Marketers at mid-size companies have it tough. In many cases, they only have small business resources to work with but enterprise-size goals handed down by the CMO or CEO. Add to the mix how complex marketing has become with social media, mobile, big data, content marketing etc., and it’s easy to understand how these “stuck in the middle” marketers can struggle to achieve their marketing goals.

But what goals are mid-size marketers setting, and what are their biggest challenges? And what impact are new technology solutions having on how they work?

With these questions in mind, DNN commissioned a survey of 300 marketing executives at U.S. companies with 50 to 5,000 employees. The survey was conducted in February 2014 in collaboration with Lawless Research and summarized into a new report called:

Marketing Got Complicated: Challenges (and Opportunities) for Marketers at Mid-Size Companies

Key Insights From the Report

Marketers are trying to do too much

When it comes to goals, marketers at mid-size companies are juggling a number of high-priority initiatives. As a matter of fact, the data shows that at least 74% of survey respondents give five marketing priorities (out of a possible seven) a high or very high priority rating.

Can any marketer successfully execute on that many priorities? Good question.


Lots of challenges to doing their jobs effectively

What do mid-size marketers say are the biggest challenges they’re dealing with? Over 80% of survey participants specified that getting the attention of target customers and finding the target audience online was a moderate or major challenge.

Does this mean that marketing initiatives such as content marketing and social media are not yet paying off for these marketers? While the report doesn’t address this question – this may very well be the case.


Technology solutions are complicating things

Since new technologies seem to be launched almost daily, you’d expect that the challenges these mid-size marketers face should start becoming easier to manage. On the contrary, 70% of survey respondents at least somewhat agree that despite all the technology solutions available, marketing is becoming more challenging.

Ironically, the survey data implies that one reason is because of having to deal with the growing number of technology vendors.


Online communities: a place to invest more?

On the other hand, it turns out that 8 in 10 of mid-size marketers say that building or managing online communities (both branded and social networks) is important to their marketing efforts. This makes sense, as online communities can directly address the big challenges these marketers identified earlier in the survey: finding customers, keeping customers, and building brand.

Clearly online communities may be an area that marketers should consider as a way to have their cake and eat it too. Or said another way, they may be able to achieve multiple priorities by investing more in online communities.


Overall, this report is a fascinating read and includes recommendations for how mid-size marketers can more effectively achieve their marketing initiatives in today’s challenging environment. Download a copy of the full report.

Interested in learning more about marketers at mid-size companies?

Here’s what social insights research tells us about these mid-size marketers:  How Top Marketers at Mid-Size Companies Engage on Twitter