Posted by Paladin on February 07, 2019
What does it take to build and maintain a strong organization? While sales knowledge, financial expertise, and operational experience are important, marketing increasingly tops the list for shareholders in 2019.
It may have once been considered a bonus skill. Marketing used to be a little brother to all-important salesmanship — but that isn’t the case any longer. Business executives are finally realizing they can’t afford to overlook marketing. In our modern-day media environment, it’s simply a must.
Good Marketing Cuts Through the Clutter
Why is marketing more important than ever before? In a word: clutter.
Twelve years ago, The New York Times reported the average urban consumer was exposed to about 5,000 ads each day. In the 1970s, that number hovered around 2,000.
Today, research shows that consumers spend more than 11 hours daily. In other words, nearly every waking hour — interacting with media, much of which is overrun with marketing messages. That puts brands in the difficult position of constantly having to compete for attention.
Couple this with the consumers’ high expectations for ads, and marketing skill becomes downright indispensable. “Consumers are certainly becoming more savvy, more skeptical, more discriminating,” former Gartner marketing analyst Jake Sorofman told the Times in 2017. “They expect a lot more, and that’s putting pressure on marketers to do better.”
The Media Landscape is Changing
Last year, American adults spent about 3.5 hours a day on a mobile device. Mobile is expected to attract more minutes than TV in 2019, according to eMarketer. Nielsen reports that 6 hours now goes toward video, while 45 minutes is spent on social media daily.
For this reason, business leaders fear a marketing skills gap. They’re actively looking for marketing skills that reflect current consumer behavior. They believe it’s their best hope of getting their brands in front of customers on all major channels and platforms. You’ll notice that leadership is also seeking supplementary expertise in areas like artificial intelligence and marketing automation (think paid search and programmatic technology) to get a leg up on their competitors. They’re also preparing for the ongoing shift toward machine learning. Where would businesses be without knowledge of mobile, video, and social strategies?
Customer Data Allows for Precision Targeting
There’s a direct link between revenue, overall corporate health, brand strength, and customer experience. That explains why data-driven marketing is on the rise. Last year, a survey conducted by marketing consultancy Winterberry Group found that marketers were spending significantly more on data-driven marketing. Marketers were also experiencing the highest levels of sales growth since 2011.
This is no coincidence; marketing efforts built on customer data like online behavior, geographic location, interests, and preferences allow marketers to deliver more relevant messages and personalize their promotional content for better results. “For many years, marketers have advocated for the delivery of better customer experiences as a means of building better, more profitable relationships,” said Jonathan Margulies, a managing director at Winterberry Group. “Now, we can clearly see that the relationship between ‘experience’ and growth is more than just theoretical.”
Business leaders are putting their weight behind marketing for all of these reasons, and more. They know reaching today’s customers takes a combination of industry knowledge, tech savvy, and strategic talent. They also know marketers must obtain and retain these skills in order to succeed in the long term.
Ready to hire the marketers who will get your organization through these challenges and those yet to come? Contact your local Paladin office today.