Consumer behaviour has radically changed in response to various restrictions on our day-to-day lives, with digital marketing a key pillar of pandemic success. According to study by Deloitte, 72% of marketers said that the role of marketing within their organisation has increased in importance during the pandemic year. It also stated that 73% of companies made investments to improve their digital marketing function, as the need for strong customer digital experiences increases. Deloitte’s study also stated that marketing budgets are expected to rise by 8.7% in the next year, presenting marketing leaders with opportunities to drive performance and results, but also added pressure to deliver greater ROI and increased revenue.

Current challenges faced by marketers

The marketing landscape is constantly changing, as marketing professionals are inundated with innovative ideas, new platforms and technological solutions to take advantage of. Whilst the evolution of our industry is exciting and presents endless opportunities, keeping up with the shifts and rising demands can quickly become overwhelming.

Other examples of challenges the sector currently face include:

Increased digitalisation

The last 12 months have seen a shift to digital spends like never before, as we’ve seen a widespread adoption of digital for businesses and consumers alike. This presents new challenges such as security risks, data protection, GDPR, and fraud, as the world grapples with how to deliver business as usual online.

Changes in consumer behaviour

During the past 12 months there has been a tremendous shift in consumer behaviour. Many were forced into trying new ways of shopping online as they were unable to visit the physical store, with consumers discovering products whether they are actively looking or not. With generic searches increasing faster than branded, it’s an excellent opportunity for marketers to invest in channels that were previously only associated with the end of the purchase journey.

Delivering a better customer experience

Customer expectations are at an all-time high as marketing leaders feel pressure to meet the demands of their consumer, or risk losing their business to the competition.

According to report by Salesforce:

  • 80% of customers now consider experience to be as important as products and services

  • 66% expect companies to understand their unique needs and expectations

  • 52% expect offers to always be personalised

  • 68% expect brands to demonstrate empathy

Managing data and analytics

According to study by Gartner, 76% of marketing leaders say they use data and analytics to drive key decisions. Yet many struggle to evolve their data analysis capabilities during, as marketers now have massive amounts of consumer data and different metrics at their disposal that often don’t immediately correlate. Sifting through large amounts of data can also be time consuming and ultimately, metrics mean nothing unless they are subject to quality data analysis.

CMO pain points

The rise of digital marketing, large amounts of consumer-data, and the need to constantly engage customers across multiple channels on a more personal, interactive level, are just a mere handful of challenges CMOs have to face as their role has become increasingly important in enterprises around the world. Other examples of CMO pain points include:

Economic uncertainty

With economic uncertainty ahead, many CMOs are feeling the crunch of being asked to do more with less. Some are facing significant budget cuts as a result of the pandemic, while facing increased pressure with marketing becoming an even more essential business function to drive results.

Pressure to deliver ROI

As well as driving better results, CMOs are also under constant pressure to demonstrate the benefit to their marketing activities and show substantial ROI.

Prove marketing value

CMOs often find themselves in a position where they must continually prove marketing’s value to clients, many of which have unrealistic expectations or alternatively, are dubious over whether they’ll see a return on their investment.

Working remotely

CMOs are having to figure out how to streamline workflows, get real-time status updates and access analytics when working remotely. They are also presented with the challenge of managing remote teams and how to source the best collaboration tools for remote collaboration.

Skills gaps

With the increased digitalisation of marketing functions and use of new technologies, many CMOs and their team members will feel they lack the necessary skills to quickly adapt. Though marketers need to figure out how to stay connected and have consistent conversations with customers across digital channels, in order to successfully reach their target market.

Standing out in a crowded market

According to Marketing Insider Group, the ability to stand out in a highly saturated market and rise above the noise was the number one challenge cited by CMOs, as well as the ability to deliver extraordinary customer experiences every time.

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