A survey of marketing pros by Reveries magazine a few years back remains timely. Three significant “points of pain” emerged:
You. The biggest reported “pain” was someone else, either a client or an agency person. More than 80 respondents identified someone else as their biggest pain; either not understanding issues, plans, goals, strategies, not buying into programs, subverting or discounting them or abandoning them before completion.
Information. The second biggest cluster of “pain” focused on not having enough information. More than 60 respondents noted that they did not have enough sound information to guide them. Of these, there were at least 23 mentions of not having the tools to effectively evaluate ROI or other results, not having relevant information in general, not enough information to develop effective messages, to select or assign media to create plans.
Resources. The third cluster had to do with the “pain of not having enough” – i.e., budgets, people, time to getting things done, or adequate systems.
Several noteworthy comments from respondents:
“Lack of respect within my company for marketing as a profession. We are still in the mode of “anyone can be a marketer.”
“The greatest Point of Pain is to gain the customer insight.”
“The point of pain – marketing people having no clue as to what their value proposition is, with no passion or sense of custodianship. This lack of involvement simply trickles down to the consumer, who in turn is lambasted with tired and frustrating brand messages. The result, consumers devoid of any meaningful relationship with their brand.”
“I’m pained by clients that don’t think like customers, forget that they are customers too, and are too internally focused.”
Insights gleaned and applied:
Have a clear-cut marketing strategy. Define value of planned activities, expectations on results and ensure that it is understood and bought into upfront.
Information is certainly not the issue today. Sorting through data and knowing what matters and what is important to apply is the issue. Forming insights into strategy remains an art.
No passion = no connection with consumers. Act like a consumer, think like a consumer and find the point of passion, not pain.