Going by the quote of Peter Drucker in the feature image, we assume that marketing is essentially one of the core business functions as it drives growth. However, studies indicate that the very function is not being performed well, and results are not encouraging. In this post, we’ll discuss top 3 challenges for the modern marketing professionals with their solution. The motivation of this post came from the Adobe study, which gave the following verdict.
- 76% marketers think marketing has changed more in the past two years than the past 50 years.
- Marketers have low confidence in their companies’ marketing performance. Only 40% think their company’s marketing is effective.
- 78% of marketing professionals feel more pressured to show ROI on marketing spending.
- Most of the digital marketers don’t have formal training; 82% learn on the job.
Now, let’s move to the top 3 challenges and their recommended solutions.
1. Winning the Trust of Stakeholders:
In 2012, The Fournaise Group conducted a study where 1200 CEOs were interviewed. It concluded that 80% CEOs do not trust marketers and are not much impressed by the work of their marketing people (except if they are ROI focused). Comparatively, 90% of the interviewed CEOs showed favorable opinion of CFOs and CIOs. The primary reason (according to the study) why marketers are losing trust of their bosses is their disconnection from the financial realities of the company. In addition, the performance of an organization is measured in the financial terms; hence, CFO’s turn closer to CEO’s.
First of all, you need to understand that every department has its own stake and importance in the organization. A modern day marketer has to realize the importance of finance and numbers to his/her job. Of course, a cash-stripped company cannot spend anything on marketing.
- Be close to financial reality of the business.
- Hold frequent meetings with people from sales, IT, CRM, support, and finance departments. It’ll diversify your business perspective.
- Get out of comfort zones and learn new things and innovate the marketing process.
- Provide a detailed account of strategies and results in finance language (digits, numbers and analytics).
2. Managing Technology:
This problem has two dimensions. First, the pace of innovation is so rapid that we have new tools of managing/performing a particular task every other day. This makes it difficult for marketers to select and use the best tools to improve their performance. Second dimension is usage of and reliance on technological tools. For example, if you are subscribed to some marketing automation tool, it has its own strengths and limitations. Here, 85% B2B marketers are unable to use their automation tools to their full capacity and tool remains under-performing.
The key problem is to understand a basic fact about technology. Tech tools are just a helping hand that help improve human performance. Over-reliance on tools instead of brain and human aspects creates problems. A marketer has to understand that automation platforms, software, mobile apps, and productivity tools are for his help not to do his job, they are not your alternatives. They need to learn how to perform like successful people and be more productive.
Secondly, learn your tools, new things, and practices like a student. If you are subscribed to one tool, learn to use it to its full capacity. Remember, organizations are looking for knowledge-workers who could reduce their cost of training by self-learning. You may go for online certifications or weekend executive programs but make sure that knowledge manifests in your actions.
3. Maintaining Focus:
Being a digital marketing professional, I see this as a bigger challenge than anything else. Look at the latest digital marketing statistics, with global internet user base crossing 3 billion mark, the digital landscape has expanded enormously. We have to reach out people who are using social networks, touching mobile devices, reading blogs, and looking for creative content like Infographics. Search engine marketing, content strategy and PR management are other key areas of any digital campaign.
With this unending diversity, many folks lose their focus from the core goal and get absorbed in procrastination or some trivial activities like “just tweeting”. This is the point that studies have found to be very alarming as only 48% of digital marketers feel highly proficient or deliver a balanced performance.
Maintaining focus is key to excellence and peak performance. Whether you’r doing some email marketing campaign or going for a big budget advertisement program; focus is essential. Therefore we recommend you to apply the following.
- Make a campaign calendar for organized work.
- Write your core goals on a paper and remind you every morning and evening.
- Delegate less important tasks to subordinates or defer them for the time being. Put your energies on the more important activities.
- Divide your time looking at the value of a particular channel and maintain your focus on core areas.
- Get some lectures/YouTube Tutorials on task, time, and campaign management.
- Understand the difference between urgent, important, and good.
It is hoped that the given suggestions will help you be a better marketer and business professional. If you have anything to say; please share with us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Also, don’t forget to share this piece with your friends and help them be better at their jobs too.