Marketing Hasn’t Changed. But Marketers Must.

By Melinda Byerley

One does not simply growth hack

Have you read one of the many articles proclaiming that marketing is dead? It’s been replaced by “growth hacking,” “data-driven marketing,” even “customer relationship management.“

No doubt about it, something has changed.

We marketers know it by the rising complexity of our work and the increasing demands and responsibilities of our departments. We have felt the change coming in the rise of digital marketing and the expectations for better accountability and budget allocation, the increased authority this ability has given us, and in the still accelerating pace at which we’re expected to make sense of it all.

This new reality of marketing is fueled by the seemingly endless array of marketing technology at our fingertips, which has only begun to feed the voracious appetite we and our companies have for marketing data collection, analysis, and presentation.

How we do marketing is changing, which means we as marketers have to change too.

Here’s a guide on how to adapt:

Out: Marketing Strategy

What’s Changed: Annual Marketing Plans
The New Reality: Monthly Marketing Objectives

Marketing plans? What are those?

Only those with enormous budgets and large staffs are planning on a 3-5 year basis.

In technology, even the largest marketing teams are never planning more than one year ahead. Most startups are thinking 3-6 months ahead; early stage startups think week-to-week.

To manage cash flows, companies want to preserve optionality and leverage changes in the marketplace as quickly as possible. That mentality is moving through the market into larger and larger companies, not just in cash-strapped startups.

How Marketers Must Change: Think like a laboratory – dream big, then test and measure weekly

Marketers themselves must evolve in this environment to leave behind the lengthy and academic de-risking approach expected to work with big creative bets.

Think about marketing spend the way a lab thinks about science: create hypotheses, test and measure them rigorously, then implement and measure the results, again and again.

If you’re a small, nimble agency specializing in flexible channels like digital advertising, your future is bright. If you’re about selling ads in long lead pubs, or years long consulting engagements, look out.

The types of people best suited to be in-house right now are more often subject matter experts: data analysts, copywriters, graphic designers, and user experience researchers. As always, marketers who remain in-house must add value by creating the themes and strategies that weave these disciplines together.

But in the new world, ideas can come from anywhere and can be measured by anyone, so the marketer is no longer a chief executive stand in, but a volleyball coach and cheerleader.

Instead of risk managers and “brand police,” marketing leaders now need to be brave risk takers and team champions, willing to test anything if it’s grounded in a good argument and backed by data and/or sound reasoning.

In: Marketing Operations

What’s Changed: Lengthy Planning, “Spray and Pray” Execution
The New Reality: Target, Test, Measure Carefully, and Iterate

Most big companies spend about a quarter each year in annual planning, but when it comes to actually executing on those plans, they often fall Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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