22 September 2015

Modern marketing - how to keep up

Tags:Strategy, CX, Innovation, Data And Analytics, Marketing

With today’s marketing landscape changing faster than the speed of light, how’s a modern marketer to keep up?

It’s good to know that the fundamentals of marketing haven’t changed: It’s still about:

  • finding a customer and keeping said customer
  • driving business outcomes and objectives
  • collaboration
  • ROI.

But what’s changed dramatically are the methods for how you go about achieving these. Indeed, we’ve seen exponential growth of marketing technologies, buzzwords, frameworks, and trends. It’s enough to blow a marketer’s mind: Where do I begin? And what are the best tools for me to reach my key drivers and objectives?

The pressure’s on

What’s more, management also sees these changes, these trends, and pushes back on marketing teams, asking more inevitable questions: What are we doing to address these changes? How are we keeping up?

In answer, a lot of marketing professionals are quick to adopt and implement the ‘latest and greatest’ technologies, thinking: Great! We’re doing something. We’ve plugged in the technology. Now, fingers crossed, let’s hope it works.

But the reality is, it takes a whole new mindset to drive their marketing teams forward. This new way of thinking recognises that marketing is not just one department that sits to the side of an organisation. In fact, marketing affects the whole business and sits at the heart of the organisation. And every employee within a company – whether they’re doling out their business cards or talking about their brand at a party – is a representative of marketing.

Keeping up

There’s no silver bullet for keeping up in the marketing sphere. Marketing is always going to be growing and changing at a rapid-fire pace. Among the keys to staying ahead of the game are:

  • never lose sight of your business goals; and
  • don’t expect that plugging in the hottest new technology is the be-all and end-all.

It’s about the business processes, not necessarily the technology itself.

It’s also increasingly important to have a tech-savvy player within your marketing team, as well as someone who can help connect marketing with IT, which is why we’ve seen CMO and CMTO roles emerge. These individuals can help with cross-collaboration within teams and unify departments to help you get you where you want to go more quickly.

As far as staying on top of trends, we all know there are a lot of reports out there, whether they’re from analysts, tech providers themselves, or marketing agencies, and they all offer great insights. But beware the pitfalls: Make sure you’re looking at what’s relevant to your industry and geography. Australia is different from the US. It’s different from the UK. What works for others may not necessarily translate across other geographies.

Additionally, have an eye further into the future. Just because you put something in place today doesn’t mean you’ll have results tomorrow. Yes, results are happening more quickly, but it’s also important to have learnings along the way.

With that in mind, smart marketing should have a short-, medium-, and long-term focus. Too often, there’s a narrow-minded focus on just the quick, short-term wins; marketeers want to swoop in and be the instant heroes. They get caught in a cycle of being reactive rather than proactive, and they could be harming medium- and long-term objectives. Instead, be agile, because every journey is different, and every company is unique.

Yes, the marketing realm is constantly changing, so embrace the change rather than shy away from it. But remember: Just because there’s a shiny new toy doesn’t mean you need it today.

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