The Biggest Challenges for Marketers In 2016

Friday 08th, July 2016

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The 20 years of internet age has tremendously changed the dynamics of marketing. Advertising has gone digital, and social media has become the center stage for promoting brands and products.

If you observe, one of the most common marketing problems for businesses is that they have a hard time understanding what is necessary to create an effective marketing and sales plan.

Even if you have a solid marketing strategy in place, you may be falling flat especially in the digital medium.

Given that most of the companies have built their status through traditional advertising. And that’s the reason they lose to the digital disrupters – notably Uber and Airbnb. They are challenging the conventional and time tested business models.

With that in mind, let’s discuss some of the biggest challenges that marketers face in 2016.

The Digital Transformation

This hardly comes as a surprise.

The ever-changing digital world and its impact on the businesses is one of the pressing issues for marketers.

The chief executive of MullenLowe Profero, Wayne Arnold, elegantly describes this issue: ‘Amazon is the world’s biggest retailer, but doesn’t own stores; Uber is the world’s biggest car company, but doesn’t own a car; Airbnb is the largest real estate company that doesn’t own a property. These digital disrupters are the biggest competitors to every single brick-and-mortar business.’

While most companies are focused on their own digitization, and contemplating the possible impact on their infrastructure, process and business model, Alison Orsi, of IBM, notes, “We are now talking about how you take data forward and analyze it, and have started talking about what we’re calling a cognitive era, or a thinking era. The opportunity is data, but really it’s about data analytics.”

The Economy

Today companies are no longer in isolation. They are becoming more interconnected – both internally as well as in the broader ecosystem

For instance, Apple is a leader in the cloud space but rents capacity on demand from others’ servers.

Companies are responding to the style of cross-discipline working in different ways, after realizing that they can no longer work in isolation.

Steve Walker, a marketing consultant, notes: “There is a different type of mindset that people need to adopt – think first about working with others rather than trying to do everything yourself.”

The urgent need to improve internal collaboration within teams and divisions is mandatory to adapt to change.

Era of Customer-Centricity

The entire notion of customer service has completely changed.

Marketers realize that gaining a holistic view of a customer is a key driver to simplify their brand experience.

If you’re able to offer a good, joined-up experience across all consumer touchpoints, you gain a competitive edge.

Andrew Cocker, the senior marketing director at Expedia says: “We are championing the user during every step of the process. Our biggest job is to make that user experience totally seamless, intuitive and less complex than it is today.”

However, the key question, he says, is: “How can we anticipate what the customer needs before they even have to ask?”

These are some of the challenges that marketers will have to face in the coming months.


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