8668512737_50574aa48b

7 Daunting Challenges Facing Marketers

Linkedin Google+ Facebook Twitter StumbleUpon Email

8640301378_327b8be96c

Marketing today remains a great challenge, in large part because of the consistently changing technology and media landscape. Informational sources (conferences, blogs, etc.) consistently address these challenges yet the issues persist.

It may be time to take a step back on a macro level and look at how education and information sources are meeting these challenges.

Here are the seven daunting difficulties for today’s communicators, each followed by an idea or three on how to address them. Please add your own thoughts.

1) Technology Adoption and Automation: I’ve talked quite a bit about marketing automation and software. Yet, balancing human intelligence, strategy, and frankly, likeability with the precision of data and analysis gleaned from Big Data is an ongoing challenges.

There’s a great deal of professional fear with technology. Some of this deals with nomenclature and the failure of tech and social media firms to make their products easily accessible to the common person. We also need information and education to get much more specific here, refine roles, better define which data sets matter, as well as how humans can best master these new evolving tools

2) Integration: Marketing in the Round (co-authored with Gini Dietrich) has been out for a year, and generally most marketers agree that integration should occur in marketing, but it remains a huge issue. People still think in single silos within their own domain, and are not stretching to create better results for their organizations by teaming with other communicators.

Death by Silo by @gapingvoid

Frankly, this is an issue for the C-Suite. Until CEOs and presidents demand successful integration, it’s going to be hit or miss depending on the level and training of the lead marketer in each organization. The good new is leading educational institutions are teaching integration now.

3) Rapidly Evolving Media: Media evolution remains a huge issue. It used to be you could afford to become comfortable for a short period of time. Even the first wave of major social networks (MySpace, Facebook, Twitter) had some staying power.

Today, media evolves so quickly that volatility is part of the game. What worked last year, won’t this year, and the same goes for 2013. Look no further than the decrease Facebook has suffered in tactical viability for some types of business.

Marketers need to move away from channel specific strategies, and adapt a truly liquid approach to communications. Meaning, deliver a complete content and engagement effort to serve stakeholders wherever they are, and how they like to receive information in that specific medium. Further, businesses should adapt an attitude of constant experimentation.

4) Transition to the Omnipresent Internet: The Internet is accessible everywhere (mobile, at storefront, augmented reality) now, or close to it. The current responsive design movement addresses the shift momentarily, but the market will soon discover that making one size fit all web pages may be palatable, we need custom environments to differentiate.

Scenario building and mapping content to access method and corresponding usage pattern is the right course here. There’s nothing wrong with a few mobile specific pages. As marketing IT budgets increase, developing specific experiences for each type of medium will best serve stakeholders and brands alike.

5) Video and Visual Skills Missing: The visual revolution is here, and most small and medium businesses are not competing effectively. Some of that is financial resources, but most of it is training and skill set.

8668512737_50574aa48b

Today’s communicators are writers, pitchers (PR), or networkers. They don’t think visually, pun intended. The next generation of communicators will have a combined skill set of visual and textual creativity. We need to get them into the workforce quickly. Seasoned executives would benefit from training as well.

6) Nurturing Skills for Inbound Marketing: A majority of leads expected to come via online content and other forms inbound marketing. To succeed communicators have to understand customer experiences and needs, and build more intelligent conversion paths on their sites, in call centers, and in stores. Using data analysis and intelligent contents, nurturing customers should become more customized and targeted towards niches.

Education and experience will provide a better understanding of customer service, email marketing, the role of landing pages, and the creation of value-add content for core community members. Communicators steeped in broadcast or public social media paths will need to expand their knowledge base.

7) Stuck in Social Media/Community Management: Perhaps this is a function of the social media expert/blogger, but the general conversation online seems to be lagging behind the challenges that CMOs face. Single person or small social media consultancies under 10 don’t deal with enterprise level issues like this. Instead, they are often limited in conversation to their tactical area of expertise.

So what’s the fix? I’m not sure other than the tech companies who market solutions and analyst firms like SiriusDecisions that fill in the thought leadership void. Social media centric thought leaders will keep panning their networked wares, and stay pidgeon holed in the niche.

What do you think about these challenges facing the marketing sector?

A version of this post ran originally on the Vocus blog.

Linkedin Google+ Facebook Twitter StumbleUpon Email
  • http://www.buyerology.com/ Tony Zambito

    Hello Geoff,

    Superb article and 7 highly challenging points made. I believe adaptation to the new digital age is a disruptive force on marketing. I was recently interviewed by Michael Brenner and noted marketing is in the throes of a buyer revolution and caught flat-footed. One area of note in your article which I have been working on is the area of scenario modeling and mapping – what I call Buyer Foresight. Glad to see mentioned here – it is a capabilities marketers will need in the future to stay ahead of the pack. Insightful and well done article. I will welcome connecting to talk more!

    Tony Zambito

    • geofflivingston

      Thank you, Tony. If we don’t obsessively focus on our customers, business will be for not. Long live the brand as experienced through the eyes of the customer. Hope all is well with you!

  • tong

    Xiamen Mutual Prosperity (MP) Trading Co., Ltd.
    MP cultures:Adhering to western freedom and fraternity together with Chinese traditional culture to set up a bright,civilized ,happy ,passionate atmosphere for business.

    MP ideas:Tolerance, integrity ,thanksgiving,responsibility. We are always trying our best to realize the new commercial civilization.

    MP makes full use of modern science and technology,keep improving product quality and users’ experience for one brighter world and one dream of better life.

    MP clients from industry ,reputed food discounters,hardware store chains,lighting fixture manufacturers,electrical distributors ,end customers and last but not least the environment : With our products they all beam with joy Worldwide.

    At MP lighting,you’ll find our goal is your solution-to continually seek out emerging technologies and design innovative products the lighting needs of tomorrow.

    At MP ,we’re changing the way you think about the lighting.

    We hope we establish a long-term stable relationship;
    We hope that our cooperation is win-win.

  • tong

    Cambiar la oscurso vida,Entrar el brillante mundo

    Cuando la noche se venga,queremos andar con la luz que puede
    lleva el seguro.
    Por la noche,volver a la casa,para led bombilla y otras lamparas,se usan en la casa, por la caliente luz ,juntamos con nuestros familiares, ?Qué feliz!
    A las lamparas ,tienen una larga vida,más que 30,000 horas,y no estan caros,muy economía.
    Por la
    lámpara,cambiar la oscurso vida,nos llevar a entrar el
    brillante mundo.

  • tong

    MP Prime Mover,we know we can do better for new generations, improvement “ made- in- China .
    We are a team faith in the simple dreams and genius, full sense of responsibility and positive values.
    we are always on the way.

  • tong

    LED tube is energy-saving and environmental protection.
    Xiamen Mutual Prosperity (MP) Trading Co., Ltd.
    At MP ,we’re changing the way you think about the lighting.
    MP cultures:Adhering to western freedom and fraternity together with Chinese traditional culture to set up a bright,civilized ,happy ,passionate atmosphere for business.

    MP ideas:Tolerance, integrity ,thanksgiving,responsibility. We are always trying our best to realize the new commercial civilization.

    MP makes full use of modern science and technology,keep improving product quality and users’ experience for one brighter world and one dream of better life.

    LED tube Life is longer than energy-saving lamps.
    We hope we establish a long-term stable relationship;
    We hope that our cooperation is win-win.

A New Novel from Geoff Livingston

Want news and an advanced copy of the book?
Your info is never shared

Work with My Company

Tenacity5 Media Logo

Buy Exodus for Just $0.99

You can buy the book from these vendors, including $0.99 on the Kindle store.

101 Things, a Bucket List

Pacific Sunset

Posts on Other Blogs

Vocus Marketing Blog
(2012-present)

Inspiring Generosity
(2011-2012)

Mashable
(2009-2011)

The Buzz Bin
(2006-2010)

Archives

Categories

My Photos

The Osprey's Nest by Geoff Livingston
Wipe Out! by Geoff Livingston
Wheel Barrow Row by Geoff Livingston
Tranquility by Geoff Livingston
The Hot Rising Sun by Geoff Livingston
Potomac Sunrise Rouge HDR by Geoff Livingston
Cade Martin Photoshoot by Geoff Livingston
The Keyhole at Pfeiffer Beach by Geoff Livingston
Point Sur by Geoff Livingston
McWay Falls by Geoff Livingston
From the Top of the Rail Station by Geoff Livingston