The rise of the internet and mobile has led to significant changes in the marketing world. In this new era, the marketing department now requires an evolved set of skills, definitely ground and rooted in technology, to take advantage of this rapid transformation. Are marketers and marketing departments keeping pace with the skills they need to produce the desired outcomes for the SMBs where they work? What about the SMBs that don’t have a marketing department or a marketer that possess these skills and certainly don’t have the time to keep up with the rapid change of new marketing technology.
No part of the business world is changing faster than marketing. Consider the tools that were either in nascent form or didn’t exist just two decades ago: Websites, email, social media, marketing automation, mobile phones. When I entered the marketing field most of these tools were not even on the drawing board of transformation that drives our world into a future that’s only constant changes at light speed.
As these new tools have been born, marketers and marketing departments have adapted by hiring marketers with the skills to leverage them, and the results have been a more powerful marketing outcomes than ever. Marketing should be recognized as a revenue driver and totally integrated into the strategic business planning process now that the tools to finally prove, through measurement, that marketing spending leads to increased revenue.
These revolutionary changes are also battering the media marketers use to reach their target audiences where and when they are online. Marketers struggle to take full advantage of the myriad options available to reach consumers, who are engaging with mobile, social media, connected TV, and a host of other continuously evolving media.
But consumers, empowered like never before, aren’t necessarily engaging with marketers. In fact, they’re able to actively avoid advertising messages with DVRs, internet ad blockers, and the email unsubscribe button In light of these changes, it’s no surprise that 67 percent of marketers said that technology was “evolving rapidly or at light speed,” according to a recent Signal survey. Additionally, a Forrester Research survey found that 34 percent of B2B marketers described themselves as “overwhelmed” by the pace of change.
These changes to the marketing world may be coming fast and furious, but they also provide opportunities. Many SMB marketers believe that they are already benefitting from these opportunities. The Forrester survey referenced above found that 78 percent of B2B marketing executives said they had greater input on strategy. Today, technology and data have provided marketers with a 360-degree view of the customer that is unparalleled in the organization and puts the marketers in a formidable position. Marketing technology is so strong, an ever increasing amount of business decisions will be driven by data accumulated by this ever improving marketing technology.
With this rapidly changing mix of marketing technology and the ever increasing amounts of data that must be gathered, stored, and interpreted to drive business strategy the marketing sector begs the question: Is your marketer or marketing team, as an SMB, evolving the necessary marketing skills sets at the same pace?