Marketers Want To Reinvent Themselves, But How?

According to a recent study by Adobe Systems, marketers know they must reinvent themselves, but don’t know how. 64% of marketers expect their role to change in the next year and 81% in the next 3 years. While 40% of marketers surveyed stated that they wanted to reinvent themselves, only 14% of those marketers actually know how to go about it, concludes the report. Lack of training in new marketing skills and organizational inability to adapt are cited as key obstacles to becoming the marketers they aspire to be.

Information in the study is broken out by companies with below average or average business performance… had performed similarly to key competitors or had recorded lower sales or revenue than key competitors vs. companies with superior business performance… had out-performed key competitors in terms of sales or revenue. And, companies where digital spend was more than 25% of total marketing budget, vs. companies where digital spend was less than 10% of their total marketing budget.

40% of marketers say “I want to reinvent or redefine my role as a marketer,” though only 14% say “I know exactly how to do it.” Of those who want to change, 44% are from a high digital spending company, and 33% from low. Companies with high digital spend are more likely to believe that marketers need to reinvent themselves:

Marketers Perceptions

 

High digital spend

Low digital spend

Marketing is undergoing a revolution

84%

71%

Marketers need to reinvent themselves to succeed

82%

67%

Succeeding today involves a fundamental change in the approach to marketing

85%

77%

Source: Adobe, March 2014

The changing role of marketers is driven by increased channels and platforms and new technologies, says the report. Respondents report some of the driving forces behind the change in the role of marketers.  

Driving Forces For Change In Next 12 Months (% of Respondents)

  • Expanded number of channels and platforms to reach audiences   73%
  • New ways of thinking about audience engagement   71%
  • New technologies for analyzing marketing effectiveness   71%
  • Challenge of 'breaking through the noise' to reach target audiences   61%
  • The pace of change   50%
  • New responsibilities for the marketing function   44%
  • Increased recognition of marketing's contribution to business success   40%

Beyond the issues of budget and resource constraints, marketers cite lack of training in new skills and organizations’ inability to adapt as key obstacles to becoming the aspired marketer.

Barriers To Personal Marketing Growth (% of Respondents)

Obstacle

% of Respondents

Lack of resources/budget

53%

Confusion over roles and responsibilities

33%

Dysfunction and friction over priorities across the company

32%

Lack of training in new marketing skills

30%

Organizational inability to adapt

30%

Not having a seat at the table when decisions are made

28%

Company resistance to trying new programs that may fail

26%

Misalignment between company priorities and my professional goals

20%

Demands outside of work

16%

Manager expectations

14%

My marketing skills falling behind

14%

Risk of failing/losing my job

12%

My company not experiencing market success

12%

My marketing specialty becoming less valuable/sought-after

7%

Source: Adobe, March 2014

Marketers, recognizing that their personal approach to marketing may have changed over the last 12 months, express their agreement to the understanding of the importance of using Big Data (Multiple Choice OK)

Importance of Big Data

Consideration

% of Respondents Strongly Agreeing

Capturing and applying data to inform and drive marketing activities is the new reality

74%

Marketers need to embrace 'hyper-personalization' (i.e. using data to provide the right products, services and content at the right time)

69%

Mobile is a critical element for marketers to get right

69%

Digital marketing is more about driving and rewarding engagement

67%

Data (metrics from digital ads, campaigns, website, etc.) is informative in evolving my company's marketing creative

67%

Traditional marketing is more about driving brand awareness, brand differentiation & creating demand

66%

I am more open to experimenting and taking risks

66%

Source: Adobe, March 2014

Marketers, from both high and low digital spending companies, record their perceived marketing tactics as most critical areas a year from now.

Marketing Tactics Most Critical In One Year (Choose Up To Three)

Tactic

Total

High Digital Spend

Low Digital Spend

Social

61%

61%

64%

Mobile

51

57

39

Online Ads

37

43

28

Direct (including e-mail)

31

33

36

Search

27

33

17

Events

23

18

31

PR

9

12

22

Print

15

6

12

TV

7

6

5

Source: Adobe, March 2014

Finally, marketers express their opinions on what will be most important to their company’s marketing moving forward.(% of Respondents)

Personalization   33%

31% High digital spend

36% Low digital spend

Big Data   22%

22% High digital spend

17% Low digital spend

Social   21%

21% High digital spend

22% Low digital spend

Real Time   14%

12% High digital spend

18% Low digital spend

Mobile   11%

14% High digital spend

7% Low digital spend

Source: Adobe, March 2014

Summary of Top Findings:

  • Sixty-four percent of marketers expect their role to change in the next year; 81% in the next 3 years.
  • While 40% marketers surveyed stated that they wanted to reinvent themselves, only 14% of those marketers actually know how to go about it.
  • Lack of training in new marketing skills (30%) and organizational inability to adapt (30%) are cited as key obstacles to becoming the marketers they aspire to be.
  • 54% of marketers believe the ideal marketer should take more risks and 45% hope to take more risks themselves.
  • 65% of marketers say they are more comfortable adopting new technologies once they become mainstream.
  • Marketers cite digital/social marketers (47%), data analysts (38%), creatives (38%) and mobile marketers (36%) as the key roles companies need to invest in over the next 12 months.
  • Marketers recognize the importance of data, but aren’t widely using it to make informed decisions.
  • 76% of marketers (76%) agree they need to be more data-focused to succeed.
  • Forty-nine percent of marketers report “trusting my gut” to guide decisions on where to invest their marketing budgets.
  • 72% of marketers agree that long-term success at their company is tied to proving marketing return on investment.
  • 161% of marketers see social media as the most critical marketing vehicle to focus on a year from now, followed closely by mobile at 51%.

According to the report, the online survey was among a total of 1,004 U.S. marketers with data collected February 19-27, 2014 by ResearchNow. The margin of error at the 95% confidence level for the total sample is +/- 3.1%

For additional information from Adobe, and the PDF survey file, please visit here.

 

 

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