Whitney Stephens

Senior Manager, Marketing Communications

Marketing Leaders Share the Biggest Challenges and Opportunities for Brands in 2017

Over the course of 2016, we had the chance to speak with several senior-level marketers in our Minute with a Marketer series. In these interviews, industry leaders shared challenges and areas of opportunity, as well as their biggest pieces of business advice. Here are a few key takeaways that are relevant for the new year.



What are the biggest challenges marketers face?

“Personalizing for the individual customer and not blanketing the entire market segment. The marketing funnel has changed and we can no longer think about our markets as a collective; rather we need to think of individuals and find ways to understand their needs and values and connect directly with them.”
— Matthew Taylor, ‎Global Marketing Communications Leader, GE Transportation

“Marketers need a mixture of skills and there’s an increasing need for mathematical and analytical capabilities.”
— Teddy Fishbein, ‎Assistant VP of Digital and Targeted Engagement, NorthShore University HealthSystem

“Historically, scarcity of data has been the biggest challenge for marketers. We’ve all heard the famous Wanamaker quote, 'Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.' Now the pendulum has swung in the other direction. We can drown ourselves in data. The challenge today is getting to the metrics that matter.”
— Greg Weinstein, ‎VP of Audience Development, Univision Communications Inc.

“The biggest challenge marketers face today is figuring out how to activate big ideas. The multitude of options available can be mind blowing.”
— Cheryl Berman, CEO and Chief Creative Officer, unbundled

What do you think are the biggest areas of opportunity for today’s marketers?

“Finding and maximizing the small sliver of overlap between business needs and customer needs by leveraging new technologies.”
— Heidi Munc, AVP of User Experience, Nationwide

“Data provides the greatest opportunities for today’s marketers. Not just from a buying/targeting perspective, but also on the creative side. The near real-time audience feedback we can get lets us react, iterate, and optimize our messages in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago.”
— Greg Weinstein, VP of Audience Development, Univision Communications Inc.

“Embracing digital, technology, and automation — those who don’t will be left behind.”
— Matthew Taylor, Global Marketing Communications Leader, GE Transportation

“Marketers sometimes fall into an execution trap in which they focus on creating a program to support a product. They try to convince consumers that the product should be valued, and their effort is exerted to do so. Our first responsibility, though, is to create exceptional products and experiences. Too many marketing teams lose that focus. Create a product of inherent value, and everything else is much easier.”
— Teddy Fishbein, ‎Assistant VP of Digital and Targeted Engagement, NorthShore University HealthSystem

What was the best piece of business advice you ever received?

“My advice to anyone in business and in life is: Do what you love, love what you do, and the rest will fall nicely into place.”
— Cheryl Berman, CEO and Chief Creative Officer, unbundled

“If you don’t ask, you’ll never know. It’s my mother’s version of, 'You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,' the famed Wayne Gretzky quote. There are so many opportunities I’ve had that would never had come my way if I hadn’t spoken up or raised my hand. Thanks, Ma!”
— Rachel Gerds, VP of Digital Content, BMO Financial Group

"The key is to know something that no one else knows."
— Heidi Munc, AVP of User Experience, Nationwide


Click below to read their full interviews.
Heidi Munc, Nationwide
Rachel Gerds, BMO Financial Group
Cheryl Berman, unbundled
Matthew Taylor, GE Transportation
Greg Weinstein, Univision Communications, Inc.
Teddy Fishbein, NorthShore University HealthSystem

12/21/2016 at 04:53

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