In my daily work as a business consultant, I work together with several marketing teams in different industries and of varying levels of maturity. The challenges differ, but I have noted five clear changes, which affect everyone.
- Digitalisation – Business is being transferred from physical stores and media channels to digital ones. Digital marketing is still not as important as televised or outdoor advertising, but the potential for increased sales and brand growth is growing day by day. Being at the top of Google’s search results today is the equivalent of yesterday’s flagship store in Oxford Street. Engaging people on Facebook today is the equivalent of yesterday’s full page in the Evening Standard. Those who successfully manage to combine media, website, and CRM into a coherent user journey are creating substantial value.
- Communication – Mass communication will always be necessary for brand growth. What is new, however, are the significant opportunities to communication adapted to different target groups, or to different stages of the user journey. Enriching your communication by taking into account the age of the recipient, or their behavioral patterns on the Internet, is incredibly efficient. Here we have seen several instances of campaign results being doubled, especially when optimized by AI technology to ensure that the right message is shown at the right time to the right person.
- Campaigns – Focus is still mainly on coordinating large campaigns, which are generated by an advertising agency, and then spread through the media by a media agency. Once the campaign has been completed, results are followed up and any lessons discussed. This process is repeated 1-3 times per year. This ancient machinery has some great strengths, but the working method is badly suited to improving the digital user journey. The digital transition is creating many new touchpoints, which have to be evaluated very frequently.
- Pace – New media channels, technologies, and user behaviors all succeed one another at an increasingly higher rate. This puts pressure on marketing and sales departments to act quickly. Old structures with time-consuming approval processes are a hindrance to the digital ability within the business. Using cross-functional working practices in agile teams, with continuous experimentation, and learning integrated with the processes, has turned out to be a recipe for success.
- Expectations – Access to data and new measurement techniques have changed expectations on what a marketing department is able to achieve for the company. From having previously been considered a necessary expense, the marketing budget is now viewed as an investment with a measurable return. An effective way of meeting this is to allocate the budget with funding designated to different goals and then be clear on how these different parts can be measured.
Meeting the increasing pressure for change is hard work, but the right team, the right operating models, and the right tools make it possible.
Senior Growth Expert at Curamando