Are You Still Relevant? The 2013 Online Marketer’s Survival Questionnaire

Posted in Online Marketing

How hard are you willing to work to remain relevant? There is a radical shift underfoot and it’s not clear who will serve what role in the future. A high percentage of marketers had not heard the term “big data” a year ago. Others have not used retargeting to positive benefit or explored programmatic buying as of today. Everyone’s wandering around the content tree and few marketers really understand what to do.

In most important ways, little has changed. Agencies and in-house marketers are taking on new roles, seeking ways to provide clients value in an RTB (real time bidding), social, programmatic media, and emergent attribution analytics environment. It all mashes into PR and branding. The online marketing business has always been fluid from generation to generation.

Still, this era of marketing change is somewhat dramatic. marketers all over the world are concerned about tectonic marketing technology shifts. Some fear losing relevance and with good cause. With so many radically new options, vendors, and techniques, it’s getting more and more difficult to choose what shiny new technology to test next. Freaked out marketers are looking for a sane road map to keep marketing tactics competitive. Here’s an outline to follow in your own growth and explorations. It’s stated in the first person because few marketers in the world are truly expert in the answers to ALL these questions. Answer them in a fearless and searching way.

  • What is my job new role as a marketer?  Am I worried someone else will take my place? What special skills do search and social marketers already posses which allow them to remain relevant in this crazy age of big data?
  • What timeless marketing values remain the same and will never change? What have I always been good at and why does it matter to my teams more than ever now?
  • Do I market to psychographics and segment personas properly?
  • Do I understand at least 10 archetypal site retargeting methodologies?
  • What systems can I apply to vet the avalanche of would be vendors? How might vendors’ wares apply to my marketing mix? Are the data points I use to decide what tactics to test first informed, reasonable, and fully defensible?
  • Am I taking inventory of every type of online marketing that converts currently, and following non-converted traffic for greater scale conversion?
  • Am I fluent in both organic and paid online video marketing in the new age.
  • Do I really comprehend the variables in mapping search to display?
  • How do emergent third party data interrelationships fit? Where does retargeting become straight up intent targeting? Do I really understand what’s happening here?
  • Do I understand content, amplification, and how social distribution feeds the system?
  • Do I create first and third-party systems that draw qualified customers into the attribution funnel and lead to conversion?
  • Do I use social data to advise keyword research and vice versa? How clever can I be on the mashup tip?
  • What is my philosophy of conversion? How do I handle the attribution mind f*ck?
  • Do I really understand the TAO of top-of funnel/bottom-of-funnel systems
  • Do I embrace the everlasting importance of segmented creative, designed for each unique touch a user encounters?
  • Am I aware of the inevitable confluence of RTB and public relations?
  • What do I need to know in order to keep my jobs? What value do I really bring to the table for the teams I serve.  How have things changed? Is my usefulness diminished in any way?
  • What skills I have me valuable no matter the era or paradigm?

Aaron Wall predicted that soon some SEO agencies are going to plain up and go away. Boutique retargeting firms earn large budgets with tight CPA conversion for sitewide retargeting. Third party data partnerships blur the lines between retargeting and targeting. Big data is whatever somebody says it is. So many industry things change so quickly. Where do you fit? Will you do the hard work to remain relevant? 

Header Image © Mopic – Fotolia . com

    • Marty Weintraub

      Thanks Christopher! Heading to fix. Grateful that you took the time.

  • Arif Ali

    wow marketers are surely the most genius people now i undestand my teacher saying that for a successful business you need three things 1 marketing 2 marketing and no 3 marketing

  • Maciej Fita

    Good stuff! Marketing in today’s landscape requires much more than the basic elements many execute on a daily basis.

  • Carlton

    Uh, yeah, thank you for giving voice and clarity to a worry I had just the other night as I was going to bed, “How will I stay relevant? What if SOME TOOL comes about that immediately makes my services irrelevant?” (I’m on the eve of going out on my own, so I am one of those “freaked out marketers” right now ;-)
    As algorithms grow more sophisticated, so too will the need for consultants who understood their complexity will be there.
    The answer to more than a few of your questions is “no” for me, so have favorited.

    • Marty Weintraub

      Carlton: Remaining relevant has always been the main focus of any technology job. That said, this is a particularly deep period of change, even for online marketing.