The December 2015 issue of the American Marketing Association‘s magazine, Marketing News, included the results of AMA’s survey of what marketers see as the chief challenges and “pain points” heading into the new year. (The article is behind the AMA paywall, but here’s the link for subscribers to access.)
The biggest challenges facing marketers in 2016, according to the survey, are:
- Data and analytics (33.97%)
- Content marketing (33.55%)
- Business growth (33.33%)
This comes as no surprise to Sean Martin, founder and managing partner at Atlanta-based marketing research firm Brandiosity, one of two marketing leaders asked by AMA to put the survey findings into context. His reading of the survey led to two conclusions:
- Marketers are overwhelmed by the marketing agenda. “[M]arketing, as a function, is increasingly a hydra-headed challenge that requires Herculean prioritization,” he says, adding, “I think it is fair to say that the marketing function as a whole is suffering from several overlapping pressure points, including the ever-evolving media landscape, pressures to demonstrate return on investment for the marketing function and the lack of “a consistent, clear and cohesive agenda” for marketing at most organizations.
- Marketers don’t feel equipped and/or empowered to drive business growth. “The bottom line is that CEOs (presumably) expect marketing to drive business growth in 2016 and beyond: Marketing is seen as a primary engine of growth.”
Some sobering thoughts as we head into this new year.
But all is not hopeless for marketers. As the AMA article points out, “pain points can lead to opportunities, and the chance to innovate in an ever-evolving field.” Better understanding the pain points in our business can help us to better address them. After all, no pain, no gain, right?