Digital marketing is a collaborative endeavor which means I often have to work with other marketers. And the competencies of the folk I interact with occupy a varied spectrum. From the highly competent marketing technologists to niche tacticians and very often the traditional marketer trying to ‘do digital’.
Therein lies the challenge; when agile marketing meets and disagrees with measurement sparse tactics. All this requires patient hand-holding to overcome.
So I decided to look up on some of the gaps that exist in the marketing field, and stumbled on a survey conducted by Adobe- see above chart.
So the question is why does marketing have a measurement and creativity gap?
These are few of the reasons I attribute to this gap:
1. Marketing is still in a transition phase from traditional to digital.
Modern marketing requires practitioners to be proficient not only in traditional marketing skills like writing, but also to be good at analytics, with superlative tech mojo. Fine art and digital art training is always a plus point as visual content becomes increasingly important in digital storytelling.
And when I mention tech savvy, I mean technical abilities that extend beyond simply using social media effectively.
Marketers who have also worked in software development or have a good understanding of information technology implementation are better positioned to create personalized customer experiences that will soon become the norm.
Obviously, at this time a combination of such varied competencies is rare. This fact played a central part of the conversation at a conference I recently attended, the MarTech: Festival of the unicorns, in Boston.
Marketing in many organizations is in a transition phase where new competency requirements are still being acknowledged, acquired, and refined. Hopefully.
In the interim, it is to be expected that many marketers do not possess the ability to accurately measure and be digitally creative to serve the hyper digital customer.
“High-performing companies are twice as likely to rate their company as highly proficient in digital marketing (50%) than lower performing companies (25%).” – Adobe| Digital Distress: What Keeps a Marketer Awake at Night.
2. Tactics like social media, SEO, blogging, and content marketing are often mistaken as comprehensive online marketing competencies
Now I’d be irresponsible to say that content marketing, SEO, or social media marketing are irrelevant.
Not long ago, I read a marketing plan by a marketing consultant that shockingly claimed ‘Spending time on social followers is like trying to sell to those already sold’. What?!
I obviously realize the folly of that statement. However it is true that social media marketing is often not enough. Nor is just content marketing and distribution.
While these are specialized and valid tactics, they need to work together with a broader strategy aimed at measurement, data analytics, and personalization.
Digital marketing is increasingly complex. The marketing technology ecosystem is undergoing an explosion of vendors rolling out innovative solutions in analytics, retargeting, attribution modelling, bid management, CRM, automation, loyalty programs and much more.[quote]Connecting and analyzing data from a multitude of platforms, channels and technologies forms the basis of insights into the customer experience.[/quote]
Data and optimization dependencies require digital marketers to understand the potential of tag management and data layers. Modern digital marketers should be aware how to enhance user experience with websites, blogs, and/or digital assets that reorganize dynamically based on the customer’s journey – starting at customer acquisition at the top of the funnel, right through to revenue generation at the middle leading to advocacy and retention at the bottom.
This personalization has to work across multiple devices tracking customer journeys seamlessly across multiple channels.
Marketers require the ability to know how, why, and when to co-opt or create new channels and applications. These assets have to then integrate with the rest of customer touch points.[quote]The best online marketers continually test and refine their digital strategy, while maintaining brand consistency and leveraging each digital channel as part of their storytelling whole.[/quote]
All this calls for more competencies than singular tactics that make up the skill sets offered by a vast majority of social media experts and other assorted self-proclaimed tactical ninjas.
3. Lack of change management ability
Ironically, as marketing undergoes a profound shift towards increasing dependence on technology, it becomes more important for marketers to be able to influence people and the business culture.
The challenges posed by introducing newer communication channels like social media, along with integration of the marketing technology cloud with legacy IT infrastructure, necessitates upgrading the business culture for the digital era.
Marketers have to be able to assist in and advocate the use of technology to break down data silos and enable a free flow of information upwards, sideways, and downwards through the organization. Modern marketers need to be able to influence and educate not only their teams but also their bosses and peers across other departments.
The modern marketing talent gap leads to measurement and creativity gap.
The above three points when taken together lead to a situation where accurate measurement and analysis is often impossible given the gaps in talent, technology and business culture.
This obviously affects the marketing department’s potential to be creative with multi channel, multi device, and personalized marketing across the customer’s digital multi-verse reality.
Do you agree that there is a dearth of talent in modern marketing? Do you think there are other reasons for the measurement and creativity gap in marketing?