Twenty-nine percent of e-commerce marketing CEOs and CMOs believe they don’t have the training and skills they need to succeed in their careers the next 12-24 months. Of all roles surveyed in the 2021 E-commerce Marketer Survey, leadership indicated the least amount of readiness for the future. That is why Sidecar hosted a webinar exclusively for director-, VP-, and C-level e-commerce marketers, outlining five tactics to become more effective marketing leaders, build stronger teams, and capitalize on emerging opportunities in e-commerce.
We based our advice on extensive research that Sidecar conducted last year, surveying e-commerce marketers across the U.S. The 2021 E-commerce Marketer Survey painted a picture of how e-commerce marketing is changing and illuminated key opportunities for marketing leadership to better support their teams and achieve ambitious goals.
We shared those findings in the webinar, “5 Ways to Rethink Leadership in the New E-commerce Marketing Era.” Sidecar’s Senior Solution Analyst Sam Petinatti and Director of Product Marketing Mike Perekupka offered their analysis to help marketing leaders prepare their teams for the future.
Following is a sampling of the tactics discussed during the webinar. Watch the full webinar to gain the insights you need to advance your leadership skills and elevate your e-commerce marketing team.
Takeaway #1: Audit Your Marketing Processes
In the survey, we asked marketers about the biggest challenges they faced in their careers. Unsurprisingly, “Limited Time” and “Limited Budget” were the top two responses across job roles. In particular, 57% of marketing managers and associates identified limited time as their biggest challenge.
Our recommendation is to audit your marketing processes to identify new efficiencies. Understand who on your team is responsible for what task, and identify ways that collaboration and automation can streamline these tasks. If you don’t have established processes, create and document them so that your team can more easily collaborate. Efficient processes can pave the way to significant time and cost savings for your team.
Collaboration is particularly important as retail marketers look to expand across multiple marketing channels, said Sam. “If you’re trying to be strategic in multiple channels, it’s important to have niche specialists, but you also want to have a general team who understand all of your processes so that you can manage those channels more efficiently.”
Takeaway #2: Invest in Data & Collaboration
We also asked marketers what factors were key to their teams’ success. In-house skills and expertise was a top response for enterprise and small retail business. Only 25% of mid-sized retailers identified in-house skills and expertise as a success driver, suggesting that these companies in particular can benefit from new talent, additional training, and vendor partnerships.
“We talk so much about leaning on technology, but when the pandemic hit last year, it was our in-house expertise that really came through,” said Mike. “There is no algorithm that could understand what was happening and how the world was changing. We really leaned on our in-house expertise during that time.”
The other top responses were “Strong Collaboration” and “Data-Driven Decisions.” Luckily, these two factors can help combat the challenge of limited time. Leadership should invest in training and processes to make it easier for their team members to analyze data for marketing decisions and work more collaboratively with their teammates.
“If you’re not collecting data, you’re potentially missing opportunities to better understand the market and understand areas where you can spend more aggressively to drive more revenue,” said Sam.
Takeaway #3: Prepare to Compete for Social Media Hires
Finally, Sidecar wanted to understand how marketing teams are prioritizing hiring in the next 12 months. Across all company sizes, marketers indicated that social media was an area where they were planning to hire.
This means e-commerce marketers can expect much more competition, not only in terms of advertising on channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, but also in terms of hiring social media talent. As competition for ad space increases, getting the right talent and the right strategy for social media is imperative.
“You’ve probably seen CPCs change pretty dramatically over time on social media, which means it’s more difficult to bubble your ad to the top of a page,” said Sam. “You will need to be much more particular with how you spend your dollars. Audience targeting is key.”
You can access all 5 leadership takeaways by watching the complete webinar on-demand below.