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The New Mission of Marketers: 10 Game-Changing Trends

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Your father’s marketing was one of ads and billboards, brands and impressions. Think Mad Men. No more. Everything about marketing is changing in unprecedented ways, even its very purpose, as you’ll discover below in these industry-shaking trends:

1. Consumer Intent

Marketers focus too much on tracking consumer behavior. But what’s really important is consumer intent. Only by knowing consumer intent – even best guess – can businesses develop long-term, profitable relationships.

2. Next Best Decision

Marketing is a social science, and thus is constantly evolving. There’s no right or wrong. The new mission of marketers today is to provide the information the enterprise needs to make the next best decision. Give empirical evidence revealing where to take the next action, to spend the next dollar.

3. Timing Is Everything

Since the purpose of marketing is to make the next best decision, the cadence of reporting is dictated by the timing of these decisions needed to grow the business. In some cases it’s quarterly or monthly, but in other cases it’s daily or even real time.

4. Just the Facts

Marketing today is both analytical and creative, quantitative and qualitative. On the creative side, the challenge is everyone has an idea or opinion. Solution: just bring the data. Demonstrate the hard facts: past decisions, current outcome, and future projections.

5. Speak in Numbers

Most marketers struggle in the C suite because they focus too much on marketing, specifically the creative or qualitative aspects. The language of the boardroom is quantitative. To demonstrate marketing’s full value, and collaborate effectively with the C suite, it’s essential to communicate in quantitative terms.

6. TMI

Most marketers give C suite executives far more information than they need, and focus on squishy vagaries like brand awareness and preference. CEOs and CFOs typically care about anywhere from 1 to 8 KPIs, specifically those that focus on growth, acquisition, and profit.

7. Focus on Simplicity

Marketers do best when they focus on KPIs that demonstrate the value proposition of marketing. Specifically, these are the statistics that speak to acquisition, retention and growth. Keep it simple, focus solely on KPIs that backs these metrics.

8. Customer in the Middle

A decade ago, executives would been hard-pressed to answer the question “who owns the customer?” But today in part due to the rise of social media, the customer is in the middle of the organization. Everyone owns the customer, everyone is responsible.

9. Marketing Is Enterprise-Wide

Because of this horizontal integration of customers, marketing today – more than any other business function – cuts across the enterprise. And what marketing needs to do is synthesize this information, to enable leadership to make the next best decision.

10. B2B: Model CPG

It’s paradoxical that B2B businesses know their customers, but fail with analytics. Consumer packaged goods companies, in contrast, have less contact with customers, but excel in analytics. B2B enterprises that model CPG-style analytics, will enjoy robust market growth.

By Jeff Winsper

Jeff is the President of Black Ink and offers more than 20 years of leadership experience in marketing, serving companies ranging from Fortune 500 to start ups.

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