It’s been said that marketing is a balance of art and science.

In today’s digital environment where buyers easily declare their own paths to research and engagement with prospective business partners, marketers are challenged to cultivate a meaningful role in the discovery process. Social media, mobile, and digital channels are enabling a constant stream of connectivity.

A recently surveyed group of marketers agree that to competitively thrive in today’s landscape (where their audiences are empowered with the information necessary to make purchase decisions), it’s critical for marketing organizations to make every interaction count.

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Oracle Eloqua recently released a report “Defining the Modern Marketer: From Real to Ideal,” which reveals insight into the evolution of the marketer’s role. The report underscores research from a comprehensive survey created in conjunction with BtoB Magazine, and explores the skills and technologies marketers need to optimize ROI initiatives.

The benchmark data points to the “Ideal Marketer” — a function that has evolved to demand attributes of three “types” of marketers: content, brand, and web marketers. Survey participants cited these three marketer types to sum up the responsibilities driving the current Modern Marketer role. The report hones in on 5 core competencies driving Modern Marketing:

  1. Download-VF-GuideTargeting (refining and segmenting data)
  2. Engagement (delivering value-based content through the right channels)
  3. Analytics (measuring marketing effectiveness)
  4. Conversion (tracking prospect to customer)
  5. Marketing technology (CRM systems, marketing automation)

Turns out that marketers have a long way to go to reach the self-defined status of the “Ideal Modern Marketer.” Marketers rate themselves with a score of just 65 out of 100 when measuring their proficiencies in these five marketing competencies. The survey also identified the major obstacles marketers face as they try to modernize their strategies and processes. Respondents pointed to lack of budget and poor data analytics infrastructure as the two top roadblocks.

SEE ALSO: 5 Reasons Why Data is the Heart of Professional Services Marketing

While the concept of knowing your customer is not new, today’s modern marketers need to focus on two dimensions to understand their customers. The first is typical demographics. The second is the buyer’s Digital Body Language – actionable behavior that serves as a key predictor of how a prospect is going to buy.

Here are 5 tips to assess your strategy based on the 5 Tenets of Modern Marketing:

1. Targeting– Marketers always have understood that it’s better to know more about their customer. But today’s modern marketers accomplish this by blending demographics with Digital Body Language, and providing valuable information aligned with their buyers’ journeys.

2. Engagement- The first rule of being interesting is first to be interested in your audience. Today’s modern marketers engage effectively by using the concepts of personalized content to match ‘offers’ to ‘interests.’ Tomorrow’s modern marketers will have to use the same concept of personalized content, across all of the buyer’s preferred channels.

3. Conversion– Today’s modern marketers understand how programs turn into revenue by knowing the customer’s buying cycle, engaging the buyer meaningfully, and implementing repeatable processes for success.

4. Analytics – Measurement always has been a core component of determining marketing effectiveness. Today’s modern marketers must be equipped with reports on key attributes about the buyer, channel, and offer to understand what works and what does not. Tomorrow’s modern marketers need to have real-time ‘what if’ analytics to anticipate change, as well as real-time benchmarking solutions.

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5. Technology – No one can predict what the next cool channel or technology will be. But the platform of the future has to be built to make it easy for new technologies and channels to be integrated into the daily life of the marketer.

Keep these 5 tips in mind when marketing to customers and you’ll be well on your way to establishing customer-centric communication strategies.

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