Monday, June 25, 2012

The challenges of the modern digital marketer

Having recently asked the question of several job applicants "what are the biggest challenges currently faced by the digital marketer?" I thought I'd give my own answer (coming perhaps a little too late if, dear reader, you were looking for any pre-interview insight).

1. The speed of change
The rate things change in the online marketing industry is amazing. What was accepted practice only a month or so, e.g. in a field such as search engine optimisation, is quickly outdated or even counter productive.

2. The complexity of technology
It is no longer enough these days to say "oh, that's technical, I don't need to understand that". Technology is now an intrinsic part of digital marketing and it is only getting more intertwined with other strands (such as content & customer data) and complex.

3. The increasing demands of the user
Although I state that user needs are increasing, I should point out that a lot of their requirements (e.g. An intuitive interface, the ability to do what they want on any device, etc) are not new.... They have just not been possible to deliver, due to technology, budget or other constraints). That said, there's no doubt in my mind that the target of your marketing efforts now expects: timely, relevant and engaging contact via any channel and in a more personalised manner. Gone are the days of 'spray & pray' email campaigns and woe betide any company that doesn't produce a suite of different creative options targeted at specie groups of users.

4. The social feedback loop
There can be no excuse these days for tuning into the social back-channel for your brand or service. Tools are now freely (or paid for if you want a better service or experience) available for listening to what your intended audience is saying. Sure, it comes with its own unique challenges and difficulties, but surely part of the 'fun' is finding these out and solving them?
If you're not listening, you're not marketing.
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