What's It Take To Be A Modern Marketer?

According to a new study by Eloqua, Modern Marketing, modern marketers understand the competencies that are required in their jobs, but admit that they fall short compared to how “ideal” marketers would blend these competencies together. The report presents respondents views of where they stand in relation to the best-of-breed professional, and how far they have to go to improve.

The study found that the modern marketer persona is ideally three-fold: a hybrid of content marketer, brand marketer and web marketer. These three “marketer types” were chosen by survey participants when asked about the current modern marketer role.

Successful marketing, however, includes more than three roles and should factor in the use of marketing technology, analytics, targeting, conversion, and engagement. The ideal modern marketer has the optimal percentage of all five skill areas - adding up to 100%. When it came time for survey respondents to rate themselves based on the five core skills, their current performance was barely passable, adding up to only 65%.

Marketers rated the relative mix and importance of five essential competencies impacting their work, both as realized by the “ideal” modern marketer and by themselves.

Ideal vs. Actual Modern Marketer

Important Characteristics

Ideal Marketer

Actual Modern Marketer

Marketing technogy(workflow automation, marketing automation, integrated CRM, social monitoring, business intelligence)



Analytics (leveraging  Big Data, understand mktg ROI, measuring contribution to revenue)



Conversion(prospect-to-customer strategy, collaboration with sales, delivering high quality leads)



Engagement(the right content delivered at right time, appropriate PR, web, social, blogging, events, demand generation)



Targeting(knowing involvement in buying process, roles & responsibilities defined, dynamic profiling aligned with changing market & business needs)



Source: Eloqua, March 2013

Modern marketers face massive and accelerating change in their profession, a change that shows little signs of slowing down, says the report. Much of what is transforming marketing actually opens up new doors, but also bring with them a demand for new skills and added resources.

The ability to track marketing ROI via technology is seen as the most transformative factor marketers face today, followed closely by the rise of social media marketing, the shift of power away from brands and toward customers and prospects. Importantly, every single one of these disruptive changes are due to new technologies that were largely or completely nonexistent just five years ago.

Changes Contributing to Formation of Modern Marketer


% of Respondents Say Most Important

Ability to track marketing ROI w/technology


Use of social media in marketing


Shift power from brand to consumer


Maturation of demand generation & lead nurturing


Emergence of mobile marketing


Fragmentation of media


Improvement in data cleansing


Source: Eloqua, March 2013

Acknowledging that the most significant change marketers must address is tracking marketing ROI, it is significant that other key metrics are heavily sales-oriented. Marketers are saying that, amid all the changes that are impacting their own profession, many also are driving them towards sales enablement. Second in importance only to measuring marketing ROI is marketers ability to influence sales.

Most Important Measures For Marketing Success


% of Respondents Agree

Marketing ROI


Marketing influenced sales


Conversion rate


Customer retention


Customer experience


Revenue per customer


Social media metrics


Source: Eloqua, March 2013

Marketers said their company’s adoption of improved go-to-market practices were lagging as recently as 2011, with 44% citing “no” or “some” adoption of more effective techniques, and just 26% experiencing “strong” or “full” adoption. This year, 68% of marketers said their companies would be experiencing strong or full adoption and integration of modern concepts into their sales and marketing initiatives.

Much of this improvement has come with the adoption of digital marketing techniques. Email is the key digital channel embraced by modern marketers, and it retains its preeminence after several years of adoption.

Most Important Types of Digital Marketing Used in Previous Year

Digital Marketing

% of Respondents



Social media


PR, blogging, customer case studies




Webinar/virtual events






White paper






Video portals


Custom publishing


Source: Eloqua, March 2013

The rise of social media to the No. 2 spot is the most striking addition to this list of marketing tools and channels, a phenomenon hardly anticipated a handful of years ago. Webinars and the relatively new phenomenon of virtual events also have risen to become essential marketing activities.

The subtext, says the report, is that while there are many types of digital marketing activities modern marketers are deploying, much of that is informed by powerful marketing content.

The report concludes by noting these key take-aways:

  • The modern marketer balances equally the creative skills required for traditional campaigns, along with knowledge of marketing technology
  • The modern marketer is financially savvy
  • Data increasingly is driving modern marketing, and defining the role of the ideal modern marketer.
  • Prospects are hungry for content and marketers know it. Among the most important approaches marketers use to inform their lead-gen efforts, content-intensive tactics like white papers and webcasts are prominent.
  • Marketers generally want to improve in their use of technology, and better leverage the resources they have at hand. This may indicate that relying on outside vendors

To learn more, please visit Eloqua here.


3 comments about "What's It Take To Be A Modern Marketer?".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Patti Jagger from Potent Language, April 1, 2013 at 11:04 a.m.

    There is still something that is left out here: soul.

    More and more data shows that customers want relationships, not ads. Modern marketers may understand how to work across multiple channels, balance a budget and create lots of SEO-optimized content, but I have met few who understand how to really communicate with customers.

    Good marketing remains as much an art as a science and as companies pour more and more money into marketers trained in data management, they continue to miss their mark.

  2. Jack Loechner from Mediapost Communications, April 1, 2013 at 12:33 p.m.

    nice... thanks, Patti

  3. Stephen Jervis from fwb Products, April 2, 2013 at 8:30 a.m.

    Giving us the stats is all well and good, but the information is worthless unless you can tell us the sample size - how many people undertook the survey?

Next story loading loading..