With cheap or no-cost digital tools increasingly available to all and sundry, the competitive advantages formerly available to big marketing teams in established large businesses have been somewhat diluted over the past decade or so.
As a big business marketer with a big(ish) budgets comes the most options, as well as the most to lose, in terms of damage to your brand and ultimate loss of market share.
The ability to be versatile and adaptable is key here, as is the ability to embrace change and work with the wide variety of skill-sets that have somehow found themselves under the “marketing” banner.
Commenting on the massive changes that have enveloped the marketing world, media, marketing and technology commentator Greg Satell points out that in the 20th century, marketing was a relatively sleepy endeavour.
“You came up with a “big idea,” sold it through the organisation, shot some TV ads and put them on the air,” he writes in an article on the Forbes website.
“It worked, for the most part, and brands became valuable assets, just like physical capital and technology.”
“Marketing in the 21st century has been altered beyond recognition, becoming more mobile, social and connected,” Satell says.
“The result is that marketers, rather than being a relatively monolithic group of professionals, have changed into a hodgepodge of specialists including designers, mathematicians and technologists. That’s creating altogether new problems we need to solve.”
Multichannel expert Danny Flamberg says one of the major issues for marketers right now is the “unique patterns of consumer behaviour by segment, device, task, geography and time-of-day are now emerging”, and the fact that “brands must respond to these trends and produce content that meets consumer expectations”.
“That means scan-able and snack-able content, rendered quickly and clearly with easy-to-use buttons and links that require the minimum number of clicks,” he says in a Linkedin blog.
Flamberg also points to the task of sizing up social media and the fact that “the role, value and ROI of social networks” have been the “great unknown” since they came on the scene.
“In too many cases social media is not synchronised with other marketing tactics or channels. And while each network is actively trying to monetize its audience, trial-and-error is still the current state of the art.”