Digital innovation & marketers top 4 challenges

What are the problems you are facing when trying to execute your digital marketing strategy?  I recently presented at Connect 2014 in Sydney, a Salesforce event that is widely recognised as Australia’s digital marketing event of the year.

While initially daunted at the prospect, I took on board some sage advice to “just tell them what you see  every day”. So I did.

Working as closely as I do with marketers from the big four banks through to AFL clubs and everything in between, there’s one thing I have a very good understanding of – the problems that they face in trying to get ahead (or even keep up) in the digital marketing space. Here are the top four:

1 Data

Often companies have no issues with collecting data. In fact, they have a ton of the stuff. But more often than not it’s incomplete, in different formats and difficult to decipher. Clients have often described this situation to me as “drowning in data”. Cleaning it up and using the data intelligently is put in the “too hard basket” often not by marketers but by organisations as a whole.

2 Disparate systems

Not only is the data itself messy but the systems that hold and manage the data don’t talk to each other. They likely exist across different platforms and are managed by different internal stakeholders and provided by different suppliers. The different systems and processes for managing data exist in isolation, resulting in pools of data across customer segments, business segments, channels and suppliers that overlap but don’t integrate.

3 Marketing vs IT

Some marketers work brilliantly with IT and others struggle.  The challenge is almost always conflicting priorities.  Marketers often cite IT departments (and processes) as an obstacle to achieving their ideal customer communications program. Getting jobs through IT often means that timeframes are long and communicating to customers in real time is often unachievable.

4 Customer engagement

Marketers recognise more so than ever before that their customers expect to receive communication on their terms, via their preferred channel and at a time that is convenient to them. Get this wrong and your message won’t cut-through. Consumers simply won’t converse with your brand. What’s more, customers expect you to understand them, to be relevant. So you need to know exactly how to talk to them, at what time and what about. Easy right? Well, not exactly.

In my presentation I provided some insight into how Blue Star Direct’s solution leveraging the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, addresses each of these issues. We’ve worked with brands including NAB and EnergyAustralia to get around these problems and implement digital solutions that put our clients ahead of their competitors.  These are solutions that engage with their customers at a highly personalised level demonstrating a real understanding of their needs.  These case studies are detailed in the linked presentation below.

It’s the brands that are able to innovate in the digital space that will be able to create meaningful interactions with their customers and ensure brand relevance. So for my part I tell my clients there’s no way to get around this. The need for marketers to innovate in the digital world will not go away, neither will the challenges that make this a daunting task. So let’s just figure out how to get there.

To view the full presentation from Connect 2014 follow this link:

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