John Vachalek June 9, 2014

Current Marketing Trends – The Evolving Role of Marketing Directors

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Whether you are CMO at a fortune 100 company, or a Sales and Marketing Director at a smaller organization, you face many of the same challenges in your daily activities. This category of our blog is dedicated to current marketing trends Today’s current marketing trends article focuses on perspective and mindset rather than tactics. It is important to take a step back once in a while.

Challenges facing today’s Marketing Directors:

1)    Quantity of Tactics

15 years ago the number of marketing tactics available to a Marketing Director was far less than those available today.  Among these tactics were:

•    Newspaper & Magazine Ads
•    Yellow Pages
•    Direct Mail
•    Tradeshows
•    TV & Radio

Today, in addition, a Marketing Director also has to manage:

•    An Effective Website Presence
•    Online Marketing Strategies (SEO & SEM)
•    Social Media
•    Online Reputation Management
•    Email Marketing
•    Mobile Marketing

Each with their own subtle nuances, it has become impossible for a single person to be an expert in all of these different tactics.

Read our article: Current Marketing Trends – Gamification in Marketing

2)    Campaign Integration

Today’s consumer has multiple touch points, prior to their purchase. With an increasing number of channels it is increasingly difficult to ensure that during this Customer Journey with you, that all of the messages and experiences align.

3)    Consumer’s Reliance on 3rd Party Reviews

Every one of your customers and potential customers has the ability to share their thoughts and experiences with the entire online world. And, everyone has the ability to freely search these comments and be influenced by them when considering making a purchase from you.

This newer phenomenon demands that you find ways to ensure that every experience with your company is as positive as possible, no matter how irrational or demanding. Negative reviews and feedback can greatly influence your ability to close new business.

Strategies for Success

1)    Quantity of Tactics

The best way to achieve success, across all channels today, is to hire expertise.  Today’s agencies have departments with people dedicated to understanding the nuance and strategies of each of the different tactics listed above.

To effectively manage an agency or multiple agencies, you must establish a clear set of expectations, communications, reporting and results criteria. As well, if you can find the time, ask them to spend a morning with their team to show you how they approach their learning, strategy development and ongoing enhancements.  This will help you determine if their approach is aligned with how you think about things and ensure that they understand exactly how you are going to define success.

2)    Campaign Integration

If you hire expertise, as recommended above, the more resources you add to your solution, the more difficult it will become to coordinate everyone. Some companies may put together the following team:

a.    External – PR Firm
b.    External – Web Development Firm
c.    External – Online Marketing Firm
d.    Internal – Social Media Engagement Person
e.    Internal – Graphic Design Team
f.    External – Media Purchasing Firm
g.    Internal – Content Development Team

Hire as few firms as possible
Our first advice would be hire as few outside firms as necessary to find the expertise you need for your marketing program.  The fewer entities involved, the easier your campaign coordination will be to manage. Look for firms who offer a wide variety of integrated services and expertise across multiple channels.

Clearly define roles
When creating your team (internal and external), clearly define the roles each team member has, how the coordination will work and what you expect from each team member.  Write this down in a chart that shows the tasks and person responsible. Ask everyone if they understand their role 100%, is this something they can do, and if they have everything they need from you to achieve what you have defined as success.

Read our article: Current Marketing Trends – Humanize Your Business

Plan ongoing coordination time!  
As you implement your strategy, new opportunities will arise and you will want to make adjustments.  Plan a group meeting with all of your team members on at least a quarterly basis. Bring them together (in person is best, but a conference call can substitute, if necessary). Discuss how things are working, review results, identify opportunities and ask for new ideas.

By these different entities coming together as team, they will work much better together than if they feel like competing entities all trying to secure a larger part of the marketing budget pie.  They will push each other and work better together. You will achieve better and easier results.

3)    Consumer’s Reliance on 3rd Party Reviews

As a result of consumer’s reliance on 3rd party reviews and the fact that marketing analytics are grown ever-more critical to a business’ success, marketing is quickly becoming the power player in many organizations.

When you think about it, what aspects of the customer experience are opportunities for failure, which may result in a publically-stated negative review of your organization?  Let’s just list out a few:

•    A rude customer service rep – customer service department
•    Faulty product design – engineering department
•    Poor support response times – customer support department
•    Accounting issues – accounting department
•    Irresponsible corporate practices – company leadership
•    A poor company culture – HR department

So, if the Marketing Department is in charge of Online Reputation Management for the organization, Marketing has to be able to influence the decisions and choices made by individuals in all these other departments.

As a CMO or Marketing Director today, one of the keys to your success will be to ensure that the leadership of your organization understands this changing role of marketing and that you must have the influence to create a successful client journey within your organization.

How to use this Information
Reflect on this information, as it relates to your organization.

Are you effectively hiring expertise to ensure your proficiency across all the tactics?
Are you effectively integrating all of your marketing to create a uniform experience?
Are you effectively influencing the entire customer journey to create a great experience?

Focus on the areas where you feel the most benefit would arise.

If you could use help developing you strategy in these area, Webolutions would be happy to discuss our systematic process for helping you with this.

At Webolutions®, a strategic marketing agency in Denver, we continually identify and study current marketing trends. We believe in making a difference in people’s lives and would be happy to provide you with a complimentary one-on-one evaluation to help you put together a more effective marketing program contact us online or give us a call at 303-300-2640.

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