Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the privilege of talking with many marketers about their plans for 2018 and have gained some amazing insights into what they need in order to do their job well. Through this experience, I’ve been given a good understanding of what elements are lacking and what marketers view to be the roadblocks impeding progress and goal achievement. When studying the increasingly complicated role of a marketer, I’m seeing that this group of people aren’t just asking for more budget or more resources, although in many cases it would help, but rather there are a number of other factors that are impacting their ability to progress in their roles, meet their KPIs and achieve at the level they desire. In talking with experienced marketers across a wide range of industries and businesses there are some consistent themes that I’ve discovered around what marketers need so that they can confidently do their jobs.
  1. Marketers want to be confident in their decisions Marketers are making big decisions every day. Whether it is selecting providers, deciding on technology, managing team members or choosing priorities, there are a lot of decisions to be made and almost all of them have significant cost and time ramifications if the wrong choice is selected. Not surprisingly, marketers want input on these decisions to feel confident that they are making the right call and that their risk calculation is accurate. With an increasing number of marketers working remotely or without senior peers to discuss these decisions, this input can be difficult to get.
  2. Marketers want more efficient ways to stay up to date There is a plethora of information on trends and industry updates available but it’s becoming overwhelming to stay across it all and to identify the items most relevant. More than ever marketers are expected to be a source of up to date information, to be able to quickly evaluate options and to manage resources with deep knowledge on single topics. What is the most efficient ways for marketers to access relevant information to their role that will build on their knowledge and help them progress?
  3. Marketers want to be more proactive Many marketers that I have spoken to recently have expressed their desire to be more proactive and to work on larger strategic pieces, rather than being reactive. In almost all cases the culprit causing the reactiveness is lack of resources meaning that marketers don’t have enough time to rise beyond the day-to-day activities and take a more strategic view or plan accordingly.
  4. Marketers want trust Earning trust in the form of stakeholder confidence and meeting senior expectations and company demands is still an area that many marketers are focussed on. There appears to be a chicken and egg situation for some who need runs on the board in order to achieve trust and yet don’t have the freedom or scope to achieve the runs on the board that they know they can get. Stakeholder buy-in is something often overlooked and not discussed enough, however it impacts almost every marketer in one way or another.

What Next?

It’s all well to list these problems, but of course, the true value comes in identifying an appropriate series of solutions. As one size will never fit everyone, I believe that we need a more personal approach to solve these problems. And when I say personal, I’m talking about interaction, conversation, sharing and development of deep relationships. It’s one of the reasons that we are launching The Circle as a peer-to-peer group where marketers can turn to for support, validation, discussion, knowledge sharing and to understand what has worked for others. A group that meets in person to identify solutions, be strategic and work together to achieve. This group will help each other to prioritise, to be more effective and to focus limited time on the items that matter most. In a role with no right or wrong answers and where continual experimentation and refinement is recommended, shouldn’t we stand on the shoulders of our counterparts in order to learn from each other and make progress? Otherwise we all silently battle the same issues, learn the same lessons and few people make real progress. In this case, it’s not about experience or even capability, it’s about working smart, collaboratively and surrounding ourselves with people on a similar journey where all of us together are better than any of us individually. Marketing is now a team sport and your team needs to be made up of experienced, like-minded peers.