Marketers’ tectonic shift toward customer experience is having a ripple effect on roles within the marketing department. Over the past 12–18 months, [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]61% of marketers say they’ve become more focused on evolving from a traditional marketing structure to roles aligned with a customer journey strategy[/inlinetweet]. Recent years have introduced a slew of new positions, ranging from “customer experience analyst” to “lifecycle marketing manager.”

marketing-guru-resizedAs 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?

The digital revolution and the explosion of social media have profoundly changed what influences consumers as they undertake their purchasing decision journey. When considering products, they read online reviews and compare prices. Once in the stores, they search for deals with mobile devices and drive hard bargains. And after the purchase, they become reviewers themselves and demand ongoing relationships with products and brands. Although companies have access to terabytes of data about these behavioral changes, many still can’t answer the fundamental question: how exactly are our customers influenced?

713644918_reality_check_xlargeLet’s be honest, what you learned in school about marketing is wrong.  They are wrong because they ignore the power of today’s consumer because of the Internet.  An angry consumer, or group of consumers, can take down a brand’s marketing campaign with a post in social media yet marketers still make stupid mistakes.