Today’s marketers and marketing departments are faced with more challenges than ever before. While the challenges may at times seem daunting, they really come down to two main areas: Brand Experience and Marketing Operations.
#1: The Brand Experience Problem
Modern marketers have a lot on their plates. In the past, they were only responsible for print, television, and web campaigns. With the advancement of digital consumer technologies like mobile and emerging interfaces, marketers now have a myriad of other challenges:
- Delivering personalized content at the right moment. Brands and retailers inundate customers with messages. Just think of the countless emails, banner ads, commercials, and social posts a consumer sees in any given day. . With all that noise, it is easy for a brand to get lost. Personalization is critical to stand out in the crowd. Marketers must tailor messaging to customers based on their exact needs rather than sending out thousands of generic messages. .
- Creating exceptional experiences, not just campaigns. The old world of a one-way customer dialogue is dead. Instead, customers today demand brands engage with them in a two-way conversation. They want interactions that are useful, interesting, and relevant. Brands like Apple and JetBlue get this and have centered their entire brand around delivering exceptional experiences.
- Producing consistent content faster, across all customer touchpoints. Marketers must deliver experiences, across multiple touchpoints, faster than ever before to meet customers’ ever-changing needs. Long gone are the days of marketers spending 2-3 months on a single campaign or brand experience – instead it’s days and hours rather than months. It may even be minutes or seconds: Think of Oreo’s famous tweet about the Superbowl blackout that happened mere seconds after the event.
As customers’ expectations expand, so do marketing challenges. Creating personalized content that delivers a consistent message and exceptional experience is complicated. It’s impossible for marketers to keep up using traditional marketing methods without creating a void, which we refer to as the Experience Gap.
#2: The Marketing Operations Problem
The focus on brand experiences puts the spotlight squarely on marketing. This is an incredible opportunity for marketers—whether a CMO, director, or individual contributor—since the value of marketing is elevated in the eyes of the CEO. But, despite these new opportunities for marketers to deliver a better brand experience the reality is it’s harder than ever before due to a few reasons:
- Processes don’t scale. Oftentimes leaders give marketers mere days to turnaround a new campaign or produce new content. This leaves everyone scrambling, sending last minute emails and making phone calls to try to figure how who can produce the work. This current way of working, managing budgets, and managing content is the marketing equivalent of running around with hair on fire. Not only does this not scale to marketing’s new demands, but it creates a culture of burnout and high turnover.
- Limited visibility. Many companies we speak with create separate experiences, content, and messaging for their email and social channels than in their web and print channels. This can lead to soaring content recreation costs, inconsistent brand, and divergent messaging. Marketing leaders must gain better visibility into marketing group’s activities to help better make connections between channels, groups, and regions.
In order to deliver better brand experiences and run more efficient marketing operations, marketers need more time and resources. However, the latest research from analyst firms like Gartner shows that marketing budgets are stagnant, and in many cases decreasing. This paradox that marketing must do more, with fewer resources, is what we at Aprimo call the Marketing Operations Gap.
So what can we do to close these gaps and be more productive?
Automated processes and new intelligent technologies are critical to helping close these gaps and be more productive. They lessen the amount of time marketers spend on manual project management and put the right technology and agile marketing processes in place, ultimately giving marketers more control, visibility, and time to deliver high-quality brand experiences.
We’ll be going into more depth on how you can close these gaps in our upcoming Mind the Gap series. To learn more watch our recently recorded webinar – Mind the Gap: Making Marketing More Productive.
This is Part 1 in a four-part blog series. Be sure to check out the rest!
Additional blogs in the Mind the Gap Series: