There’s no doubt that the marketing department is a vital cog in the wider business wheel. Whether it’s developing a meaningful brand image, or executing specific campaigns to attract and retain customers, marketers are at the heart of defining what a business stands for and how it is perceived.

This perception is something that has never been more important than it is in today’s climate and moving into a new year. With both customers and investors forced to take stock in light of the global pandemic, businesses are under more scrutiny than ever before.

At a time when almost every industry is struggling, having a clear and positive brand image can help an organisation to stand out from its competitors and attract new prospects – both working towards also helping them recover financially.

In order to rise to the occasion, marketing teams must continue to deliver high impact, multi-channel campaigns that truly speak to their audiences. Each and every project needs to be a success and deliver noticeable return on investment (ROI).

However, in our current time of uncertainty, this is something that is much easier said than done. As marketers are putting their plans together for next year, now is a good time to factor in new technologies that will allow them to do the best work of their lives with less in 2021.

No room for error

In recent months, the pandemic has created an unforgiving landscape for many operating within the marketing industry. Shrinking budgets have been met with growing expectations, and this is something that is set to continue as the UK’s economy struggles to get back on its feet.

In fact, the latest figures show that in Q3, more than half (52.6%) of marketers registered a decrease in budgets when compared with the previous three months.

Marketing teams are under increasing pressure to do more with less. As such, they need to ensure that each campaign runs smoothly and delivers the desired results. With such small margins, there is no room for error.

However, modern marketing relies upon the ability to successfully spin multiple plates. At any given time, teams are expected to manage thousands of ad, email and social campaigns simultaneously.

In order to do so effectively, marketers need instant access to real-time performance metrics. Operating on information that is outdated – even by a day or two – can have a profound impact on the final outcome of a project.

Visibility is key, especially in our new remote working landscape where face-to-face communication has had to take a backseat. The right performance metrics can enable marketers to track and obtain a deeper understanding of how campaigns are progressing and delivering against the set objectives.

When utilized alongside the right modern technologies, they can even help to save projects that aren’t delivering, flagging potential problems and recommending where adjustments should be made.

Marketers must remain one step ahead

Whether it’s an additional cost, or failure to meet a deadline, there are many factors that can make or break a project.

In order to mitigate any potential problems before they wreak havoc, marketing teams need to be able to predict and plan for a series of different outcomes. This is where modern technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can help.

These tools can help marketers to tackle at-risk projects early on. They provide extremely timely diagnosis so that teams can work together to minimize risk and solve any soon-to-be issues.

Through identifying signals and patterns based on hundreds of factors, including past campaign results, work progress, organisation history and work complexity, the insights that these technologies provide can help to save entire projects.

With the identification process already taken care of, marketing teams can turn their attention to what is most important, managing and mitigating the risk. This can be done by assessing a project’s ‘risk tolerance’.

Put simply, how much risk can you allow before you need to act. This is an essential part of any project management process, helping marketers decide on the most effective response and ensuring that resources are being used in the most effective way.

As competition heats up and budgets decrease, today’s marketing teams are facing a lot of pressure to deliver.

Connecting with the desired audiences through consistent brand image, strong messaging and high impact campaigns are still important. But there is no time for mistakes at any level. As such, ensuring that all projects stay on track and that risk is at an all-time-low also needs to be a priority.

Although there isn’t a single silver bullet for business survival during this time of uncertainty, AI and ML could help marketing teams to predict and mitigate any potential issues before they arise.