Eloqua has released a new report that looks at the "modern" marketer. Despite adopting a more social and digital approach to marketing, these individuals still have a lot to learn in order to reach their "ideal" goal.

The report “Defining the Modern Marketer: From Real to Ideal,” was complied from data collected in January 2013 by BtoB (through a partnership with Eloqua and Oracle) where 556 active B2B marketers were surveyed about modern marketing, what they are currently doing in this area and improvements that need to be made.

Real Vs. Ideal

Marketers have a continually complicated job with more tools, technology and resources being released ever year.

Today’s modern marketer faces a new paradigm of inbound marketing programs driven by digital channels, served by multiple touches, and measured by sophisticated technologies -- and where data analysis is king,” says the report.” It is a daunting new world that marketers are negotiating, often with limited budgets and staff.”

Despite their attempts to navigate the marketing environment and be successful, there is a difference between where most marketers are and where they should be. An ideal marketer is someone who knows how to use technology (such as automation and social monitoring), but also knows how to utilize analytics, conversion, engagement and targeting data.

For example, with marketing technology, this area should contribute to 14 percent of a campaign's success, but in reality, only nine percent does --  for most campaigns. Overall, today’s “modern marketer” is only at a 65 percent success rate compared to the ideal prototype.

Despite this, there are suggested ways that marketers can improve this percentage, according to Eloqua, and reach their ideal marketing goal.

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Moving Towards the Customer

According to Eloqua the first thing that markers have to acknowledge is that marketing is a profession that's never the same. What a marketer does, what tools he or she uses and their marketing strategy is always changing and marketers need to adapt with these changes in order to reach their audience and expand their company’s brand.

Much of what is transforming marketing actually opens up new doors of opportunity -- in targeting, personalization and sales enablement -- but also bring with them a demand for new skills and added resources,” says the report.

The report points out two of the most prominent skills marketers must have are the ability to track ROI data and market through social media means, which in combination with other changes, such as the emerging field of mobile marketing, shows that over the last few years marketing has moved from ‘brand power’ to a customer based industry. Therefore, a businesses' marketing strategy must be consumer friendly.

Design Takes a Back Seat

In the past, marketers have relied on their creative skills with fancy, eye-catching campaigns, but with social media they need to rely less on the ‘creative’ side as a primary engagement tool and more on responding to customers in a quick, but efficient manner.

For example, according to the report, 48 percent of those surveyed said they needed help with ROI , 35 percent needed to work on their time management skills and and 60 percent needed a more relevant and a quicker response to consumer touch points.

Therefore, while marketers still need to be creative, they also need to be able to engage with their customers quickly and always be updating their social channels with a new campaign, product release or update or responding to a customer comment to keep customers interested and to help improve business.

Improving One Step at Time

While the report does focus on problem areas that marketers face, it also acknowledges that a large portion of the industry is working to reach that ideal marketing goal by being focused on content marketing, which is an area that is heavily enforced in social media. To stay relevant marketers always have to be pushing out new content -- even if it's just a product update.

While there are many types of digital marketing activities modern marketers are deploying, much of that is informed by powerful marketing content,” says the report.

Also, comparing 2011 to 2012, 44 percent of those surveyed said they either didn't have or only adapted a few go-to market practices and only 26 percent had a “strong” or “Full” adoption rate. In 2012, this changed with 68 percent saying that they adopted a more modern approach by including digital tools into their marketing platform, such as mobile, social media, blogging, webinars and white papers.

Overall though, in order to be an ideal marketer, a person has to be a creative, technically savvy individual who is able to multitask by creating new, targeted social campaigns, but also still address questions and comments from their current campaigns. They also have to be looking for new ways to engage with customers and are comfortable using digital marketing tools such as analytics, CRM, business intelligence and conversion technology.