Bluetooth monkey

Marketing used to be about brands, customers, channels, pricing, advertising and the other stuff we came to terms with up to about 2004.

Then it changed, and became really confusing.

We progressively discovered digital devices, social media, Apps, an exploding range of communication channels, and the pace of change is still accelerating.

In this digitally driven environment,  where does the art and craft of marketing fit in, and how does the person directing the application of marketing funds make the trade-offs required to be both accountable for the expenditure, and taking the creative risks that have always been the “secret sauce” of success.?

The role of the head of marketing is now far more complex than just a decade ago, requiring an ambidexterity rarely found, a clear understanding of the technical tools and platforms, as well as the more traditional right brain skills. There is also now a political dimension to the marketing role,  at least in larger companies not faced before. On one hand, you have a “bring your own device” environment that requires sensitive handling, from a personnel perspective as well as the obvious security and compatibility challenges, then you have the product platforms, everything from Salesforce to facebook requiring attention and understanding, while the C-Suite and board is being sold on enterprise solutions by IBM, SAP and Oracle.

What a mess.

Then you have Social touching everything, but nobody is really controlling it, partly because nobody knows how, and partly because in reality you can’t. Adequately calculating the ROI across the spectrum of influence that social is having is a huge challenge not seen before.

 It is data driven marketing with a human face.

In the past, I have raved about the richness of the data derived by UK research firm Dunhumby using Tesco loyalty card data, and predicted that they will be making an impact in Australia before long. In the US, they have just hosted a “Hackathon” in Boston, effectively crowdsourcing ideas for analysis of consumer data.

This is the future people, and the only way to prevent being killed in the tsunami of change is to be in there kicking!