Survey: Marketing executives want to hire ‘creative and data-driven’ staff

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As we enter 2015, businesses are developing new content and marketing strategies to continue to make gains in the competitive digital media industry, says a new survey of nearly 200 marketing executives. Also, marketers are committed to hiring staff well-versed in Big Data.

Conductor Searchlight, a search engine optimization and web presence management firm, released the results of a new survey entitled “182 Marketing Executives Reveal Their 2015 Success Tactics.” The whitepaper looked at what tactics marketing professionals will employ in order to reach their objectives this year. The study authors spoke with 182 marketing executives and sought to observe four main areas of their content strategies.

Four strategies to boost content marketing

First, marketing executives won’t invest in content unless it is targeted to specific segments of the consuming market. Over the past several years, social media and innovations in technology have certainly modified the way customers engage with brands – and vice versa. This is why marketing executives believe it is immensely important to research their customers’ needs when producing content.

A strong majority of agencies as well as B2B and B2C organizations agreed that customer research was “very important.” If marketing plans consist of a “one-size-fits all” method of creating content then it could very well ostracize certain audiences, the survey says.

One measure to potentially introduce is persona marketing: “Persona marketing is the process of developing generic characters to represent types of visitors who come to your site. Marketers find the pain points of their customers, and then create content to meet those needs,” the report states.

The aim for 2015 is to target customers based on who they are and how prepared they are to make a purchase.

Second, data is just as important as the content creation process, according to the surveyed marketing executives.

In fact, the study discovered that nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of marketing execs say data is either “more” or “much more” important than it was 12 months ago. Indeed, compiling data is a crucial contributor to content, SEO and social engagement.

The study recommended that today’s generation of marketers that still depend upon a “gut feeling” need to take a break and begin to take a second look at the marketing team and the creative process.

“Content marketing is most successful when data and creativity work hand-in-hand; ultimately, one just won’t work without the other,” the report wrote.

In other words, the goal for this year is to hire both “creative and data-driven minds.”

Third, marketers realize that they can only grow by adopting the latest technology. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of marketing executives plan to spend more on marketing technology this year, and about one-quarter aim to spend significantly more.

The marketing technologies and tools available in the economy today can aid firms in collecting data and analysis on small to large scales. At the same time, marketers have to be cautious in investing the adequate amount of time to select the best technology.

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Finally, cooperation that transcends departments is fundamental to the success of an entire organization. The study cited previous research that found companies that practice evangelism, known as the process of coalescing various departments, were twice as likely to succeed than those that didn’t.

Marketing executives understand this truism, which is why 90 percent of them reported inter-department support is “important” or “very important” to the digital marketing brands’ success. Moving forward, the final target is to produce collaboration and partnerships within the organization.

The report authors provided a number of tips to help foster such cooperation:

  • Educational lunches to instruct search and content
  • Seek out what other departments need
  • Initiate interaction with departments
  • Try to involve other employees in other departments

Conclusion: marketing will still hone in on the customer, but in different ways.

“Now that customers can pick-and-choose when, where, and how they interact with brands, organizations must look at creative ways to drive a consumer through the purchase funnel,” the report concluded. “In order to stay in the marketing game, marketing executives must invest in the biggest growing areas of marketing: customer research, data and measurement, marketing technology, and inter-departmental support.”

Photo courtesy BlastPR

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