The complexity facing marketers today is astounding. A decade ago, billboards, signage, direct mail, radio, TV and print ads were your core channels for reaching your target audience. Today, marketing is a multi-channel discipline, tripling the work on marketers’ plates.
The rise of new technologies has forced marketing to evolve, broadening the options available for reaching potential buyers and existing customers.
The adoption of social media platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok have created new channels for engaging target audiences. Gaming platforms, such as Twitch, are newer entries into the social space, expanding this channel’s reach with additional advertising possibilities.
Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Fire, Roku and Apple TV have enabled consumers to cut the cable cord and have also paved the way for the emergence of OTT (“over-the-top”) services, thus new advertising channels.
According to MarTech Today, the tech landscape has exploded from 150 systems to manage in 2011 to more than 7000 in 2019, making password management a chore.
And it’s not just technology that has impacted the role of marketing. User and customer experience are at the forefront of every marketing leader’s mind, especially as artificial intelligence is used to enhance the customer journey.
Clearly, this evolution gives marketers more options for connecting with and attracting new audiences but also stretches their capacity to deliver as expected.
Marketing Organizations Lag Behind
Despite the evolution, the structure of today’s marketing organization has not always followed suit, leaving many marketing leaders overwhelmed with the level of expectation, responsibility and sheer volume of work to get done.
Given the wide scope of marketing today, what a team of three could accomplish in the past is no longer manageable without external partners.
Ten years ago, a three-person marketing team coordinated advertising, direct mail, and managed a simple, “read-only” website. There was very little in the way of user interaction or content generation. Marketing messages reached customers in offline mediums such as newspapers, directories and magazines. If a video was needed, the team coordinated the production with an agency partner.
Today, this same-sized team is asked to produce videos and animated graphics, manage interactive websites and company apps, design infographics, produce webinars and organize other events, and create organic content for audiences on various social media platforms and other online publications.
Messaging has evolved as well from push to pull marketing, requiring intimate knowledge of the customer journey, buyer personas, and expanding the role of content marketing.
With most marketing organizations operating lean yet facing high expectations, the need for external professionals to augment the skill sets of internal teams will continue.
The Digital Impact on Marketing
The adoption of new technologies has expanded the responsibilities of the modern marketing organization in three key ways.
Content is King
With the rise of the internet and social media, search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing have become a must-have for most businesses.
Content marketing exploded after Google conducted its 2011 landmark study which showed 88% of shoppers research a product before buying it. Around the same time, Google shifted its search ranking algorithm so “keyword stuffing” – attempting to improve search engine rankings by loading a webpage with specific keywords – was discouraged, which forced marketers to rethink their strategies and tactics.
The expectations are high for content marketers. According to the Demand Gen 2020 Content Preferences Survey Report, 67% of respondents said they now rely even more on content than they did in the year prior to research and inform purchase decisions. The report highlights that with each step of the buyer’s journey, content preferences shift from more visual and quick-hitting formats such as blogs, listicals and infographics to more immersive formats such as video, podcasts, interactive content, and assessments. The varieties of content are all the responsibility of the modern marketing organization.
But given the lean organization structure and volume of organic content production needed to remain competitive and capture audience attention, it doesn’t surprise us that 84% of B2B marketers are outsourcing content creation. It’s clear that content creation capability is not possible in-house without external partners.
The internet, blogging, and user-driven reviews of businesses through platforms such as Yelp, TripAdvisor and Glassdoor have given marketing organizations another task: managing your company’s online reputation.
Reviews, positive or negative, can generate useful customer insights and impact the acquisition of new business. If 92% of B2B buyers are swayed by and more likely to purchase after reading a trusted, positive review, an almost equal amount (94%) say a negative online review has driven them away from a business.
Employers have also invested a significant amount of resources into establishing their employer brand. An Indeed survey shows that 83% of job seekers are likely to use company reviews to base their decision on where to apply. A pattern of negative feedback can impact talent attraction.
Solid brand management strategies involve responding to positive and negative reviews. Consumers, employees and potential candidates expect it. But many companies lack the bandwidth to effectively manage an influx of reviews. This critical task is often delegated across multiple employees or departments (which poses other challenges), or an outside agency is engaged to monitor, respond and escalate if needed.
Big Data Analysis
While collecting and analyzing data is not new to marketers, new technologies have produced a wealth of data, introducing a new challenge: turning a high volume of complex data into actionable insights that translate into business results.
Discerning which data is the right data to analyze for insights is only part of the issue. Making connections between disparate pieces of data across channels is critical for uncovering meaningful, actionable insights and creating personalized content.
Though many modern marketing tools do a great job of producing single-channel reports, most marketers are not trained data scientists. When speed is crucial for determining actionable insights, sifting through large amounts of data compromises the ability to act quickly with real-time information.
So as companies continue to collect more and more data, marketing leaders are more frequently questioning if they are analyzing the right data and if their team has the expertise they need.
We Have a Solution
Whether your challenge is producing high volumes of targeted content, strategically managing your company’s online reputation, data analysis, or another critical marketing initiative, most modern marketers need relief.
Driven by high expectations for timely delivery, our clients tend to fall into one of these categories:
Rather than working with numerous external partners, consider partnering with a digital, creative and marketing services firm such as WunderLand Group with a flexible delivery model to meet your goals:
Marketers: Overwhelmed and need relief? Whether a big or small project requiring a single expert or team expertise in core marketing areas, CONTACT US today to learn more about how companies of all sizes are benefiting from our flexible delivery model.