There are many problems plaguing today’s marketers. I’ve found that most of them relate back to at least one of three things:
- Channel growth
Even though most experts agree that our economy is on an up-swing, consumers are still spending less and saving more, which means there is less revenue to go around so marketing departments are struggling to avoid slashes to their budgets. The best way to avoid such cuts is to be able to prove the ROI for marketing efforts. Enter: Big Data. A marketer’s dream and nightmare all rolled into one numbers-filled package. (We all know how much marketers love numbers.)
With the growth of digital channels, marketers are able to track conversions of all kinds in ways we never dreamed of prior to web 3.0. We’re able to track clicks, engagements, registrations, time on site, shares, conversations and sentiments about our brands and products, and more. But that data is often housed in a million different places (website analytics, sales software, social networks, email distribution systems, etc.) and these questions remain: How do we aggregate all that data? And once all that data is aggregated, what do we do with it? By and large, these questions often have unsatisfactory answers – there doesn’t seem to be one best solution. Marketers are left trying to create reporting that properly illustrates what the department has been producing and how that has impacted the bottom line, so that marketing will be able to retain its budget.
Another major issue stemming from Web 3.0 is the fact that it has facilitated extensive channel growth. There are new channels popping up all the time that marketers must evaluate. Shall we jump on this new bandwagon, or wait for the next one? Staying on top of these new trends, assessing them (does your target market even use that channel??) and determining the best strategy for maximizing them could be a full-time position in any marketing department. But usually, that role is just one of the many hats that any one member of the marketing team may be tasked with wearing, or it may be one hat that several people within the department share.
The role of the marketer (for most of us) has taken a new direction as of late… part PR, part IT, part Business Intelligence, part relationship manager, part sales, part researcher, part creative director, part… oh, yeah, MARKETER. All exhausting, and any one of which should be a full-time job on its own. But given the current financial situation we’re facing on a global scale, most organizations don’t have the luxury of hiring all those individuals so those roles are all squished together into a few marketing positions. So… first you need to do some research to decide on your objectives. Then when you’re done with that, make sure you develop your strategy, allocate the budget (which will be much too small), determine your tactics (make sure to include any relevant new channels), produce all the creative, and execute it. THEN don’t forget to collect and aggregate data. Oh, and analyze it, too. RINSE AND REPEAT.
What do you think the biggest challenge is that marketers are facing today? Which challenge energizes you most?