Innovative marketing teams that excel in current digital marketing trends and embrace new tactics will come out on top, according to a Forrester report.

Technology is supposed to make things easier, but it has introduced new challenges for marketers. Companies must produce branded content for multiple channels, from social media news feeds, to weekly email newsletters and blog posts. However, brands must go beyond this benchmark and develop innovative cultures to continuously deliver digital content that interests audiences and convinces them to convert.

A recent Forrester study, “The Culture Is Key To Marketing Innovation Velocity,” lists four types of marketing demographics and explains which approach drives innovation for content marketing success.

Forrester study says marketers fall into 4 demographics

Brands that are customer-obsessed outperform others that are considered risk-averse, pragmatists or experimenters. Characterized by their flexibility and external focus, customer-obsessed companies like Nestle move to the front of the pack because they are immersed in the latest trends that win over current customers, but are always preparing for the next big thing all the while.

This is the way of marketing leaders in the future, according to Forrester. Brands are no longer in the era of the sales funnel, but that of the customer life cycle, states Analyst Bert Dumars .

“Marketing innovation is hard and getting harder. Traditional marketing tools, channels, strategies and tactics are becoming less effective in the age we live in now – that of the perpetually connected customer,” he adds.

To succeed in today’s disrupted marketplace, brands must fully engage in the most effective strategies, while also keeping at the pulse of trends that are coming down the pipeline. It appears companies are doing just that – Brafton found marketers are investing in a diverse array of digital content in 2013. Seventy-eight percent of marketers surveyed by BrightEdge listed social media content as the most valuable strategy this year, followed by 67 percent who cited blog and news content, 43 percent who said infographics and 35 percent who named case studies. Of course, content types should be dictated by carefully constructed brand editorial briefs more than general trends in order to target convertible traffic.

Excelling in a single channel is no longer enough for brands to see success with their content marketing campaigns. Businesses need well-rounded strategies that give them visibility across the digital spectrum to engage customers and pick up on emerging trends that matter to their unique audiences.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.