There has never been a more challenging nor a more interesting time to be a marketer.
Companies need marketing to be responsible for creating and sustaining a long term relationship with their most important asset – the customer.
In a consumer-centric culture where customers are more demanding than ever, where collaborative consumption and peer influencers are on the rise and consumer attention spans on the wane, marketers need to shine the light on everything a company needs to do to build authentic, relevant, branded CUSTOMER EXPERIENCES.
Marketers need to rise to the challenge of making a promise to people about what to expect doing business with you, Seth Godin distils this idea to ‘make things worth talking about’. That means marketing are actively involved in what is made and how it is consumed, not just how it is sold.
The Marketing Society’s ‘Manifesto for Marketing Leadership’ is a great guide for progressive marketers.
What should progressive marketers do?
Marketing should ‘own’ or be responsible for the customer. It should deliver actionable customer insight to the rest of the organization. Using this information marketers are highlighting opportunities for market growth through innovations/improvements to products and services.
Marketing is an investment that supports growth and enhances value. Therefore marketing activity should be measured against meeting revenue/ profit targets and ROI metrics.
Develop a succinct brand vision, strategy and plan, then communicate it to all staff continuously. It’s the only way to ensure everyone is working to the same vision and therefore all activity, tactics and communications ladder up to the one brand idea.
Publish a roadmap that outlines the capabilities, process and technologies that are required to deliver the CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE vision.
Build a strong collaboration between marketing and other departments in order to deliver on the vision. Vital ones are; sales, customer service, IT and HR.
Use training to ensure teams have the skillsets to deliver and progress, this reduces churn and its negative impact on marketing effectiveness and customer experience.
The future is not digital it’s life. Digital is an enabler to deliver better CUSTOMER EXPERIENCES. ‘Digital’ as a prefix to ‘Marketing’ is not quite dead as there will continue to be digital specialisms, however, this split is irrelevant to consumers and unhelpful to marketers planning channels as they are all increasingly digitally connected; TV, OOH, publishing etc.
So why is the road not so smooth in reality?
Marketers are feeling overwhelmed by the sheer pace of change they are expected to understand and integrate into their strategy and plans. A study by Adobe ‘Digital Distress’ found that 76% of marketers feel the marketing industry has changed more in the past two years than in the past 50 years. They are side tracked into urgent tasks and directed to flavour of the month tactics such as a new social platform. Without strategic marketing fundamentals and KPIs nailed down they will chop and change plans and tactics with the wind and certainly before customers have noticed.
Without a customer listening programme decisions are not based on customer’s needs and investment is wrongly placed, especially if marketers don’t know how they compete, how to build engagement nor how they are adding value.
It is challenging – there is no blueprint for how people, processes and technology should come together in your business in order to grow. And let’s not forget about the context of the rest of the business….they can be utterly supportive of an enlightened progressive marketing team measurably delivering value to the business.
I guide you.
My work with 20+ brands, wading through 100+ marketing publications added to my personal learnings and failings are all distilled and used to guide you. I soak up the latest thinking of the best contrarian marketing minds which I use with evidence based insights, those theories that have stood the test of time and not the latest marketing fad.
These people inspire me and keep me progressing…