“Life begins at the end of our comfort zone. We get there by stretching.”
In this is a fantastic quote, author John C. Maxwell is explaining the idea of growth on more of a personal level, but I feel it’s a quote that holds very true for those who have careers in the marketing industry.
Marketers are never in their “comfort zone” at work, as just when they have learned a new technology, there is another to replace it. Systems and processes are constantly disrupted, and responsibilities are constantly stacking on top of one another. Marketers are in a never-ending state of “stretching.” So, according to Maxwell’s quote, marketers are always growing.
In 2019, there are more opportunities than ever for marketers to grow whether you are in an entry-level position or the C-suite. Here are three areas of growth you will likely experience this year:
CMOs Will Continue Learning With Increased Responsibilities
Over the past few years, the responsibilities and demands of marketing executives have drastically increased. Jennifer Groese is the CMO of the world’s leading sales intelligence platform, Winmo, and she explains that the pressure is on;
“The role of CMO is ever evolving, and with tenure being approximately three years shorter than our C-Suite counterparts there is no doubt more pressure on us to prove results quickly. From brand strategy, product marketing, data and analytics, and most importantly – sales support, CMO’s are responsible for more areas of the business than just a few years ago.”
As Jennifer explained, CMOs are no longer solely responsible for driving new campaigns, but they are also responsible for proving marketing’s true business impact. This means that they need to understand finance and business in addition to being a marketing expert. Of course, showing business impact means investing in large amounts of technology that will highlight the data and analytics in which CEOs will demand to see in executive meetings. Garter’s CMO Spend Survey shows that 16% of 2019 marketing budgets have a heavy focus on innovation. Investing in technology also means becoming an expert of those technologies, which will make 2019 a year full of new skills and continued education for CMOs and their teams.
Demand For Top Talent With Will Rise
Technology and big data are giving marketers the opportunity to understand our consumer’s decision-making process, but what good is all this data if we don’t have anyone to interpret it? This develops the need for talent that can not only fluently understand data, but also apply its insights into marketing strategies that enhance the stories we tell and the overall consumer experience. In fact, right now there is a shortage of this talent in the marketplace with 59% of companies currently searching for marketers with these skill sets and only 19% of marketers searching for new jobs.
While new skill sets will change the way marketers perform within their roles, it’s important to note that the core concepts of marketing won’t vary because of technology. However, it will shed light on the success or failure of each campaign. In 2019, marketers will need to further embrace the constant data consumers are throwing their way. Whether data is being collected from purchase history, product reviews, or social media engagement, marketers need to plunge deeper into the analytics, comprehend the data to determine what’s working and what isn’t, and further deploy agile methodologies to craft their strategy.
Consumers Will Expect More From Brands
Amazon Prime Now, same-day grocery pickups, Uber Eats; these are just a few of the thousands of services that are rapidly growing because they make our lives more convenient. The truth of the matter is, if your brand can create an experience quick, simple, and pleasant, you are doing it right in the eyes of your consumer. For marketers, it’s a constant game of cat and mouse as once brands finally give consumers what they wanted, their customers are already expecting more.
Thanks to technological advancements, marketers can finally start delivering on these expectations in real-time. It’s no secret that customers require instant gratification and a recent Accenture study indicates that 83% are willing to share their data to get it. As marketing departments further integrate chatbots, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence into their strategies, they will able to take this data to create personalized content that will result in more profound, more enriching experiences. Machine learning intelligence will permanently remove the inconvenience of the search process by analyzing the consumer’s inputs and immediately turning around content, products, and services that fit their needs and give them exactly what they are looking for.
Between CMOs adding continued business value, marketers expanding their skill sets deeper into technology and analytics and finding innovative ways to give consumers what they want when they want it, 2019 will surely be as exciting as the year before it. Marketers will continue to grow, and with their advancements, the industry will continue to change rapidly.
Of course, there are so many areas for growth being presented to marketers this year in addition to the three listed above. If I missed something, I welcome your expertise and insights in the comments! In what other ways will marketers grow their skill sets throughout 2019?