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The Pulse of the Industry

As I write this month’s Editor’s Note, I am listening to an inane series of nursery rhymes blasting from a tablet at an absolutely outrageous, brain-rattling volume. “This is our class pet, her name is Jellybean. She has such tiny feet, she’s cuddly and sweet.” On repeat. (Bonus points if you know where that line comes from, and my condolences if you’ve been subjected to it as well.)

This is the world many of us work in now thanks to today’s remote and hybrid office models. Don’t get me wrong, I would not trade working remote for anything in the world — the flexibility to be home with a sick child (as outlined above) can certainly make the logistics of life easier — but it can be both a blessing and curse. The challenges of evolving workplace models are affecting all businesses in how they recruit and retain talent and operate — and the commerce marketing industry is no exception.

In the Path to Purchase Institute’s 27th annual Trends Survey, we take a deep dive into the challenges and opportunities that commerce marketers are facing in their roles. And this year, we specifically asked our readers and members what challenges, if any, their organizations are facing in regard to recruiting, training and/or retaining talent. The responses followed similar themes:

Concern 1: Remote/hybrid workplace models or the lack thereof

• “Trying to get leadership onboard with remote work. Employees want to work from home, and we are not where we need to be with that. So, struggling to attract the right talent.”

• “Difficult to get anyone to move to our location and willing to have on-site requirements.”

Concern 2: A competitive marketplace with high turnover

“Turnover is higher than ever. Keeping high-level employees engaged and fulfilled requires evolution of previous strategies as well as intentional management. Remote work has opened opportunities for recruitment of high-caliber individuals from a broader geographic base.”

“It’s a HOT labor market. My best people are being approached weekly, if not daily, with offers to jump ship in return for more money or some other condition that might appeal to them. So far, we’ve been able to do a good job of retaining our people, but the pressure is there.”

Concern 3: Expertise issues/knowledge gaps

“Finding people with an understanding of the emerging omnichannel (e-commerce) space and what it takes to be competitive in that space, along with the right level of customer/shopper marketing experience.”

“Not many people trained in the new digital capabilities. Digital companies stole them (Amazon, Netflix, Instacart).”

In our Trends Survey, we also polled our audience on a host of other topics to take the pulse of the industry — including asking them to evaluate and rate key retailer media network metrics.

We hope you find the results of our survey insightful and helpful in navigating the year ahead!

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