Today’s top five marketing challenges

Today’s top five marketing challenges

  • 04 September 2018

With a wider remit than ever before, marketers today face a range of challenges. Whilst teams and budgets are lean for most, marketing as a function has more responsibility than ever – to guide a business towards growth in the face of uncertain times.

In this article, we consider what challenges are being faced by today’s marketer, and how CIM can help you to recognise and overcome them.

Both proving and communicating the ROI of marketing activities has been a long-debated topic within the profession. With many senior marketers still missing out on a seat at board level, if the industry cannot make the value of marketing obvious, it risks being viewed as a cost centre and missing out on future buy-in.

However, this couldn’t be further from reality. CIM’s recent research with PwC found that the UK marketing industry generates £36.5 billion in annual Gross Value Added – but communicating this internally can be a challenge. Marketers must speak the same language as the board and bring numbers to the table that demonstrate exactly what marketing is delivering to the business. Communicating how much pipeline marketing brings to the business, and how your campaigns have contributed to business growth is crucial for getting further buy in, but gathering the best data and sharing this in an effective way is undoubtedly an obstacle for many marketers.

It can be difficult for marketers at any level to prove the impact of their activities, so learn how to develop a metric-orientated approach and show measurable outcomes for your marketing strategies and tactics.

2) Lack of fundamental marketing knowledge

With the rise of marketing specialisms and non-linear career paths, Target Internet’s recent Digital Marketing Skills Benchmark found that marketers in junior roles generally lack knowledge of core marketing principals. With enhanced technical and digital knowledge, addressing the shortage of core marketing knowledge is a challenge for marketers today more than ever.

Furthermore, marketing’s widened remit, with a focus on customer experience, data, digital and sales, has blurred the lines between departments and organisational structures. With non-marketing focused departments often being those that directly interact with the customer, and controlling key marketing channels, it is an increasing challenge for marketing to work across function and fulfil its remit.

3) Understanding customer behaviour

Research from CIM has found that consumer trust is decreasing year by year. The survey of consumers found that four in ten don’t trust any organisations to use their data responsibly, despite the arrival of the General Data Protection Regulations, which aim to bring greater clarity to how organisations can use consumer data. Whilst this is an industry-wide issue, some sectors are affected more than others, with even more people (73%), not trusting technology platforms like Facebook and Twitter with their personal data.

A decline in brand loyalty has also put marketers under strain. Consumers in both the B2B and B2C world are now led by choice, experience and price, spelling trouble for marketers who cannot deliver all three. With marketers increasingly tasked with interpreting and predicting consumer behaviour, keeping a finger on the pulse of changing customer trends and expectations has always been a priority – but anticipating these in a fast-changing world is harder than ever.

Understanding these new and emerging behavioural patterns is crucial to marketing success, so learn more about how to engage, acquire and retain your customers.

4) Keeping up-to-date with digital

In a world where digital technologies are moving faster than many businesses can keep pace with, organisations must evaluate what skills and technologies are required to reach, engage and add value to your customer, with the ultimate goal to deliver growth and stay relevant. Target Internet’s recent Digital Marketing Skills Benchmark, in association with CIM, highlights some worrying trends about how up-to-date marketers are with the latest technology.

The research revealed skills gaps in analytics and content marketing across all seniority levels and industries. Furthermore, it found that those marketers in senior roles lacked working knowledge of SEO, social media and programmatic advertising, posing questions for how effectively strategies would incorporate these key channels for digital marketers. Whilst these skills gaps may not be surprising to many, the level at which they still exist in the industry should be concerning. Furthermore, the growth of digital channels means that making an impact online is a challenge facing marketers across the industry.

Digital disruption has spelt trouble for both large corporations and SMEs, so gain access to digital marketing e-learning modules and maximise the impact of your digital activities, with a minimum impact on your time.

5) The changing role of product management

Marketers across the industry know that the customer journey has changed significantly over the last decade, but this has caused a particular challenge for product management, which sits at the centre of customer experience, technology and business growth. In many organisations, product management has moved to a solution-based approach, with product lifecycles changing all the time.

Product management has evolved into a crucial competitive advantage for organisations, but in a time of industry-wide disruption, product marketers must ensure they can align maximising the implementation of their products with a clear strategic vision. More than ever, it is the job of project management to lead their organisation with new product development and compelling value propositions that meet rising customer expectations.

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