It’s Time to Reinvent the Digital Marketer

By  on April 18, 2014

On my way home from Adobe’s suc­cess­ful Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Sum­mit this year, I thought about the tremen­dous num­ber of take­aways from the 130+ ses­sions we hosted. We dis­cussed ways to con­cep­tu­al­ize, strate­gize, opti­mize, and ana­lyze. The over­ar­ch­ing prin­ci­ple shared was the con­cept of mar­ket­ing reinvention.

Dur­ing the event, we shared with atten­dees the results of our Dig­i­tal Road­block report , an online sur­vey of more than 1,000 US mar­keters. In this post, we’ll dis­cuss those results, with an eye toward a deep dive into the ques­tions, responses, and take­aways from the report in future posts.

The report data is bro­ken out within two sub­groups: 1) com­pa­nies that reported below aver­age or aver­age busi­ness per­for­mance ver­sus com­pa­nies that reported supe­rior busi­ness per­for­mance and 2) com­pa­nies with high dig­i­tal spend. On aver­age, responses showed that enter­prises are strug­gling to rein­vent their mar­ket­ing prac­tices as mar­keter roles evolve.

We found 10 key find­ings within five con­cept tracks that illus­trate the strug­gles that mar­keters are going through.

Mar­keters know they must rein­vent them­selves but don’t know how to step through.

1. 64% of mar­keters expect their role to change over the next year; 81% in the next three years.

2. Two in five mar­keters (40%) stated that they wanted to rein­vent them­selves, while only 14% of those mar­keters actu­ally know how to step through a reinvention.

3. Respon­dents cited a lack of train­ing in new mar­ket­ing skills (30%) and orga­ni­za­tional inabil­ity to adapt (30%) as key obsta­cles to becom­ing the mar­keters they aspire to be.

Future mar­keters need to take more risks.

4. 54% of mar­keters believe the ideal mar­keter should take more risks, and 45% hope to take more risks


5. Nearly two out of three mar­keters (65%) said they are more com­fort­able adopt­ing new tech­nolo­gies once they become mainstream.

Com­pa­nies need to hire more dig­i­tal talent.

6. Respon­dents cited digital/social mar­keters (47%), data ana­lysts (38%), cre­ative devel­op­ment (38%), and mobile mar­keters (36%) as the key roles their com­pa­nies must invest in over the next year.

Mar­keters rec­og­nize the impor­tance of data but aren’t widely using it to make informed decisions.

7. 76% of mar­keters agree they need to be more data focused to succeed.

8. Almost half (49%) report “trust­ing my gut” to guide deci­sions on where to invest their mar­ket­ing budgets.

9. 72% agree that long-term suc­cess at their com­pany is tied to prov­ing mar­ket­ing ROI.

Mobile and per­son­al­iza­tion are becom­ing big­ger priorities.

10. Finally, 61% see social media as the most crit­i­cal mar­ket­ing vehi­cle to focus on a year from now, fol­lowed closely by mobile at 51%. When asked to pri­or­i­tize one capa­bil­ity over the other, as to which will influ­ence their company’s mar­ket­ing mov­ing for­ward, per­son­al­iza­tion ranked highest.

Mar­keters rec­og­nize the evolv­ing fac­tors that are con­tribut­ing to the new dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing envi­ron­ment. In fact, they are (mostly) in align­ment when it comes to the major dri­ving forces. When asked about the dri­ving forces behind this need for change, mar­keters responded as follows:

  • 73% cite expanded num­ber of chan­nels and plat­forms to reach audiences
  • 71% cite new ways of think­ing about audi­ence engagement
  • 71% cite new tech­nolo­gies for ana­lyz­ing mar­ket­ing effectiveness
  • 61% cite the chal­lenge of “break­ing through the noise” to reach tar­get audiences

The pace of change, new respon­si­bil­i­ties for the mar­ket­ing func­tion, and recog­ni­tion of marketing’s con­tri­bu­tion to busi­ness suc­cess were also indi­cated as rein­ven­tion justification.

Prior to Sum­mit, I posted a series on assess­ing your dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing score. We looked at the busi­ness pil­lars ofprod­uctprocess, and peo­ple. As we jour­ney toward the rein­ven­tion of mar­ket­ing, I’ll take the same approach. Join me as we head down from the Sum­mit and get to work rev­o­lu­tion­iz­ing global mar­ket­ing, reimag­in­ing the tools we’ll use to deploy mar­ket­ing, and rein­vent­ing mar­keters to deliver success.

Matt Langie

Matt Langie is Senior Director of Strategic Marketing for the Digital Marketing Business Unit at Adobe. He gained extensive experience in technology marketing while at Omniture, WebTrends, Datastream, Intel, and Hewlett-Packard. Langie’s responsibilities span go-to-market strategy, messaging and positioning, product pricing and packaging, sales enablement, competitive intelligence, and product evangelism for the Adobe Marketing Cloud. He serves as Board Vice Chairman for the Internet Marketing Association and is an adjunct professor at UC Irvine, teaching digital marketing courses.

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