It looks like Digital marketing will come of age this year. As copyblogger owner Brian Clark noted “2013 is already shaping up to be an epic year for marketers and writers. It’s the year that content, social, search, and email are coming together, working in sync for the greater good of marketing-kind. It’s also the year that wise marketing departments will use analytics and automation to scale their efforts and make better decisions.”
Yet marketers and agencies are hesitant
The respected Australian marketing magagine released a study this week on how digital marketing is doing in Australia (read more).
Sadly, it seems little has changed with most marketers and agency people over there hesitant to really embrace new digital or online marketing and advertising methods. The same applies here with many outsiders saying we’re 3-5 years behind the Auzzies!
We see the issues directly around digital employment trends when tracking activity on the Seek website in AU and NZ. It’s an early indicator of where companies are. As the Magazine article quotes ” The natural evolution of digital within a business usually begins with outsourcing, followed by the employment of a digital manager, creation of a digital team and the formation into a multichannel operation”
Are we asking too much?
Another survey indicated that only 9% of surveyed senior marketers “believe traditional agencies are doing a good job of evolving and extending their service capabilities in the digital age” Certainly companies are expecting more from their marketing staff than ever before.
However there are a few forward-thinking companies out there that know they need to do something, having familiarised themselves with all the latest buzzwords. Here’s an extract of one example I found on Seek today.
“We are looking for a Qualified graduate of Marketing, Design and Electronic Media to create and co-ordinate our own “In-House” Marketing Department to help support and assist our growth…. We require a full time Multi-Disciplined Marketing Professional to take on and grow our Online presence and traditional areas of design, print and other B2B marketing requirements…. You MUST have Qualifications and proven expertise in Web design, back end coding, CMS, Analytics, and SEO both organic and pay per view…”
They’ve simply combined four job descriptions and skillsets, into the one role, meaning whoever takes up the job is setup to fail. Still, at least this company has a ‘new age’ marketing plan and vision, be it an impractical one. Way better than most companies today… My guess is that in a few more years this company (after burning out several marketing graduates), will have figured out how to ‘do it right’. They’ll have 4 or 5 specialists in a tight knit team, set to dominate their industry sector. Or, they may just give up in the first year and outsource it all to an incompetent agency pushing print, TV and radio promotions…
More education or better expectations needed?
I personally think the thing that explains why we’re so far behind isn’t that we’re dumb or don’t want to use these new tools. In the US and Europe, companies like Google, SEO and hosting providers do endless promotions and business educational seminars. Less so in Australia and far less here in Auckland or Wellington, perhaps due to our isolation.
But we have to at least make a start. For myself, I’ve recently established the Auckland WordPress user group. We want to emulate the WordPress meetup we’ve seen in Melbourne, where dozens of amateurs and professionals turn up every month. The response to the Auckland event, scheduled for 8th April has been very encouraging, especially given the promotion has been minimal. These popular meetups are easy to establish and get people of similar background and interests together, at little cost.
Postscript: Inbound marketing experts Hubspot recently released a booklet outlining the opportunities for agencies and their clients – Setting up a list of modern services and expectations. Handy. Download a copy here. AgencyGuide