This year will be a transitional year for marketing as we move toward an era that is "more immediate, more personal, more social, and more engaging," according to recently released survey data from marketing software developer Unica.
Really what this means is that marketers have to be much more vigilant about managing their various presences, online and off, in order to stay on top of their brand.
While there are more tools and channels for marketers than ever before, marketing budgets haven't risen dramatically. This means that marketers will need to use technology to leverage fast, cheap marketing channels.
However, the survey data shows that marketers believe that IT support of their efforts is the No. 1 bottleneck and hindrance to success. Personally, I think it's a weak argument to suggest that IT can hold your marketing back considering all of the SaaS and cloud-based marketing services available, but we'll take this data (as we do all other statistics) with a grain of salt.
Key points from the survey report:
- 73 percent of companies surveyed are leveraging customer initiated interactions to serve marketing messages and offers
- Organizational and financial concerns, rather than technical barriers, are slowing the adoption of centralized decisioning
- Many marketers use both aggregate Web data and offline data when making decisions about marketing offers. E-mail is the channel where both online and offline data are most likely to be used in decisionin
- Contact optimization and social-media monitoring will be the fastest growing marketing technologies, while marketing resource management will continue to lag
- Mobile, rich media, and social-media marketing are all being adopted with enthusiasm by marketers
- A third of marketers surveyed already conduct some type of mobile marketing.
- Social-media marketing is widely embraced, but marketers need to think more about integrating social media with other marketing tactics
Survey data like this is great for a glimpse of the aggregated marketing approaches but doesn't always match up to your own experience. An important aspect of any marketing effort is the need for experimentation within channels, pricing, and messaging, as well as with tools and specific methods.
Today's marketer has a huge amount of data available to them about many aspects of their business. Choosing the right path is about more than just a blog or Twitter account; it's about learning how your customers and partners want to interact with your brand and then designing programs that best take advantage of your learnings.