B2B Marketing recently published an infographic by marketing agency FifthRing showing that 85 per cent of marketing executives believe marketing ‘is more challenging than ever’.

According to the infographic over half of the marketers asked feel challenged to connect marketing goals with business objectives and almost 70 per cent now have to market to an increased number of territories. So we can see why marketing may feel like more of a challenge than ever.

To give marketers a helping hand CleverTouch Group MD, Adam Sharp, has put together five tips to ensure marketers can weather the changes in the industry and come out top.

  1. Pick your market and timing – make sure it is a growth market and in a good economic cycle. There is a lot of truth in the saying 'a rising tide lifts all boats’ and even in the tech space it is typically the economy, not innovation, which is the biggest driver of adoption.
  2. Know what to ignore – there is always a new channel or a new technology to add to the mix and this means more work, more chaos and more silos. A marketer’s role is to rigorously reduce the silos in the business and cut out the noise. One of the best ways to do this is through the effective deployment of Marketing Automation which ties in email, web analytics, lead routing, database strategy and CRM integration.
  3. Have discipline and a marketing strategy. Marketing Strategy is about positioning, segmentation and targeting and then intelligent engagement. It is frightening the number of marketers that operate without a plan or aren’t connected to the business. If you need a quick structure or template check out the SOSTAC© marketing model from Paul Smith.
  4. Move the dial from cost centre to profit centre. To get boardroom credibility marketers should be talking about how to contribute to the business in terms of forecasting future outlook. ROI, should not be your main concern, it is a bit of office theatre and often a job-justification exercise.
  5. Develop long-term thinking and doing. Unfortunately, most marketers are programmed to think in terms of a quarterly budget and quarterly campaigns. It is nonsense really, and reduces marketing to sales promotion. PR and social media can be reactive and tactical, but campaign themes need to be longer. Otherwise there is simply no time to be innovative. Consider this; if your buying cycles are nine months then surely the campaigns should last at least as long. Equally, adoption rates can be over 10 year periods, or more, so that what was relevant for someone last year is still relevant to some else this year and next. In fact we have some automation programmes that have being continuous for over four years. This means marketers can track incremental improvements and forecast their contribution to the business.

If as a marketer you follow these tips to show marketing’s contribution to the overall business and use longer campaigns then you will have more time to be innovative and you’ll also have the ear of the CEO.