Posted March 4, 2014 4:38 pm by with 1 comment

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Top PrioritiesThe newly released 2014 Digital Trends report from Econsultancy and Adobe shows that both B2B and B2C marketers are making big changes in the way they reach out to their customers. Unfortunetly, only 23% of marketers believe they have the tools they need to succeed.

Marketers said they were concerned about social media curation tools that block business messages. Others worry that we’ve given customers too many ways to buy exactly what they want so competition keeps growing as customer loyalty fades. But the biggest is the speed at which digital marketing keeps changing.

Said one respondent,

“The creative use of technology coming through the generations [is a key trend]. The 40-year-old marketing director doesn’t have the understanding and natural intuitiveness of the digital natives and so can’t imagine what is coming next. The hyper-connected generation and all its baggage is fast on the horizon.”

I wouldn’t automatically assume its an age thing – but there’s no question that just keeping up with the digital Jonses is a lot harder than it used to be.

Or is it? Imagine how the radio ad man felt when TV’s started popping up in homes all over America. I’m sure they thought it was just a fad and then suddenly they were tasked with coming up with visually appealing advertisements for everything from shaving cream to new cars. I’ll bet if we asked those men to reply to this survey they’d say, “what in the world is “e” mail?” and then they’d say they feel ill-equipped to navigate this new path.

adobe tech responseLooking at this breakdown, we see that it’s the technology itself that is challenging marketers, followed closely by a way to measure the response. I’m really worried about the 23% who said that their marketing department didn’t have the creative and story-telling skills required for brand building.

What’s really happening here is we’re letting future fear stop us from getting things done now. Everything can be faster, slicker, and more on-point but the average small business marketer also has to run their small business, so there’s not much time, money or brainspace left for building out an award-winning campaign.

So how about we settle for the best the we can do right now. Go with your strengths. If you’re a natural on camera, then pour your heart and soul into that YouTube channel. More of a writer – blogging is still an effective way to reach your customers.

The bottom line is that a billion dollar budget and access to the best designers and programmers in the world won’t matter if the creative falls flat.

What do you see as your biggest marketing challenge in 2014?



  • Cynthia, I think you have clearly identified some of the challenges marketers face today. The 23% statistic lacking skills to do story telling to grow the brand speaks volumes. Society likes stories and it is a real way to connect with your followers. Building your brand does not have to be as sophisticated as it used to be.There is no doubt the speed of technology change is an issue to keep up with but lots of the technology is just a new shiny object that you don’t need. Great article.Thanks for the info.