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Where Should Your Marketing Teams Focus Their Skills Training?

In the News:

CMSWire – by Dom Nicastro

A Forrester Consulting report in September found 56% of marketing leaders said they are restructuring marketing teams to focus on new initiatives, and 48% added they are retraining marketing teams.

What are they retraining their teams on? What are the necessary skills to survive in marketing in 2021 and beyond? 

Executing customer-first programs according to the research requires an understanding and mastering of the virtual lifestyles of today’s consumers.

“Marketing and partner teams must possess the skills and experience to develop digital-first strategies, concepts and executions. Brands must staff, train or hire partners that think in the virtual worlds in which their brand and work must occupy," researchers said in the report.

Regular Audits for Practice and Procedure

More than ever, marketing needs a harmonious blend of art and science, according to Elaina Shekhter, chief marketing officer and head of strategy and senior vice president at EPAM Systems. “Strategically applying data science and analytics to an immensely creative process is the key to any successful marketing campaign,” Shekhter said. “Marketing teams must practice continuous innovation, deliberately experimenting with advancements in martech to transform user interfaces and customer experiences.”

If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that resilience and agility in people, technology and processes are crucial to being effective, she added. “Marketing teams,” she said, “should hold regular audits of practices and procedures to ensure alignment with business, sales, development and product teams, and be able to modify as needed.”

These audits should also re-establish a commitment to understanding the audience, with an acute awareness of their problems, opportunities and solutions. “A strong marketing team should not be afraid to fail, fail fast, learn and ultimately never make the same mistake twice,” Shekhter said. “To do this, teams need to test and learn at speed — deploying and evaluating results in real-time. This allows for quick pivots and course adjustments and ultimately campaign success.”

Agile Marketing Always in Play

Did COVID force Shekter's marketing team to be agile/retrain current skills/adopt new skills? There is no doubt that COVID-19 has accelerated digital transformation and the pace of change for many companies worldwide, including many of EPAM Systems' clients, she said. “We are adaptive by design, working across functional teams, using an agile approach that is outcome-driven rather than activity-based.”

Her marketing teams are continually refocusing, and reprioritizing campaigns based on customer needs and business requirements. “Understanding the market and how it is changing is critical for long-term success,” Shekhter added. “Our agile marketing approach isn't just about the now and navigating the pandemic. Even before the pandemic, being able to adjust, track and adapt has been key to planning and executing a successful future.”

The original article can be found here.