It should come as no surprise to anyone that senior management is demanding more accountability from marketers. Even though, for some companies, profits are at record levels other brands are struggling to get and keep fickle consumers. Marketing, at its heart, is still about getting consumers to purchase your product. What has changed is that consumers have too many devices and have the attention span of someone with a severe case of ADD.
If you have been reading the articles,or propaganda, on Internet marketing and social media you might think that if you don’t jump into digital marketing that your brand is going to perish. That is not necessarily the case as any great marketing initiative starts with strategy development that seeks to answer the “why” and the “how” before spending money and doing something just because everyone else is doing it. Here are some strategic questions that every company needs to answer when developing a great digital marketing strategy.
According to Fast Company the number one reason for failure a new product has no clear or compelling relevance to people’s lives. Companies often refuse to acknowledge a new product or service idea serves no strongly identified customer need, and they try to retrofit their marketing to compensate. I would also argue that the number 1 reason is that marketers rely too much on market research and that too many people within the organization are afraid to say “this is a dumb idea”.
As a consultant I have seen my share of people who are, shall we say, challenged by marketing. They’re not bad or unintelligent, they are just overwhelmed with the depth and complexity of marketing options. The best marketers, I have found, are the ones who have an in depth understanding about what they are really selling and are skeptical around the hype machine that tends to say things like you have to be on Pinterest or have a Facebook page. So what’s the difference between a good and a great marketing person?
Steve Jobs was both an autocratic bully and a business genius but he executed the most successful corporate turnaround so far this century. Steve Jobs teaches us that it’s important to take total responsibility for our products from end to end, and to put products above return on investment. He also taught us not to be a slave to focus groups and that insight alone is priceless.
It’s a new customer world out there which means that brands who really pay attention to their customers don’t need to just compete on price.
Post Summary: Marketers have two priorities in 2014. First we have convince management that marketing is not an “expense”, but rather an investment in the brand. Second, we need to better understand which brands consumers allow in their busy lives and where the decision to become a customer actually takes place.
As I study and learn more about organizations I have found that a lot more companies are adding customer insight departments or groups. At first it sounds like a great idea but unless your organizational structure is ready to implement insights quickly and test them with your audience the insights you gather could be old news by the time someone says “let’s do it”.