Marketing's Biggest Challenges: 1. Cutting Through the Clutter
Breaking through the wall of noise that clients and prospects are staring at each day has become one of the top challenges for marketers, according to a recent Marketing Leadership roundtable of top marketers and industry experts hosted by Target Marketing and sponsored by Reach Marketing in June in New York.
The roundtable was an invitation-only, private breakfast at The Union League in New York, and many of the 14 marketers who attended found they faced similar issues, even though they came from a diverse field of industries and company sizes. Today, we'll look at their discussion of "Breaking Through the Clutter," but keep an eye out for more articles from the roundtable in coming weeks, including recaps of the discussions on "Attribution" and "The Marketing-IT Divide."
"I think the biggest issue everyone faces—regardless of the industry—are customers suffering from information overload and cutting through that clutter," says Pam Nochlin, Marketing Creative Manager for Citi Cards, the credit card division of banking and financial services provider Citi. "I'm fascinated as to how, when and why certain products or companies do manage to break through."
The problem the roundtable identified was not just in the proliferation of media messages (which have increased exponentially, all the way back to the '80s) but in actual marketing content. Oftentimes, that's due to the excesses of content marketing. In that flood, the marketing leaders in attendance say it's harder to be recognized and heard.
According to Greg Grdodian, CEO of integrated marketing and data solutions provider Reach Marketing, "There is so much content out there, and your audience is researching and making the decision based on feedback and analysis. If you don't invest in your brand equity, you are never really going to see that return."
"I think you hit it right on the head that there is so much more content out there that wasn't there five years ago, 10 years ago, that everybody is kind of on this information overload," says Kirsten Bjork-Jones, director of global marketing communications at Barrington, N.J.-based industrial manufacturer Edmund Optics, one of the B-to-B marketers on the panel.