Daniel Brzezinski, chief marketing officer and VP of marketing & product development at GetResponse, a provider of email marketing tools, offered up what he sees as the top four challenges for marketing in 2017:
Marketers are stuck on data collection: Data-driven marketing is the industry standard. But we’re still stuck in idle, focusing on data collection. Most marketers are just learning how to crawl when it comes to making data actionable at scale. When it comes to data implementation, an alarming number of marketers still lack the internal experience at either the functional or operational level to be successful. This will change as marketing tools become more self-service. Others will offer machine-learning capabilities to drive immediate applications of the customer data.
Marketing software remains too hard to use: As the customer journey has grown more complicated with more touchpoints and data, software supporting marketers needs to be simplified. This will optimize adoption and support ROI. To navigate the complexity of the modern customer journey, marketing software needs to be built with ease of use in mind, intuitive user interfaces, and functionality. Advertisers and agencies want more platform simplicity from vendors.
Open platforms need to speak to each other: As vendor consolidation occurs in the market, it will take years for these platforms to truly unify. The key, in the interim, is openness and technology agnosticism. Programmatic platforms, marketing automation services, and other solutions need to be able to talk to each other, with two-way connections. These technologies need to be open and ready to be integrated with services. Increasingly, easy integrations are a determining factor when marketers choose vendors. Services that are closed systems won’t stand a chance.
Ad fraud remains a big problem: The U.S. has one of the worst ad fraud rates in the world. This year, it’ll cost the industry more than $7 billion in ad dollars. On the bright side, as the problem has skyrocketed, so has awareness among advertisers. This has led to supply-side changes, with publishers eliminating high-risk, fraudulent inventory. We’re also seeing more industrywide standards and incentives in place this year than there were two years ago. Together, these things are turning the tide, albeit slowly. As fraud lingers, however, marketers will look to other channels like mobile apps and email to launch campaigns.