A recent Forrester Research study showed that 43% of marketers do not know what works in digital. Some 53% of marketers are unprepared to think strategically, and thus are forced to take a more tactical and reactive approach.
How many of the good marketers you know are just barely hanging on? The knowledge and skills they've received in school and on the job have not prepared them for this digital revolution. Sooner than later, this knowledge gap is going to catch up to those who have not been able to deliver a clear and quantifiable picture of their success.
However, the burden of proof shouldn’t just be on the marketer. Marketing technology providers should focus their efforts on helping marketers achieve and quantify their success with digital marketing. The right technology partners are the ones who will let you move up into more strategic positions and make the complex tactics easier. Here are five things the best marketing technology providers are already doing for their clients:
1. Creating and updating data visualizations: The days of getting away with only providing a download of an unformatted data file are dead. Your provider should help you tell your marketing performance stories across stakeholders in ways that will matter to (and even impress) those stakeholders.
2. Evaluating competitive efforts: Monitoring your competitors' efforts in social and digital channels has become extremely time-consuming, but this is how many marketers are establishing benchmarks. The best marketing tech companies are layering this kind of insight in on top of traditional performance analytics.
3. Keeping up with the rules of digital: Just knowing what's possible with digital marketing is becoming a full-time job. The best among us are monitoring these changes for their internal and external clients, synthesizing the takeaways, and making sure that whatever you're doing is being done at the cutting edge. Your marketing partners and tools should be doing the same.
4. Dealing with the nuances of multiple channels:There are a great many platform and channel silos available but the best players are bringing those spaces together so you can focus on what you're trying to accomplish, not where you're executing.
5. Performance optimization: A/B testing is not new, nor is it really all that complex. But it's easy to get bogged down in it as a marketer. The best tools have advanced beyond simply helping you optimize your performance, bridging into the world of algorithmic, auto-pilot-like optimization.
According to the Forrester study, almost half of the marketers surveyed said “securing incremental budget for marketing experimentation and innovation” is their top challenge in establishing their budgets. Before marketers start running with new technologies, they should learn to walk first, making sure that both their process and the technologies that serve them are helping to deliver quantifiable success.
If indeed "almost half of the marketers surveyed said 'securing incremental busget for marketing experimentation & innovation' is their top challenge in establishing their budgets," then it seems clear that almost half of marketers have failed to cite that need as a top, if not THE top, priority for their organizations. In my own case, I made it abundantly clear to our CEO and CEO-elect that "experimentation & innovation" was in fact my #1 priority; that we would probably fail much more often than succeed; that we nontheless would have some successes and would learn well from the "failures"; and that our future progress depended absolutely on continuous experimentation & innivation. That was always the easiest part of every budget meeting I ever had.
totally agree.. one look at the political spectrum and how they are marketing shows you, there are still people with no clue about indentity theft.. security certificates, public friendlists... sometimes these candidates can implode on their own.. i.e. State Dept Mail Server... in the public sector... if you don't have your I.T. "in-order" it's going to cost you business... or possibly an election..