Juggling Marketing on Fast-Moving Platforms

In today’s fragmented media landscape it increasingly hard for marketing professionals to engage with customers. In this first article of a series on the state of marketing, we will consider the challenges marketing professionals face but also what new opportunities are there to reach consumers through the noise.

Fractured media landscape

There is, of course, much more to marketing success than successful marketing communications. Yet, here we will focus on the media landscape which marketers and business owners work within. Competition for people’s attention span is fiercer than ever. Marketing professionals face a bewildering range of online promotional tools. Mastering one tool and then keeping up with its development can be hard enough on its own. At the same time, there is pressure to deliver quick payback for marketing campaigns.

Where are you in the hype cycle?

Then there is the pressure marketing people are under to keep up with what is cool in marketing at the moment. Have you not mastered Augmented and Reality Reality Marketing? Don’t worry, neither have we!

A look back

Consider the changes to the marketing landscape in the past decade or two. In the year 2000, we had the Internet in its early state. Websites were required for most companies but there were no social media. Streaming services were a futuristic concept. Google was a high tech novelty. The founding of Youtube was five years away. Napster was blazing the trail for digital downloads and Amazon.com was growing fast. But the dot com bust killed many online retailers. So back then you could imagine what traditional media would do to get your message across. No such luck today!

Fast forward to 2019 and it is safe to say that change is the only constant. Digital marketing is dead as a distinct concept. After all, most marketing going is digital anyway! To get a handle on the complexity of the modern media world to consider what goes on in an Internet minute.

Essential social skills

Marketing professionals must be able to work with different social media. These include Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Whatsapp, and Snapchat. Getting a viral distribution of content is great but it is difficult these days. This means that knowing how to advertise on these different platforms is necessary. 

Search and ye shall find

Search engine optimisation and search engine marketing have been key to marketing success. Tools for this include Google Speed Insights, Google Analytics, and Google Search Console. There are also many SEO services available.

Signed, sealed and delivered

E-mail marketing is a key weapon in the marketer’s arsenal. This requires competence in using tools such as Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor.  It is, however, generally accepted that open and click rates are low.

Caught in the web

Marketing professionals often need to maintain and even build websites. They must familiarise themselves with content management tools such as Wordpress, Prismic, Contentful. Apps are also considered a must-have marketing tool for many businesses. Their development and maintenance often become the responsibility of marketing people.

Display ads and retargeting

Display advertising is yet another tool for marketing professionals and business owners. The most used tool for this is probably Google Ads. Like Facebook’s advertising platform, it is a powerful tool indeed. Online advertising can be tricky for beginners. One of colleagues told us a story that highlights this point. He remembers having had to fix a Google Ads account for a company he worked for. His boss puzzled over high bills coming from Google and asked him to take a look. He quickly spotted the problem. The person who used to run the account had given Google a high budget for generic search terms in a very competitive industry. The costs ran in tens of thousands of dollars with no return.

The classics never get old

Magazines, newspapers, TV, direct mail, brochures, and radio are still important for marketing. Traditional media might perhaps be called classic media! Humans continue to value face to face communications. So events will be part of the promotional mix for the foreseeable future.

We will not go into details of website optimisation, influencer marketing, customer relationship management or content publishing platforms here. But these are all important areas for modern marketing.

Are you forgetting the most important part of marketing?

You could make an entire career of focusing on only one or two online marketing platforms. However, the reality is that many marketers and business owners must be good at several at them or they risk falling behind. The same is true for the chronically understaffed marketing departments of the world. Marketing professionals are also expected to quickly master the latest in marketing hype to stay ahead and look cool. What often gets lost in the race to create new campaigns and adopt new marketing platforms is how to measure success and calculate ROI. This vital subject is the focus of the next article in the series and there we will explore why this is more difficult than it looks. Measuring success and return on investment (ROI) is trickier still. That is why marketing is ripe for disruption.