Thursday, December 5, 2013

Marketing 2014 – what are your looming challenges?

By Mark Helfen


And now for something completely different…..

Most months, the SVForum Marketing and Social Media SIG has a knowledgeable speaker who gives a presentation on an important marketing topic.

This month you - the audience - will be the “speaker.”

In an abbreviated unconference style, the group will list the marketing issues they will face over the next year. We will break up into groups, and brainstorm ideas. Then see what ideas seem to come up most often. Finally, we can crowdsource some possible solutions from the many years and wide expertise of the marketing experts in the room. In a single evening I think we will just scratch the surface, but the discussion can continue on the MarketingSIG LinkedIn group over the next few weeks.

The meeting will be Monday, December 9, at our usual time and place. The Citrix Startup Accelerator, starting at 6:30.

The process will be managed by Kevin Cox, Vice President of Marketing, Yeti Data. He is an expert in digital marketing, awarded BtoB Magazine Top Digital Marketers 2012 & 2011, with 17 years international marketing experience.

The real list will be generated at the meeting. But to give people a few ideas to start their brains working, I polled the MarketingSIG co-chairs for their lists. Here, in no particular order, are some ideas to begin your thinking. I have taken the liberty of summarizing and paraphrasing the contributions, so I am to blame for any errors.

- Marketing technology requires more and more IT budget – possibly exceeding other IT spending. How will Marketing justify, acquire, and manage the systems, software or services used.

-  Social listening and sentiment measurement will become increasingly important. What are the best tools

- People are becoming ever more sensitized to privacy issues and how their data is stored and used. How can marketing programs both be effective and manage customer expectations.

- The rules for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) keep changing. How to keep up.

= Is Facebook over? Do you need a presence on Google+? Is Instagram/Twitter/Pinterest the future or social marketing. What are the social media tools that will be useful for your marketing efforts in 2014.

- Marketing budgets are always tight. How to decide how to allocate your resources. How can you measure ROI for everything you do.

- Where should a new company start.

= Mobile continues to grow (or maybe explode.) News reports this last week talked about how much purchasing was done using mobile devices before Thanksgiving dinner was even over. How can your marketing program take advantage of mobile technology.

- Keeping up is a challenge – more technology, more social media channels, more options. Marketing is becoming more and more specialized. How can a marketing professional keep up. How broad versus deep should your expertise be.

- Communities are critical to success. How can you build communities, both for yourself, and for your customer base.

This is just a short list. Hopefully this will give you a place to start, to bring your own ideas to next Monday’s meeting.

And a big THANKS to the co-chairs for their help.

Be sure and sign up at the Marketing and Social Media Meetup site:


Mark Helfen is a freelance writer, journalist, and marketing consultant.

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