It’s no secret that marketing is constantly changing, and 2016 was no exception. Rapid changes in social media, the accelerated importance of video and ever-changing Google algorithms defined 2016. More changes are coming in 2017, as live video, mobile marketing, and virtual and augmented reality continue to change the marketing landscape.
Adapting to these changes is no small task for any organization. With so many constantly changing communication channels available to us, it’s becoming increasingly harder to communicate a singular message across all of them. Every change requires us to evaluate our marketing initiatives and the tactics we’re using to communicate our message. These changes also require us to evaluate our own marketing team—in terms of our skill sets and how we work with each other, as well as how we work with other departments in our organization.
A recent report published by Marketo predicts some changes our internal marketing teams will face in the coming months. We’ve highlighted a few of the most important ones below.
- Specialization is no longer the key to success. While specialists will always have their place for functions like programmatic buying or SEO, we need to build teams of “full brain marketers.” These leaders are multi-talented generalists who are comfortable handling numerous challenges from creative and brand design to marketing and demand generation.
- It will no longer work for marketing to think and operate in silos. Your marketing department should always be connecting with and working with other teams within your organization—sales, customer service, operations, etc.—on key programs. You can’t keep doing what you’re doing just because it worked last year. Challenge things and see if your approach is still the right one. It may not be.
- You need to find that perfect intersection between fulfilling customer needs, storytelling and digital interactions. Marketing departments need to build deep expertise across three functions: thinkers (the data nerds), feelers (the storytellers who will make your audience laugh, cry and/or buy) and doers (the people who bring it all together and execute). If any one of those elements is missing, your message will fall flat.
When we talk about changes in our industry we often focus on external reform—the changing tactics and communication channels, and the shift in the way with which we connect with our target audience. While understanding and adapting to these external changes is vitally important to our success as marketers, it’s just as important to evaluate how the evolving landscape affects the composition of our internal marketing team. Do you have the right butts in the right seats? It’s something to think about as we take our first steps into 2017.