Online and email marketing

Top five challenges in digital marketing

Cara Waters /

There’s a fundamental shift in the role marketing is playing in business strategies, according to keynote speakers at the Adobe Digital Marketing Symposium in Sydney this morning.


Attendees were told businesses attempting to market digitally face the following key challenges:


1.  The fast-changing technology landscape

Shantanu Narayen, chief executive of Adobe, says the technology landscape has changed significantly in the last five years.


A few years ago just one in every five Australians had a smartphone, Pinterest was still in its beta phase and the creators of SnapChat were still working on their previous startup.


Now, everyone carries multiple phones, has multiple tablets and Pinterest has billions of pins.


Narayen says the pace of change is measured in weeks rather than years.


2.  Multiple devices

Narayen says we are “swimming in” devices and data now and this has both positive and negative implications for businesses.


“The challenge and opportunity for each of us is how do we deliver that right digital experience to the right person at the right time,” says Narayen.


“Multi-channel marketing is becoming an imperative and customer expectations of personalisation are rising.”


Brad Rencher, senior vice president and general manager of marketing at Adobe, agrees that with multiple devices personalisation is key.


“Today consumers don’t want an internet of a thousand devices they want an internet of me,” he says.


3.  Your product is marketing

Rich customer experiences are combining with the internet of things to create a world where your product is marketing, according to Narayen.


“I’d like to think we are now in the era where your product is actually marketing,” he says.


Narayen says the new questions are: ‘Are we thinking broadly enough about what this product truly is?’ and ‘How can I bring the power of digital marketing not just into marketing a product but into creating a product?’


“It’s not how you sell or what you sell that makes you stand out from the competition, it’s how you bring that experience together, Narayen says.


4. No end to marketing

Rencher says that the experience customers have with you becomes the brand of your business.


“Today consumers have more opportunity than ever to interact with brands at more moments and more places,” he says.


“As a result the expectations that consumers have are at an all-time high.”


This means marketing doesn’t end when a click becomes a sale.


Marketing is part of a continuing relationship and Rencher says there are more opportunities than ever to meet consumers’ expectations and delight them.


But he warns there is also more risk of disappointing consumers as well.


5.  The move to video

Ann Lewnes, chief marketing officer at Adobe, says whether it’s on mobile or desktop devices online video is “probably the killer app right now”.


“Video is the best media format as its educational but it’s also entertaining,” she says.


This creates challenges for small business given the time and expense costs of creating engaging video content.


 This article was originally published on SmartCompany.

Cara Waters

Cara Waters is the former editor of SmartCompany. Previously, Cara was a senior reporter at the Financial Times website FT Adviser in London and she also worked for The Sunday Times in London.

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