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How to Advance Your Marketing Career With the 2021 E-Commerce Marketer Survey

If e-commerce marketers don’t understand how their day-to-day work fits into the larger mission of their team or aligns with industry-wide trends, it’s difficult to plan for success in their marketing career.

That is why Sidecar created the 2021 E-commerce Marketer Survey, the first report of its kind, and the topic of the latest Retail Uncharted podcast. The survey documents how e-commerce marketer careers, teams, and processes are evolving and analyzes top priorities by company size and role, from the associate marketer to the CMO. 

“There’s nothing more important than ensuring that your team is charging down the same path and has the same kind of goals in mind,” says Mike Farrell, Senior Director of Integrated Digital Strategy at Sidecar. “I would encourage marketers to download this report, read it, analyze it. Then take it back to your team so that you can have true alignment.” 

In this episode, Mike Farrell and Mike Perekupka, Director of Product Marketing at Sidecar, dive into top takeaways and offer advice that goes beyond the 50-page report. They discuss how marketers can leverage data from the 2021 E-commerce Marketer Survey to plan for a high-performing 2021, advance their marketing career, and build stronger marketing teams. 


During the podcast we asked Mike Farrell and Mike Perekupka:

  • What is your #1 takeaway from the 2021 E-commerce Marketer Survey?
  • What piece of data surprised you the most?
  • Why do you think C-Level and associate/manager-level marketers disagree about their teams’ strengths?
  • Why do you think social media, data analytics, and SEO were top skills that every role indicated they wanted to attain to advance their marketing career?
  • Why do you think so few marketers are making the majority of their marketing decisions based on data?
  • Are you surprised by the type of tasks e-commerce marketers want to automate?

Top Sound Bites

If you had to boil this report down to one important takeaway, what would that be?

Mike Perekupka:  This is an overwhelming space. There are so many ways that you can reach your potential customers. Some of them make sense, some of them don’t make sense. Some of them should be automated, some of them shouldn’t be automated. It’s just a lot. So I think what this report really does is it shows that you need to get out of the weeds. You need to bubble up and you need to think about your business in terms of your top priorities, and you need to optimize for those. And you should do it with the blend of hiring and automation that makes sense for you and your team.

What stats surprised you the most in this report?

Mike Farrell: What surprised me was that when we asked respondents which channels they want to spend more time on, Google was at the top of the list. That just surprised me because Google has been around for such a long time. There are so many tools and services out there that do automate a lot of the decision-making in those channels now, and it’s so mature that it jumped out at me as surprising that people are still as focused as they are on Google, versus trying to fill the void in other areas, and newer innovation.

C-level respondents said a lack of in-house talent and expertise was a major challenge their teams faced, but other roles disagreed. Why do you think there was a disconnect here?

Mike Perekupka: I actually think some of this is perception and confidence, right? If you ask associate- and manager-level marketers about their skills, of course, there’s confidence and being proud of your work. You’re doing a lot and you see your work as having an impact on the business. And as you bubble up to higher and higher levels who are further away from the front lines, if you will, they hear requests for more people. They hear requests for more tools. That must mean we don’t have the skills inside, we need to go hire more. So I think that’s what leads to this different perception.

What piece of advice would you give retailers based on the findings from the 2021 E-commerce Marketer Survey?

Mike Farrell: I would encourage people to download this report, read it, analyze it, and then take it back to your business and ask your people how they feel about these types of questions, and get true alignment. Because there’s nothing more important than ensuring that your team is all charging down the same path and has the same kind of goals in mind. And as a leader, that you have an understanding of what their needs are. For the people in the associate and manager level that are actually doing a lot of the execution work, I think that this could be a really good tool for you.

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