Online Marketing

Top Tools, Challenges, and Opportunities for Marketers in 2019

Charlie Scala

Late in 2018 and early in 2019, we conducted nine phone interview surveys with marketing executives that work with PINT. The purpose of these interviews was to gather and share some data points about some of the top responsibilities, successes, tools, and challenges for marketers heading into 2019.

While we found out that everyone we talked to had unique circumstances, we were able to cull some common themes. We are sharing those with you in hopes that it may spark an idea you can explore and implement.

If you can relate to any of these challenges or would like to discuss anything on this list in more detail, feel free to reach out and we’ll be happy to set up time for a consultation.

Responsibilities

When it came to responsibilities, the interviewees all had a unique set of responsibilities, but some common themes were:

  • Managing direct reports and vendor relationships
  • Governing content from many stakeholder types for several digital channels
  • Setting and tracking goals for their team

Successes

When it came to successes, many of our interviewees reported both qualitative and quantitative wins. Some responses from participants included:

  • Significant ROI from Adwords Campaigns
  • Embracing agile project management
  • Extreme efficiency despite a small team
  • Delivering work on time and on budget (which keeps internal stakeholders happy)

Challenges

When we asked our participants about challenges, a common, recurring answer was that there are so many things that a marketing team can do, that a big challenge is getting the team focused on what they should do.

With the proliferation of tools, channels, emerging trends, and other factors there is ultimately a lot of noise. Participants mentioned in light of all of those activities, it is extremely important to have analytics in place to measure results.

In addition to this focus challenge, some other common challenges included:

  • Sorting out roles and responsibilities for a rapidly growing team
  • Lack of resources (time and budget)
  • Gaining internal strategic alignment
  • Moving from being reactionary to data-informed

Areas of Opportunity

Whereas the challenges section of the interview sought to get answers to high-level obstacles, the areas of opportunity portion delved into more specific, granular topics.

The questions were open-ended to start, but the PINT interviewee also followed up with clarifying questions to get more depth for individual responses.

Some responses included:  

  • Continued iteration and optimization of things like mobile landing pages, campaigns, conversion rates, etc.
  • Improved communication among team members
  • More visibility into project statuses
  • One source of truth around the data collected from various tools
  • Getting more out of CRMs
  • Shortening long sales cycles

Vendors

We asked our marketing executive interviewees about the types of vendors they hired and why.

The answers fell into two main groups: agencies and freelancers.

Many respondents mentioned working with multiple agency types that were specialists in respective areas. In most cases, the reason for hiring external vendors was either due to the limited bandwidth of internal employees or due to lack of expertise in a particular area that a vendor could fulfill.

The types of agencies and freelancers respondents hired included:  

Agencies

  • Web development
  • Marketing
  • SEO
  • Public Relations
  • Paid Search
  • Print/promotional items
  • Design
  • Market Research

Freelancers

  • Business consultant
  • Graphic designers
  • Content writers

Goals

Each of our participants had unique goals for their roles. Many had both qualitative and quantitative goals for their marketing team.

Some common goals shared among multiple participants included:

  • Improving brand awareness and brand perception
  • Optimization (CRO, funnel, landing page, campaign, etc.)
  • Implementing/improving account-based marketing in conjunction with the sales team

Tools

We were hesitant to ask this question initially but ultimately decided to include it. The source of our hesitation is that whenever considering a new technology it is always dangerous to lead with tool selection. We always encourage our clients to gather and document functional and technical requirements before jumping to tool research.

However, we ultimately decided it would be useful to provide this information with the caveat that we don’t specifically endorse any of these tools without knowing our customer’s requirements first. The purpose here is simply to provide some categories of tools mentioned in case they spark ideas for research and requirements analysis.

The tools mentioned by our participants included:

CMS

(Proprietary CMS), Drupal

CRM

SalesForce, Hubspot, Microsoft Dynamics, Goldmine

Analytics & Tracking

Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Twilio, FullStory, Vidyard

Design

Adobe Creative Suite, Sketch

Collaboration/Productivity

SharePoint, Zoom, Skype, Slack, Trello

Project Management and Customer Service

JIRA, Teamwork PM, Basecamp, ZenDesk

Miscellaneous Marketing

Engagio, Marketo, MOZ, Hootsuite, SurveyMonkey

Conclusion

We’d like to thank each of our participants for taking the time to participate in our survey and sharing some unique insights. Each of the people we talked to gave great responses that were super helpful in shaping the outcome of this post.

If anyone reading this post has follow up questions or would like to schedule a consultation, feel free to reach out and we’ll be happy to set up a time to talk.

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