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The Evolving Landscape for Marketers in 2023 – Not for the faint hearted

A robot playing a piano
Marketing is a complex technical discipline

In the rapidly changing landscape of the modern business world, Marketing has undergone a significant transformation. No longer confined to traditional tasks and activities like blog writing, white paper creation, and case study development, marketing has become a multifaceted, highly technical, and strategically dynamic field. Marketing professionals have had to evolve and upskill to remain ‘effective in the game’, and this means proactively acquiring a wide range of skills and techniques aimed at effectively reaching and engaging target audiences. The bottom line is that marketers are fully engaged in garnering the right Leads, and ensuring Sales Revenue achievement, as an integral part of the Sales Enablement practice. Let's delve into the key facets that define the role of a Marketing professional in 2023:

Digital Mastery: Beyond the Basics

Digital Marketing remains at the forefront of Marketing strategies, but it has expanded far beyond the basics, requiring skills and expertise in the various CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platforms to enable businesses across all market sectors; E-commerce to Cybersecurity, Banking to Manufacturing, Traditional Oil & Gas to Renewable Energies. Marketing professionals must be capable of Data Management to secure Marketing and Sales Funnel performance, as well as being skilled in SEO (Search Engine Optimization), tagging, keyword analysis, meta data, backlinks, multi-channel social media management, marketing analytics and the list goes on.

Social Media Mastery: Beyond Posting

Social media has transcended basic posting to become a strategic powerhouse for Brand Awareness and Brand Penetration, resulting in prospect traffic to website/landing pages that facilitate Lead Capture and conversion to MQLs and SQLs (Marketing Qualified Lead and Sales Qualified Leads). The Marketing professional must be a Social Media Strategist who aligns the company's social presence with its Lead Gen goals in an integrated approach that cohesively results in Closed Won Business. Sounds obvious, right? Does it sound easy? Maybe not!

Viewed from the outside, colleagues may be tempted to think that Marketers simply create content, but below the surface Marketers must enable organic social selling growth, which requires expertise in audience engagement, content curation, and community management, all made possible by maintaining and juggling a list of technical skills.

In addition, many organisations have built up a significant library of legacy social media and web site content, but who's keeping on top of the housekeeping? Do you still want to advertise the webinars you offered in 2013? Or the version of your product that was launched in 2017? Leaving this content to become increasingly irrelevant can hurt web site performance and should not be ignored. Revisiting, tidying, testing hyperlinks, and fixing images going back perhaps ten years is also part of the marketer’s remit. And this is extremely detailed and time-consuming work.

Data-Driven Decision-Making

Digital Marketing has become synonymous with data-driven decision-making, as evidenced by many articles that have gathered behavioural evidence of those who research the internet extensively for products and services, before they engage directly with a Salesperson. The prospective customer does not like being 'sold to'. Indeed we know that Generations X,Y and Z are very marketing-savvy. They experienced the tail-end of the push-marketing era and, as a consequence, they are extremely resistant to it. They do not like to be disturbed during their professional day by phone, email or text message, which makes the Sales role even tougher than before. Prospective customers are smart and well-educated professionals, who now gravitate towards establishing an authentic relationship connection before considering your company’s product, service, or value proposition. The old, transactional Marketing and Sales activities are now only effective to a point.

Strategic Thinking and Leadership

Strategic coordination across CRM platforms and Prospect Journey Touchpoints is critical to Marketing success. Marketers must think strategically and create effective strategies, tactics and messages that resonate with their target audiences. It is accurate to say that a Marketer’s leadership skills have also taken on a new dimension, which is another critical success factor to the Sales team’s success. If Marketing fails to generate the right volume of quality leads, sales will falter. Marketers must shape the company's online presence by translating organizational work into compelling stories, papers, product/service collateral, including testimonials of more-than-satisfied customers, to elicit interest, trust, relationship and ultimately, partnership.

Technical Proficiency: Website Development and SEO

Technical skills like website development and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) remain critical in 2023. Strong SEO practices lead to a company’s findability and higher prospect traffic and Lead conversion. It may seem obvious to say that it is imperative to keep abreast of evolving SEO strategies for long-term success, and equally obvious to say that a strong online presence through a well-optimized website is essential for capturing and retaining an audience, but what is not so obvious is the degree of knowledge and skill required by a Marketer to drive the desired business results.

Adaptability and Collaboration

The dynamic nature of the Marketing landscape requires adaptability and collaboration across the different teams within the company. Employers need professionals who can handle the evolving digital landscape and manage content strategy, competitor analysis, and video marketing, social selling, multi-channel management as well as collaboration with Sales, Product Development and Senior Management in a coherent and cohesive manner to achieve the right Key Performance Indicators. To say that flexibility and curiosity are key essential traits of today’s Marketers is too simple. To remain aligned, or one step ahead, of industry trends and continuously connect with the target audience. Marketers must continually research, learn and become experts in the innovative technology that drives and enables Marketing.

The Last Word

The average Marketing Director’s job description in 2023 would give Clark Kent a run for his money. And, in our current hard-pressed economic landscape, Marketers are expected to do more with fewer people in an increasingly sophisticated discipline. The skills required for success in marketing have expanded to encompass a broad range of capabilities, reflecting the increasingly digital and interconnected nature of customers and prospects to businesses via the internet and the various social media platforms.

The growing importance of understanding and navigating the complexities of the online world will be significantly impacted by the introduction of AI (Artificial Intelligence). It's attractive to assume that AI is going to help us work faster and smarter, but AI draws on existing and historical data. Are we happy to rehash extant material? How will we track and acknowledge its use? Will original, thoughtful new content become the gold standard in a digital world awash with reformatted text? Marketing professionals must look with a critical eye to see whether AI will demonstrate value, and in parallel acquire new skills in AI to ensure that they are able to make the right recommendations in the right place at the right time.

Marketing in 2023 is NOT for the faint hearted, but for those creative, tenacious, ‘rat up a drainpipe’ types who have a passion to create success for a company and its Sales team, it remains an interesting and dynamic career choice.

Any questions or comments? At Enforma we look after the Marketing needs of companies of all sizes, and work with a range of associates. If you would like to discuss your Marketing challenges or concerns, contact us for an informal chat.

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