Get your breath back. Part 3 – Here we are now, innovation…

Challenge 3 – We lack in-house skills to use new technology

Being effective is great. In fact, there can’t be many things we’d all like to be more of. Effectiveness comes with so many benefits – successful campaigns, recognition and results, yes. But along the way there’s something else: working effectively gives you more time.

That’s why it’s a central theme of our Get your breath back’ series. We figured you’d had enough of getting things done and instead, might fancy having the time to get them done properly.

With that in mind, we’ve already covered how to build a plan that actually works based on a strategy that maps to business goals. Along the way we talked about how to make it flexible enough to adapt to your budget and the reality of your business operations.

All of this means it’s now time to dive headfirst into our third challenge: innovation. Trying to keep pace with marketing innovation has got people worried – specifically, more than half of the marketing and comms execs surveyed in our recent study, The Breathless Business. They feel a lack of knowledge and skills is having a material, commercial impact on their department, and 59% feel they need to be more innovative just to compete with other suppliers in the market.

Marketing intelligence is associated with innovation and, therefore, the ability to disrupt and dominate. But marketers are increasingly worried that they’ll only find out about a disruptor in their industry once the ground has shifted. Worse, they feel they don’t have the support internally to prevent that from happening. Limited resources and a lack of in-house skills are causing 37% of marketers to feel stressed.

To agency, or not to agency?

Tech moves fast and good people cost money. This we all know. How then, particularly in a large B2B organisation, do you know which skills to chase in an effort to meet myriad requirements? Is an effective lead gen campaign the priority? Or does the website come first? What about a content campaign to drive awareness?

Breathe.

Innovation shouldn’t feel like this.

Here’s the thing: when it comes to plugging those gaps, every marketer already has options up their sleeve. It’s just a question of how recently they stopped to have a look.

First, hiring an agency can be a rational way of inheriting a whole team of people that possess the skills you may not have in internal abundance. Right now, insourcing is in. It reflects a growing trend towards greater flexibility across the marketing landscape. (For more on this, have a read of our Client Strategy Director’s recent post on how agencies can complement the marketing function to help you achieve your business goals.)

If insourcing isn’t an option, industry seminars and training can be a cost-effective way of upskilling your team and getting them clued up on the theory of what you’re looking to deliver.

We all know what to do when we’re out of breath. It’s no different with innovation. Stop, and invest some time. It won’t take much, and before long you’ll be back up to speed with what’s going on out there. Trust us – it’ll be worth it in the long run.