As we look forward in our planning we soon realize that a new era of marketing is evolving in front of our very eyes. The way we market and communicate with our customers has changed, and is continuing to change almost daily. It is a very transformative time for all of us in marketing, and the influence of marketing is impacting all the C suites decision making in this new era of marketing. Take a look at this article and see how it interpret’s for your business.
The Role Of The CMO In The New Era Of Marketing
by Klaus Sommer Paulsen
CEO & Founder, Adventurelab; Co-Founding Partner, CNA | SOPHIS
You may have noticed that some of your friends and acquaintances working at agencies think an era is coming to an end. They may be talking about the final season Mad Men, but nevertheless we have certainly entered a new era in marketing.
- In the ever-changing marketing environment, your approach has to be increasingly agile and dynamic as does that of your team, including its internal and external resources.
- Job titles with “digital” in them or even social media marketing as the discipline, will be challenged, if not completed eradicated.
- To create a successful team, you need to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you are.
The world has changed dramatically over recent years, and will continue to do so. As always, evolution poses both challenges and opportunities. As a CMO, how can you benefit from this?
The Future Of Marketing Is Now
The future of marketing is already here. In this and the following series of articles for CMO.com, I am going to explore the impact of this evolution and what it means to the work of the professional marketer. In five or ten years time, concepts like agencies-of-record, full-service agencies, giving anyone a title with “digital” in it or even social media marketing as the discipline we know now, may very well have been challenged, if not completed eradicated. However, at this point you have probably already felt the impact of the changes in the marketing landscape.
Handling The Scenarios Faced By The Modern Marketer
The chances are that you have or will soon face scenarios like these:
To move ahead of or keep up with the competition, you will need to use a technology or a discipline that is unknown or only superficially understood by your external or internal teams. In doing so, you most likely will have to challenge your current take on how to include and manage cross-disciplinary development and competencies.
To push a new product or a new service with new ways of marketing, you will have to do sales projections while having no experience to build projections from. Nobody wants to be pinned down on mere “guesstimates” when they are not achieved. One way to work with this is to look more at product innovation and development principles, and proof-of-concept periods due to the many unknown factors you need to consider.
To be able to adapt dynamically to user and customer actions, your whole take on planning, executing and evaluation marketing activities has to change. This means that you will have to work in cycles of evaluating and updating, based on what the customers actually do, when they do it and where they do it.
To achieve measurable success and learn from it, you have will have to realize that there are no quick fixes or marketing automatons that can do all the work for you. Throughout the technology and marketing relationship, there has always been the suggestion that a new gizmo or gadget can handle it all for you. You may end up having machines talking to machines, if you do not get involved and learn from what is going on. Until machines start buying products, that is really only of academic interest to the technologists.
To engage with increasingly smarter customers, you will have to be smarter in the way you handle your marketing activities. This goes for choice of message, platform and technology. If you think that customers do not know why those retargeted ads show up on every other website and social media platform with your product, just because they took a look at your website, think again. They are smarter than that.
To attract and retain customers, you will need to consider not only how to communicate to them, but how to interact with them. You can do the best integrated marketing communications campaign ever, but it will fall flat if your company does not deliver on product and service. Today’s customers do not just want to be spoken to, or shouted at. Consider using their full experience cycle–from the first time they see your brand to the point beyond purchase where they talk about it–as your guide to interacting and communicating with them. This can be achieved through working with experience and interaction design, where the customer is put at the centre of your universe, not what you want to sell. However, to fully utilise this approach, the marketing department can not act on its own.
To help your company succeed, you will have to take a stand for innovation and risk-taking, as taking no risks in business development has arguably become the biggest risk of all. This may mean that now you will have to achieve buy-in to not only the marketing activities themselves, such as campaigns, but also to the very approach your company has to marketing. It can help if you stop thinking about just communication channels and campaigns, and start thinking like an entrepreneur about your marketing department with activities as products in their own right.
And finally, to achieve the best results in the new marketing landscape, you will have to review your current internal and external team as well as operations structure with constructive criticism.
Designing Your Customised Dynamic Marketing Team
To handle many of these scenarios, you will have to ask yourself what they represent to your future role in achieving your company’s goals on both a strategical and tactical level. Then you will need to figure out whether you have a structure that supports your role and your goals, or if that is something that needs to be established or strengthened. This includes the people you surround yourself with, on both your internal or external team.
Massive success comes from surrounding yourself with people that are smarter at what they do than you are. The competencies they represent should always ensure you access to a team customised to your needs. Some people you will need continuously, and some you will need only occasionally, or even just once. Sometimes you will need Thinkers, sometimes you will need Doers, as you work to make certain that the Thinking and Doing is applied and merged properly to full effect.
As your needs change from time to time, you will need to be able to not only establish the team once, but to design, evaluate and redesign your whole team at any time necessary. This does not mean that you should start by firing the lot of them, but you should keep your mind open to who and what you can add, when you need it. Your marketing approach has to be increasingly agile and dynamic, so the same goes for your team, including its internal and external resources.
If you are not sure exactly how to design a team, the first person to go looking for is someone who can help you do just that. The Future of Marketing and your role in it begins with you taking an honest look at how well you succeed with your customers, and what you need to be able do to maintain or better that relationship, considering new challenges and possibilities. As always, the phrase that all business is people business rings true.