The top 5 marketing challenges facing your business

The marketing challenges

Looking at the wider issues currently facing marketers in 2016, there are top 5 marketing challenges facing your business – as identified in a Bloomberg Media report earlier this year. The report involved speaking to 26 senior marketers across four continents – who were asked to identify the greatest opportunities and challenge for their business in 2016.

I thought we should remind ourselves of the key marketing challenges we need to keep on top of to stay ahead of the competition in the year ahead. Especially with the increasingly difficult economic climate we face and as we plan for 2017.

Here is an extract from Bloomberg’s findings:

The top 5 marketing challenges facing your business:

”1. The ongoing digital transformation

It is no surprise that one of the key issues for marketers is the ever-changing digital world and the impact this is having on business. Wayne Arnold, the global chief executive of MullenLowe Profero, captures just one of the issues – disruption: “Uber is the world’s biggest car company, but doesn’t own a car. Amazon is the world’s biggest retailer, but doesn’t own stores. The digital disrupter is the competitor to every single brick-and-mortar business.” While many companies remain focused on their own digitisation and what this means for their infrastructure, process and business model, Alison Orsi, the UK vice-president of marketing communications at IBM, notes that this is only important in the sense of what it allows a company to do next: “We are now talking about how you take data forward and analyse it, and have started talking about what we’re calling a cognitive era, or a thinking era. The opportunity is data, but really it’s about data analytics.”

2. The importance of cybersecurity

As the digital world has grown, so too has the need to protect it. Cybercrime has the potential to be a huge risk for businesses, and being the subject of a high-profile data breach – as TalkTalk was last year – can do serious damage to a company’s reputation. As Andrew Cocker, the senior marketing director at Expedia, says, the role of a marketer has expanded dramatically: “It’s not about advertising. Our brand is made up of every single iteration that’s happening; every user experience. So, every time we do something to upset them, or have a problem we do not solve quickly enough, we’re eroding that brand, and no amount of advertising will fix that.”

3. The collaborative economy

Companies are becoming more interconnected – both in the broader ecosystem (for example, Apple is a big player in the cloud space but rents capacity on demand from others’ servers) and also internally. Cross-discipline working will become the norm. Companies are responding to this change in different ways but realising that they cannot do everything in isolation. The business landscape is increasingly competitive and rather than trying to do everything ourselves, we need to embrace collaborating with other companies who are professional’s in their area – to provide the ‘best of the best’ service or product possible to our customers.

There is power in collaboration, potentially producing more creativity and enabling us to be more reactive to problems.

4. The customer view

Gaining a more holistic view of a customer is a key driver for marketers who realise that they need to simplify their brand experience. Being able to offer a good, joined-up experience across all consumer touchpoints is a competitive advantage. The biggest challenge for any company is to make sure that their customer or user experience is totally seamless, intuitive and less complex than it is today. The marketer’s challenge is to try and anticipate what their customer needs before the customer.

5. Marketing talent

This is certainly not a new challenge, but it is one that continues to plague marketers – the need to recruit, develop and retain the right people. This is becoming increasingly important as the required skills shift. A key challenge for companies is attracting top marketing talent – Adaptability has become an increasingly prized skill.

The mindset is shifting, previously you would have got hired as a senior marketer in the past because of what you knew or who you knew… Today, you get hired because of what you’re willing and able to learn.’ ”

As we approach 2017, we are all business planning for next year and these issues are likely to evolve, and our greatest challenge will be to stay on top of them!



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