The bottom-line goal of marketers hasn’t changed, of course. But in the rapidly-evolving world of digital marketing the job itself has undergone a dramatic transformation from pre-digital days. Today’s marketers have to navigate a dizzying array of proliferating channels and devices and knit them all together into an effective and productive strategy, navigating a complex professional landscape that requires an equally complex set of skills and personal traits, with an agility their predecessors were never asked to muster.
Once, with the right measures of art and science, seasoned marketing pros were able to construct credible campaigns from a familiar and fairly constant toolkit. Some print ads here, a few TV or radio spots there, maybe an in-store display, perhaps a direct mail blitz with a promotional offer.
Then came the internet, mobile apps, social media channels, smartphones, and more – along with the rapidly-changing sensibility of consumers themselves, who quickly came to expect a consistent, seamless, and high-quality customer experience, whether they approached a business via the website, through a Facebook page, over the phone, or in any other way.
Same title, different job
Suddenly, marketers had quite a few new balls to keep in the air. They also faced new demands to more precisely project targeted ROI at the outset of a campaign, and to measure it accurately throughout.
In part, new, cutting-edge technologies are enabling them to meet those challenges by integrating all of a business’s marketing data and rendering it as actionable information accessed and visualized through sophisticated customized dashboards. Such solutions are holistic and comprehensive, offering marketers not only real-time analytics and an unprecedented ability to target market segments with even one-on-one precision, but also supporting delivery of a seamless customer experience across channels.
Technology is part of agile marketing, but let’s not forget the human side
As Datorama, a leader in helping companies integrate their data sources, points out, it also takes a new breed of marketer to maximize the impact of the emerging solutions. In the digital world, agile marketing requires a “blended skill set” that encompasses both the creative and the analytic, spelling out the key traits digital marketers need both for success in their own careers and success in building their brands. They need a mastery of technology. A mastery of content as well. And focused on the customer, and on results. Today’s marketers need to be creative enough to put mountains of data to work, and versatile enough to modify a campaign in real-time when the data says an adjustment is needed.
These traits span both the left brain and the right brain – making them part storyteller, part sleuth, part data analyst – so it may not be surprising that those who fit the bill are positioned to thrive in the profession today.
However, not everyone fits
Datorama also points out that a large portion of marketers themselves – 40 percent – say they want to nurture the traits and skillsets the age of agile marketing requires, and remake themselves for continuing success in the field. But far fewer, only 14 percent, said they knew how to go about doing that.
What may be lost in the confusion and disruption that accompanies any major transition in any field, however, is the more encouraging fact that one way or another, change is going to come. In fact, it’s already here, and it has changed digital marketing for good.
The age of agile marketing presents new opportunities
As noted, technology has given marketers the ability to collect, manage, and use data to a degree that earlier marketers could only dream of. And the consumer (who now makes decisions about which businesses to deal with based on the quality of customer experience they provide more than on any other factor) is in the driver’s seat these days, demanding the integrated experience that the same technology can provide.
Without doubt, that adds up to new challenges for marketers. But just as certainly it opens new opportunities, both for personal achievement and for driving their companies to new levels of success.
About the Author
Debbie Fletcher is an enthusiastic, experienced writer who has written for a range of different magazines and news publications over the years. Graduating from City University London specialising in English Literature, Debbie’s passion for writing has since grown. She loves anything and everything technology, and exploring different cultures across the world. She’s currently looking towards starting her Masters in Comparative Literature in the next few years.