Data, customer experience, budgets and time, people, and Brexit are some of the most pertinent issues keeping marketers awake at night, according to a new report released by the Marketing Forum ahead of The Digital Marketing Forum event taking place this week.


At the end of last year, the Marketing Forum interviewed some of the UK’s most senior marketers, agencies and industry experts to find out what their major concerns were for the year ahead. Here we’ve taken a look at five of the core challenges they highlighted.


1. Budget & time

Marketing budgets may be on the up according to the IPA’s latest quarterly Bellwether report but senior marketers are still concerned about finding the time and resource to tackle the projects they have planned.  Many who spoke to the Marketing Forum said they still had too much to do, with too little resource and were finding it difficult to prioritise budgets across different initiatives.


2. Brexit & wider world

Brexit, the UK versus the wider world and growth in uncertain times were the major concerns facing marketers, according to the Marketing Forum. This supports findings from the IPA that said more than 28% of marketers it surveyed signalled a deterioration in their confidence which they attributed to the weaker pound, the rising cost of imports, the likely acceleration in wider inflation over the coming months as well as ongoing political turbulence around the world. These, alongside the uncertainty of Brexit, make it questionable times for marketers.


3. Data & GDPR

Big data, and capturing the vast swathes of it being generated by consumers’ digital footprints, is a major issue for marketers. Being able to centralise and synthesize fragmented customer data sources across all the digital touchpoints from e-commerce platforms, mobile apps and social media into a single customer view is fast becoming the main focus of concern. That, coupled with the forthcoming GDPR legislation and how to become compliant, are some of the main data-related challenges facing marketers in the year ahead.


4. Customer Experience

The advancement of digital has shifted customer behaviour and marketers are having to change their practices to adapt to ensure they deliver a great joined-up customer experience. Yet, marketers are grappling with how to segment data to tailor and personalise the experience to drive an emotional connection. Many worry about being able to manage, meet and even exceed customer expectations, knowing full well that a poor customer experience not only results in an abandoned cart but a loss of a hard-to-earn reputation too.


5. People

How to attract, hire and grow a competent marketing team that has the knowledge and skill-set required to meet the needs of a digital age is another one of the major issues cited by marketers who attended last year’s Marketing Forum. Alongside this, marketers are having to manage-up and engage board-level colleagues to adopt digital technology. At ORM, we know that getting stakeholder buy-in is one of the stumbling blocks for organisations embracing digital change. Yet marketing technology now available encompasses everything from experience platforms, to content, to data, analytics, hosting, commerce, customer services, compliance and not just IT, but also sales and marketing, and it cannot be ignored.


ORM’s view

At ORM, we know that digital isn’t just about transactions, conversions or increasing revenue; it’s about optimisation, operational efficiencies, streamlining processes, improving the customer journey and using data to make better decisions. ORM helps businesses create and own their digital future; we define a digital roadmap for change supported by the delivery of new products and services using data, content, experience design and connected technology. This ensures you stay ahead of your competition and optimise your organisation’s value.