Marketing has changed very rapidly from the mass outbound marketing upon which all the marketing theory and practice until about 2000, to what is often called “inbound” marketing, or in other words, finding ways to attract customers to you.
There is now a fundamentally changed capability set required to be a successful marketing executive, and to manage a successful marketing function.
- Customers are the new focus, not because of any epiphany, but because we can now see them clearly. We need to be able create situations and experiences for them to be able to engage with the proposition we are delivering them.
- Marketing is leading the digital revolution, now. Marketing was late to the table abut the pace of development of marketing automation over the last 5 or 6 years has been astonishing, and marketers need to be data analysts and automation savvy.
- Outbound marketing requires content, but no longer can you just hire an ad agency to churn out a few ads. Now the whole marketing function, and ideally other functions in a business need to become producers of content, so that consumers have something to relate to, that tells a story. These materials become the backbone of our branding activity,
- Marketers need to become remarkably ambidextrous when thinking about channels of communication. Not only do we now have a few paid outbound channels, we have a huge array of owned and paid and earned media options and platforms, all have to be managed, in concert with each other, so you get a cumulative and synergistic effect.
- Marketing needs to engage consumers in their social spaces, and on their social platforms. No longer can we just bash messages through via paid media, the challenge of engaging has become far more difficult and the location has moved from the lounge room to wherever they are.
- Branding success has always had customer loyalty and retention as an end result of any activity. Now that has changed, and we are actively developing marketing techniques and tactics to target the loyalty and retention of consumers, and the huge difference is we can now see the impact of our activities.
- Marketing agility based on A/B testing has become a core competence. This combines the data capability wit the imagination of the marketing to dream up ideas, then test and constantly refine.
Marketing is becoming the core function of every enterprise. From a bit of an extra, sometimes even seen as an indulgence 20 years ago, it is rapidly becoming evident that marketing is the most important function of every business.
Competitive success now depends as much on the quality of the marketing effort to deliver customers as it does the product and service offering. However, it is still true that no matter how great the marketing, without the product, you will not get a second chance.