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Guest Blog: Bea Patman: Addressing the challenges in the marketing industry

Bea Patman, Head of SEO at Greenlight Digital

The marketing industry is often associated with innovation and creativity. In fact the Department for Culture, Media and Sport found that creative businesses contributed £84.1bn to the British economy, with creative industries growing at double the rate of the UK economy and marketing as one of its strongest sectors.

Clearly it is an exciting growing industry to work in, but what is it really like to work in marketing?

Greenlight’s 41 Hour Report, which assessed the current state of the industry, found digital marketers feel overwhelmingly positive about their role. The large majority of marketers (84%) enjoy their everyday job, with 40% going as far to say they feel “really positive” about their jobs. It seems that their enthusiasm is paying off, with 38% of marketers feeling that their colleagues understand their contribution to their broader business. It is evident that enthusiasm and recognition go hand in hand within the marketing industry.

However, there is always room for improvement and for the 16% who don’t enjoy their jobs, there are key points marketing leaders must address.

The gender pay gap is still commonplace in the marketing industry

Marketing has a reputation for being a female-dominated sector, however the 41 Hour Report discovered that even with that reputation, the gender pay gap is impacting women in this industry. On average male marketers out-earn women by almost a tenth, taking home an average of £48,025 per annum compared to £43,864 for women. This doesn’t differ when it comes to bonuses, with 54% of men receiving a bonus last year compared to just 35% of women. For all marketers to feel like they can progress their careers within the industry, the C-suite will have to look to fill this gap to make sure some marketers don’t jump ship.

All work and no play

When it comes to the biggest pet peeves among marketers, long hours come up top. In line with the marketing industry’s ‘always on’ culture, almost half (46%) of marketers feel like they work too much. The struggle to find the perfect balance is made worse by the rise of mobile, with employees being contactable from anywhere at any time. A healthy work-life balance is crucial for a marketing team’s success, with employees being able to provide fresh and innovative ideas if they are engaged both in and out of the workplace.

Lack of budget impacts success

The struggle to secure budget is a frustration for everyone. Marketers are no different, with 56% saying they struggle to secure budgets on an ongoing basis, whilst almost a third struggle to prove ROI to their bosses. With limited budget available it is no surprise that marketers feel that because of this they can’t perform to the best of their ability. It may not be possible to always get big budgets, but measurement is essential for proving why the budget is needed. To do this, digital marketers must work closely with the C-Suite to provide them with clear and measureable KPIs for the campaigns they are executing. The famous This Girl Can campaign by Sport England and FCB England had a significant budget of £10 million, and with clear, measureable goals it resulted in its video being viewed 36 million times on Facebook and YouTube. Marketers who worked on this campaign can hold their head up high as 1.6 million women were influenced by the campaign to start exercising.

Of course, not all companies will have a budget like this to play with, but if the C-suite takes the time to calculate the budget required and digital marketers map out what they can achieve for that budget, marketers will be in a better position to execute a campaign that will successfully contribute to the wider business.

Marketers enjoy their roles and it is evident that the rapidly changing environment is something they are really thriving from. However, when it comes to securing more budget and proving the worth of the department, digital marketers need to concentrate on measurement to grab the attention of the C-suite. If the C-level executives can see a justification for investment in tools and talent, many of the frustrations that the 41 Hour report has highlighted could be solved.

Forum Insight: Top tips for social media success while attending B2B events

Whether you’re going to a big industry expo, specialist conference or attending one of our Forums or Summits, social media can help you get the most out of the event.

So we’ve pulled together five top tips to get you going…

  1. Get yourself up to date

Whether you’re an attending as a delegate or a supplier, make sure your personal and company social media profiles are up to date.

That’s everything from the logo and description to posting a few things to the account (whether that’s Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn) to make sure it looks active.

Don’t forget, a lot of the people you meet at the event will do some research on you and your company by way of a follow up ­­– you want to ensure they have a great first impression when they stumble across your social media on Google.

If you don’t have a social presence, you really, really, should. It takes no time at all to get the basics set up on Twitter or Facebook and there are plenty of ‘how to’ guides out there if you need some help with brand pages and the like.

  1. Do some research

So your social media accounts are up to date and ready to go, now you need to find out where the conversation’s going to be happening.

Twitter is will be where you’ll see most activity during a live event, so spend a little time before you get there doing some research – find out what the event Twitter handle is (follow it if you haven’t already) and what the official hashtag will be.

Also, make sure follow a few industry media outlets ­– this will help you keep track of what’s happening at the event while you’re ensconced in meetings all day.

  1. Start the pre-event hype

During the lead up to the event let everyone know you’re going – @mention the official account and use the hashtag. Let the world know you’re super-excited, particularly if you’re exhibiting or speaking – tell them what you’re going to being talking about or the products you’re going to be showing off. You can do this across Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Also, think about using a company or campaign hashtag if you’re going to be doing special promotions during the event.

If you are promoting specific products or services, create a landing page on your website with data capture, just for the event in question – you can then push people there via social media so they can request more info.

  1. On the day…

The first thing to do is to check yourself in virtually across your social accounts – you’re in the building and you’re ready for business.

Now, if you have a busy event itinerary you’re not necessary going to have time to live tweet the entire thing. If that’s the case, say it with pictures – busy stand? Take a picture. See a great product on display? Take a picture. Sitting in an interesting conference session? Take a picture. It’s a quick and engaging way of getting your message across.

And if you spot something compelling, post a video.

You can also schedule posts in advance using tools such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. This is particularly useful if you’re trying to drive stand traffic or promoting products – and don’t forget to push people back to that website landing page.

Keep an eye on those industry news feeds – retweet or pass comment on any big announcements and get involved in the conversation.

  1. After the event

This is when you can have some fun. If you have a company blog, write up your experiences of the event. You don’t have to write an essay – 350-500 words would be sufficient – and then push that article out across your Twitter, Facebook and Linked in accounts.

Perhaps the most important post-event task is to follow up on all those delicious new leads and contacts you made – make sure you follow and like their social media accounts, both personal and company.

Finally, it’s worth searching the event hashtag and scrolling back through its timeline to catch up on the show news and, perhaps more importantly, see what your industry peers were up to…