Marketing is in a constant state of evolution. While it’s easy to focus on the technological and behavioral changes occurring in the industry, it’s also important for marketers to recognize how their own roles are altering. According to the Digital Roadblock: Marketers Struggle to Reinvent Themselves study by Adobe Systems, 64% of marketers believe that their roles will change within the next year.
For the most part, marketers are open to switching up their roles. In fact, 40% of marketers say they want to reinvent themselves, according to the study. Yet, just 14% know how to do so. Reinventing marketing’s organizational roles has to come from the organizational itself, as well as from the individual marketers. Adobe SVP and CMO Ann Lewnes hosted a panel at the Adobe Summit and discussed how today’s marketing organization is changing. Here are a few organizational and individual changes marketers can make to not only strengthen their corporate brands, but also their personal brands.
Promote cross pollination
Knowledge is power. And the more knowledge that organizations spread across their departments, the more powerful they become. For instance, Pete Stein, CEO of digital agency Razorfish, said that when clients bring together different divisions to solve one common problem and achieve one common KPI, they often glean success. Not only does this tactic increase cross-divisional education, but it also breaks down silos.
However, industry lingo can make it easy for marketers and IT heads to get lost in translation. So it’s important for organizations to look for employees that can speak a common language.
“We look for marketers who understand how to communicate with technologists where they can concisely state their business objectives or business challenges,” said Jeff Titus, GM of digital technology and solutions for Audi of America.
Don’t rely on organizational changes to fix everything
When problems arise, fingers often point to management. But a lack of data quantification may be more to blame than a particular position. For instance, marketers struggling to strengthen customer relationships may need to more clearly define customer experience metrics, Titus said. “[Data quantification] is where we’re finding the most pertinent information,” he said. “You can’t just go solve a problem with an organizational change.”
Outline your team before going to an agency
Partnering with an agency can help lighten marketers’ workloads and expand their creative horizons. But when it comes to choosing an agency, it’s important to look before you leap. Marketers should define who they need on their team to accomplish their goals before selecting a partner, Titus advised. Pinpointing business objectives before reaching out to an agency will help a brand identify whether they need a large full-service agency, or a small specialized company, he said.
Specialize in something
Today’s marketers are forced to wear many hats. And while possessing a wide range of skills is critical, owning a niche talent is what separates leading marketers from their peers, said Jana Rich, managing director of executive search firm Russell Reynolds associates. “We need to know what is the thing that people are uniquely great at,” she said.
Hire to complement your skills
No matter how versatile a marketer may be, no person can do it all. When expanding a team, marketing heads should look for individuals whose skill sets complement their skill sets. This gives both parties the opportunity to shine and learn from the other, Rich says.
No one wants to fail. However, Rich said that employers prefer to hire marketers who have made a blunder or two because it shows that they embrace a test-and-learn culture. But if marketers are going to fail, it’s important for them to fail fast and identify what went wrong early on, Titus said. Short-cycle investments can be an effective way for marketers to test and discuss what works and what doesn’t within an organization, he said.
“Divorce yourself from any stance that you’re always right,” Titus said. “Fail fast. We want answers immediately.”