Marketing managers like other managers face a lot of challenges in their daily job responsibilities. Marketing managers are required to assess consumers, anticipate the market, and analyze other factors that influence marketing such as political, environmental, and economic changes. Due to advancement in technology and rapid globalization that has taken place, the marketing spectrum has widened. Due to expanded marketing, marketing managers have had the difficult task of keeping up with the advancements that have taken place in the promotion and marketing sector. This analysis tries to explain various challenges facing marketing managers in the world and proposes a strategic plan which managers can implement to reduce or eliminate some of the causes of the challenges.
Challenges Facing Marketing Managers
One of the challenges facing marketing managers is the employees who are not experienced. Globalization and technological advancement have increased internet marketing which calls for numerous roles that never existed before. Many companies have a team of specialties but without some key people who can fill some important roles. For instance, a company might have a great graphic designer and lack a conversation rate optimization analyst of it might have competent content writers without a technical state-owned enterprise (SOE) who can help them with on-site optimization. The lack of such key people has been a challenge to many marketing managers. It has thus been difficult for the managers to implement their marketing plans (Soberman, & Soman, 2012).
Another challenge facing marketing managers is the difficulty in interpretation and analysis of marketing report data. This is because market terminologies keep on evolving every year as new ideas and strategies are coming up. Marketing managers thus face difficulties in understanding the new market linguistics. Since this is the language used in reports, interpreting them correctly becomes a difficult task (Kotler, 2012).
According to Kotler, (2012), another challenge facing marketing managers is the breakdown of communication within the marketing department. Marketing managers make efforts to reworking their websites, designing adverts, and issuing a press release after which they hope that the target market will respond according to their marketing strategy. However, all these need a comprehensive reporting methodology that can gather, organize, and interpret data from the market. If there are no good personnel on the ground to undertake the process, it will be very difficult for the managers to give a relevant report to their team in the company. Insufficient reports and communication breakdown will thus make it difficult for the marketing department to keep their strategies and make positive changes.
Lack of data translation, concrete results, and comprehensive results creates doubt and confusion among the management team. When the marketing department lacks relevant data and analyzed results that can help them communicate their strategies of solving problems or their success, the situation gets tense. Marketing managers might end up making irrelevant strategies and submit a wrong report about their progress.
According to Soberman, and Soman, (2012), another challenge facing marketing managers is the difficulty in targeting content for an international audience. It is usually difficult to identify and establish prospective buyers in a foreign country. Expanding internationally has thus become a great challenge to marketing managers. Many organizations try to hire top talent who can boost their efforts in marketing. It is a great challenge for the managers to select the right candidate and evaluating whether he or she has the required skills as this might end up taking a very long time. Many managers also find difficulties in finding an executive sponsor. Sponsors usually play a role in pushing the manager’s agenda on his or her behalf.
Several other challenges facing marketing managers are training the available employees on new technologies, identifying the relevant technologies that suit their companies, scarcity of resources in small businesses among others (Soberman, & Soman, 2012).
The above-explained challenges facing marketing managers among others can be reduced or completely eliminated if the businesses can come up with a good strategic plan that has strategies for dealing with every challenge. A sample of a strategic plan that if adopted by companies can greatly reduce the challenges facing marketing managers and the company itself is given below.
According to Haines, (1995), a strategic plan gives a summary of the plans of an organization, when and how to accomplish what is in the plan. Strategic plans are crucial to a company because it helps a company to pronounce a shared vision which helps to strengthen the organization. The plan also guides an organization for a long time if well done. Before coming up with a strategic plan, it is prudent for an organization to consider its carrying capacity as this will dictate the length of the plan, its contents, and time dedicated towards its development.
Components of the Strategic Plan
The mission of our organization is: To explore new markets both within our country and outside our country through the utilization of new technology. This mission clearly defines the purpose and the central focus of an organization. All employees in the organization are required to always stick and work towards the mission of the organization. This mission should be in all offices and should be clearly written in bold and placed at a strategic point within the organization and on its website so that it can be seen by all employees several times daily. This will act as a reminder to them.
We value responsible governance by following transparency, accountability, and a culture of honesty and integrity. These are the principles that our organization stands for. These are thus the standard behaviors that our organization stands for. All employees are supposed to conduct themselves in accordance with the values while in the organization. Values should be clearly set and well defined for all employees. There should also be a poster within the organization with the values clearly defined.
Our vision is to become one of the leading sellers in the world. This vision defines the target and the future state of our organization. Our strategic plan will help our organization towards attaining what is in the vision.
4. Critical success factors
These are efforts that must be made either individually or collectively to help the organization achieve its mission and vision. These efforts must be aimed at solving the existing challenges that are hindering the development of the organization. Such challenges are those that are affecting managers. The following should, therefore, be done to ensure that the organization attains its vision and mission.
- The organization should right technologies that suit its needs. The managers should, for instance, go for a free and interactive online visualization of various technologies of marketing that focuses on solving various challenges facing managers. Such sites can, for instance, lead the managers to a specific technology that can solve the problem.
- The organization should invite a team of experts who can help them in interpreting marketing data in case the manager does not understand some terms that keep on being added in marketing linguistics as a result of globalization and technological advancement. This team of experts can help the manager in utilizing analytic software, interpreting and translating market data, configuring helpful reports, and giving advice on how the organization can modify its marketing strategy to achieve its vision and mission.
- The organization should employ staff who are equipped with relevant skills that can help the organization move forward. Managers have always faced the challenge of working with a team that does not understand the use of the internet. The organization should thus employ a capable internet marketing team who can work with the manager to achieve the goals of the organization. The manager and the internet marketing team should work within a marketing schedule and involve their clients in the process. The manager should be a strategic adviser to the team and together they can produce the required results.
- The organization should also take the initiative of training its employees on the new technology and various trends in their various areas. The managers should assess the marketing strengths and weaknesses of their team, their level of expertise, and their commitment to the company. If the managers get a team that is well trained and motivated towards achieving the goals of the organization, they will perform well in their roles.
- Targeting content for an international audience. It is important for managers to select target customers. Since this organization aims at getting international customers, it needs to optimize its site for different countries. Since different countries use various languages and various currencies, it is important for marketing managers to design a website with translating units and with various monetary references. The website should be well optimized for international visitors.
- Proper allocation of resources especially finances to reduce difficulties that arise during budgeting.
Goal and Objectives
An organization should use the SMARTER mechanism of setting its goals. This means that whatever goals and objectives such as the ones stated above should be specific, measurable in terms of finance, aligned with the mission of an organization, realistic, time-bound, extending the organization’s capability, and rewarding at long last (Haines, 1995).
This analysis has tried to explain various challenges facing marketing managers in today’s world that are full of sophisticated technology with great globalization. Many of the challenges come as a result of technological advancement and globalization. The analysis has thus suggested a simple strategic plan that if adopted by managers, can help them overcome the challenges.
- Haines, Stephen G. 1995. Successful strategic planning. Menlo Park, Calif: Crisp Publications.
- Kotler, P. (2012). FAQs on marketing: Answers and advice by the guru of marketing. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish.
- Soberman, D., & Soman, D. (2012). Flux: What marketing managers need to navigate the new environment? Toronto: University of Toronto Press.