A survey by affiliate network Webgains has found that 57.5% of performance marketers receive no training to increase their knowledge of the industry from their employer.

The research was carried out on 75 PerformanceIN readers, which represent an average of UK-based digital marketers between the age of 25-34.

While the remaining 42.5% of respondents did claim to receive some degree of on-the-job training, frequency varied greatly from once annually (9.6%), every month (6.8%), every week (8.2%) to every six months (2.7%).

While the study doesn’t take into account specifics of intensity, duration, or the exact parameters of what constitutes ‘training’, the number of respondents who believe they do not receive any should be a point of concern.

“With over half of marketers stating that their business never provides training to increase their knowledge of the performance marketing industry – it is easy to understand why the UK has a shortage of approx 750,000 people with the appropriate digital skills to survive in the modern workplace,” said Webgains’ CEO, Richard Dennys.

“Increasing the skills and knowledge of the performance marketing workforce is crucial – and any organisation that isn’t continually investing in its people today, tomorrow and forever will run out of steam and fall behind the competition.”

The skills gap

While plenty of qualifications exist for digital marketers, performance advertising disciplines remain few and far between, exacerbating the ongoing issue of departmental “siloing” as employees lack an understanding of the methods and skills used by colleagues or partners.

According to an external study, three-fifths of UK marketing graduates had “no memory” of learning about the affiliate sector or performance-based marketing practices, while 67% of those that did claimed that information related to affiliate practices was “outdated and unhelpful”.

As a result, forward-thinking businesses must develop tailored in-house training regimes that meet the needs of their individual employees, says Dennys, fostering learning through “real-world execution, rather than just theory”.

For Webgains, it’s more than just empty words. The affiliate network this Thursday will launch the Webgains Academy, a professional development initiative – driven by the company’s belief in “fewer hands, more brains” – aimed at training employees and partners not through formal classroom-based activities, but through real-world scenarios. The core objective will be to educate staff and publishers on the “phenomenally” fast-paced affiliate space, striving to expand students’ knowledge base beyond just affiliate to create “rounded digital marketers”.

“We have revised the traditional learning structure to enable all our employees to take an on-demand, ‘do and learn’ approach to training and development of their performance marketing knowledge,” said Dennys.

Webgains, a Headline Sponsor of PerformanceIN Live, will be launching the Webgains Academy on Thursday, September 7 for staff and partners.