However in other respects, marketing is finally getting the respect it deserves by leading the charge in the quest for customer centricity and personalised customer experiences that will take organisations into the next era of profitability.

To do this effectively, marketers must use a much broader technical understanding and be instrumental in adding digital layers to many of their existing activities, alongside developing engaging campaigns that shape and meet expectations.

With the rate of change growing with every passing day, it can be difficult to pin down the biggest sources of pain and frustration. However, new research published today by Econsultancy and SmartFocus not only ranks these pain points, but provides curative steps to overcome these business challenges.

Marketing Pain Points and How to Overcome Them ranks 17 pain points experienced by modern marketers, with a diagnosis and suggested remedy for each problem. 

The report also contains insight and advice from a number of leading marketing experts who prescribe advice on how challenges can be overcome and headaches mitigated. 

Each pain point has been given a ‘migraine rating’ based on the percentage of marketers who rate a challenge as a ‘4’ or ‘5’ on a five-point headache scale.

So which pain points are the most likely to be giving you a migraine?

Working with IT 

If you have been to only a few Econsultancy Roundtables over the years, you will know that you are not the only one that struggles to get on the same page as their IT and Web development teams. 

They are normally too busy to deal with your issues or don’t have budget to deal with your development requests. But your issues are important and your development requests could make/save the organisations so much more money.

If this is you then consider the following: how can your objectives or goals line up with those from the tech team? Marketing may be the driver in the race towards customer centricity, but the engine comes from IT.

From sharing KPIs to actually having development teams within your marketing teams, the solutions to this are not, and should not, be easy. Working out how to create more cohesion between marketing and IT will likely be difficult, especially if there hasn’t been much joint activity previously.

However, pulling this off will go a long way in determining future success.

No time for testing


Who has time to implement A/B or multi-variant testing? Such luxury doesn’t exist for many marketers, who are already putting in overtime in trying to cope with their increased workloads.

The problem is marketers didn’t used to have this emphasis on testing and optimisation, so the day gets filled up with other priorities. Then campaigns get moved forward, or PR issues rear their ugly head and before you know it, your intentions to test campaign elements get pushed to the background until they are out of sight.

Or perhaps it is something you have attempted, but getting your head around the data is too time consuming. You are not alone: 65% of marketers find the process of turning data into insight to be migraine-inducing.

Marketers need to carve out time to test by any means necessary. It can no longer be an optional extra. In fact, doing so probably leaves a lot of sales or conversion opportunities on the table. But you won’t know exactly how much you are missing out until you test. 

Start by scheduling a testing phase into projects before they start. If there aren’t enough staff-hours, bring in some external specialists. Not only will this ensure this gets done, it also provides the opportunity to lean on expertise that may be lacking internally.

Creating a single customer view


The path to the holy grail of marketing is laced with migraine-inducing twists, turns and bumps in the road. The reason for this is simple, even if the solution is not. Creating a single customer view requires many different parts of the business to pull their resources, data and skills together.

By definition, even if one owned customer dataset is missing, it is not a complete customer view. But if that were most businesses’ problem, this would have received a much lower migraine rating. 

Achieving a 360 degree view of the customer means completing an extremely complex list of activities that will take companies years to achieve, and that’s if it’s even achievable at all.

The point of having a single customer view is the ability to have access and the ability to use the right data at the right time. 

However, even if a complete system can’t be built, organisations can still personalise their experiences in places by integrating their data and systems as and when possible and ensuring viewability and usability. 

To find out more about these pain points and the remaining 14 pain points listed, download Marketing Pain Points and How to Overcome Them.