Changing demographics: the shrinking middle-class, mom’s & dads

middleclassIn 1971, the middle class included 61 percent of Americans. Today we see only 51 percent in the middle income tiers.  In short, the middle class has changed.  If I had to sum up what separates the middle class from those classes above and below, I’d have to say it’s about lifestyle and a word marketers love and fear: discretion. The middle class has the economic flexibility to make choices, but its members understand that trade-offs must be made and are forced to consider the impacts.  Continue reading »

We need to be levelheaded about what big data can — and can’t — do.

bigdatamarketingOne big problem with big data the hype. Champions of big data promote it as a revolutionary advance. But even the examples that people give of the successes of big data, like Google Flu Trends, though useful, are small potatoes in the larger scheme of things. They are far less important than the great innovations of the 19th and 20th centuries, like antibiotics, automobiles and the airplane. Big data is here to stay, as it should be. But let’s be realistic: It’s an important resource for anyone analyzing data, not a silver bullet.  So says an editorial in today’s Times. Continue reading »

Social clutter

socialmediaironyWhile the digital age has changed the rules of marketing, a panel of experts at the recent Wharton Marketing Conference suggests that the most effective outreach, even for international brands, centers on personal connections rather than random tweets or texts. Too many companies are just looking to expand the numbers they are reaching. That approach does not amount to much. In the last five years, the volume of advertising has doubled, but just saying, ‘How many hashtags do I have?’ is not the purpose of digital marketing. That is just taking the new technology and treating it like what they knew.  Just as companies have more data, consumers also have more access to information. In the deluge of digital marketing, good and bad, they are exposed more often to advertising pitches. Even if they want to whittle it down to the more personal pitches, the haze of information can blot out any individual message. Continue reading »

Social media marketing: oxymoron?

socialmediamarketingoxymoronThere has been quite a discussion going on over at LinkedIn on my post about social media marketing.  While most marketers know that they have to have social media the issue seems to be how much to invest in social media in relation to the bottom line.  It’s especially hard to justify a full-time position to be a social media community manager since the line back to ROI is jagged at best. Continue reading »

Marketers know they must reinvent themselves

reinvent marketingSixty-four percent of marketers expect their role to change in the next year; 81% in the next 3 years and while two in five (40%) marketers surveyed stated that they wanted to reinvent themselves, only 14% of those marketers actually know how to go about it. Lack of training in new marketing skills (30%) and organizational inability to adapt (30%) are cited as key obstacles to becoming the marketers they aspire to be. Continue reading »

Fifty-three percent of CMOs felt increased pressure to enable revenue growth

CMO StudyFifty-three percent of surveyed CMOs felt an increased pressure to enable revenue growth—making this the biggest change to their teams’ responsibilities over the past few years (see “CMO Profile and Methodology” for more on how the survey was conducted). While the expectation for the CMO to drive revenue is pronounced, many CMOs are faced with a conversion path they don’t entirely own. Marketing may be signing up for big numbers, but the customer purchase journey is splintered across product, sales, and service. That’s why CMOs who agree to a revenue target should verify a clear path to conversion with the rest of the C-suite.  Continue reading »

Not another marketing buzzword !

images Rob Carpenter recently said  “every couple of years there seems to a new marketing darling, innovated by big brands, that will change the face of marketing forever. Today’s belle of the ball is real-time marketing.  The beginning of any marketing craze is fraught with insta-experts that rush to be a thought-leader and resource on the subject. You see this often when new technologies launch, and within days experts are already providing in-depth advice and best practices for success. What’s worse is that so called “analysts”, who are actually journalists, get up at a marketing conference to talk about the latest buzzwords without in fact actually working in marketing.  Here we go again. Continue reading »