A new study by marketing software company DNN has found that marketers at midsize companies could be biting off more than they can chew.
The study, conducted in partnership with Lawless Research, asked more than 300 marketing executives to list their top marketing priorities. On average, survey takers listed five to seven priorities, their top three being to acquire new customers (87 percent), increase customer retention (86 percent), and increase brand awareness (80 percent).
“Having so many high priorities is like having none at all,” said DNN CEO Navin Nagiah, in an exclusive interview with CMO.com. “Doing everything is not a strategy.”
With so many new technologies and platforms cropping up, it's easy to lose sight of what’s important, Nagiah acknowledged. Marketers--70 percent of whom said their jobs have become more challenging--must better prioritize so as not to feel overwhelmed, he added.
“Everything is possible, and yet nothing is practical,” Nagiah said.
A second key finding: More than half of the companies surveyed rely on five or more marketing technology vendors for services such as marketing automation, CRM, email marketing, and social media. Fifteen percent use 10 or more different technologies for their daily work activities.
“Generally speaking, having [fewer] vendors is better,” Nagiah told CMO.com.
In addition, the study showed midsize marketers want to deepen their social strategies. For example, they are building out their own social networks, where they own the data and interactions, and can mine it however they please. In fact, 79 percent of respondents to DNN's study agreed that online communities are a “critical channel” for their marketing efforts. By the end of the year, 77 percent of respondents said their companies plan to have online communities in place for both their customers (90 percent) and employees (77 percent) to leverage.
“While you can use Facebook and LinkedIn to build a community, you are beholden to them,” Nagiah said. “You don’t own the customer data. So what companies are realizing is that they can build out their own social networks for the deep engagement with customers and rely on the [established] social platforms for reach.”
Finally, in the study marketers reported having a hard time reaching device-dependent consumers, whose attention spans are shrinking. DNN found that 79 percent of marketing executives found it a challenge to get (and hold) the attention of target customers, and 72 percent said it’s difficult to find their target audiences online.
According to Nagiah, marketers need to focus on high-value, properly formatted content that includes good graphics. The content needs to cater to three different types of content consumers: readers, browsers, and those who merely scan a piece of content.
“It takes discipline and commitment to say you will write high-value content,” Nargiah said. “But if you make that commitment and add value by making the content superior, you will build critical mass over time.”
Click here to view the full study. Please note that registration is required.