Why Marketers Are Failing At Marketing

Having the ability to quickly identify and correct mistakes has traditionally been one of the best attributes of online campaigns, especially search engine marketing. Yet only 65% of marketers participating in an Adobe Systems survey released Tuesday said they are more comfortable adopting new technologies once they become commonly used. The biggest problem with that points to a tendency to follow rather than lead.

Marketers tend to play it safe when it comes to testing and using new technology for campaigns. About half of marketers admit they should take more risks to increase their success and plan to do so within the next year. Some 45% said they hope to take more risks.

Taking risks remains only part of what stifles success. A lack of knowledge of some of the most rudimentary strategies like cross-channel marketing or attribution also contributes, as marketers struggle to broaden their skills. Some 64% of marketers expect their role to change in the next year, and 81% believe their role will change in the next three years.

The path to reinventing themselves remains challenging. Some 30% of marketers cite lack of training in new marketing skills, and another 30% cite their respective organization's inability to adapt to changes among the top obstacles. The study -- Digital Roadblock: Marketers Struggle to Reinvent Themselves -- highlights the attitude and beliefs of more than 1,000 marketing professionals in the U.S.

The findings also highlight a chasm between marketers in companies that spend more than 25% of their marketing budget on digital campaigns compared with those spending less than 10%. About 82% of marketers in high digital-spend companies are more likely to believe they need to reinvent themselves to succeed, versus 67% of low digital-spend companies. Marketers from high-performing companies are three times more likely to say they know how to reinvent themselves than low performers.

Seventy-six percent of marketers agree they need to become more focused on the correct data to succeed, but 49% report they would rather trust their gut to guide decisions on where to invest their marketing budgets. Only 39% of marketers said they have used consumer data and behavior patterns to shape marketing strategy in the past 12 months, but 45% plan to use more consumer data and behavior in the next 12 months. Some 72% agree that long-term success of campaigns is tied to proving marketing return on investment, while 74% admit capturing and applying data to inform and drive marketing activities has become their reality.

So, what's holding you back? The Harvard Business Review offers a series of questions in a brief assessment to gauge whether your organization's day-to-day operations are in sync or misaligned with your strategy.

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3 comments about "Why Marketers Are Failing At Marketing".
  1. Andrew Boer from MovableMedia , March 25, 2014 at 4 p.m.
    I think you are on to something here. I think the classic discipline of marketing as taught in business schools is largely predicated on the avoidance of risk through the use of process, data and testing. But today, in our over-saturated landscape, only those with courage to take some major risks stand out from the noise. Marketers are failing because they are required to do the opposite of what they were trained/taught to do.
  2. Pritam Kamath from Global Cups and Consumables P.Ltd , March 28, 2014 at 8:24 a.m.
    Marketers are failing because they are following sets of rule thought in business schools.They are tuned to this and play the game in safe mode. I refuse to call them Marketers! Real Marketers are those who have courage to Innovate and have capabilities to Market these innovative products or services and stay ahead of Crowd.
  3. Ira Kalb from Kalb & Associates , March 30, 2014 at 12:55 a.m.
    You make some very good points. Marketers are failing at marketing because they never learned how to do it in the first place, and the blind are leading the blind. The 4Ps are still taught in most universities, and they cover only 57% of the fundamentals marketers need to succeed. Being risk averse is a symptom of the problem. If you understand marketing, you will have to the tools to innovate, measure, and take corrective action if necessary.