Adobe: Digital Marketers Struggling to 'Reinvent' Themselves

Time to Re-Invent - ClockThe time has come for digital marketers to take a page from Madonna’s playbook as they address the challenges of marketing in this new day and age.

So what can marketers learn from the Material Girl? Invariably, critics say, Madonna has remained interesting and relevant because of her remarkable ability to reinvent herself. Love her or hate her, year after year, Madonna finds a way to make herself a hot topic again.

And that’s the biggest problem digital marketers are facing today, a new survey from Adobe finds. They just don’t know how to reinvent themselves.

While two in five (40%) marketers stated that they want to reinvent themselves, only 14% of those marketers actually know how to go about it, according to research released this week from Adobe.

The study, Digital Roadblock: Marketers Struggle to Reinvent Themselves, is based on a survey of more than 1,000 marketing professionals in the U.S. and exposes fresh insights into the attitudes and beliefs of marketers as they struggle to redefine their roles and expand their skills.

The findings were first published at Adobe’s 12th annual Digital Marketing Summit.

Underscoring the rapid transformation of the marketing profession, 64% of marketers expect their role to change in the next year and 81% believe their role will change in the next three years. But the path to reinvention remains a challenge. Respondents cited lack of training in new marketing skills (30%) and organizational inability to adapt (30%) among the top obstacles to becoming the marketers they aspire to be.

So what’s holding marketers back? For the most part, it’s risk aversion.

“Asked to describe the ideal, successful marketer 12 months from now, 54% of marketers said they should take more risks, and 45% hope to take more risks themselves,” Adobe explained in a report summary shared with MMW. “On the topic of new technologies, marketers are generally playing it safe, with 65% saying they are more comfortable adopting new technologies once they become mainstream.”

Despite clear and compelling challenges, there is still some good news mixed into the survey results.

“The shift to digital requires new technology, new approaches and, in many cases, entirely new roles for marketers,” explains Ann Lewnes, chief marketing officer for Adobe. “The good news is that marketers see the change in front of them, and understand they need to embrace data, focus on creating personalized experiences and work across their social, Web and mobile channels. They just need to take the plunge.”