche as a paid marketing expert, but when you first start probing, they tag themselves as digital marketing professionals.” 

Speaking in furtherance of his submission, Ogundiran added: “I know that most tertiary institutions do not offer digital marketing, in fact a lot of us that are in the digital marketing profession didn’t have digital marketing backgrounds, but there’s a lot of programmes you can do, a lot of digital marketing academies out there with free courses. So the onus is on you to take these different courses to upskill yourself.”


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