The marketing world is evolving at breakneck speed. Near constant developments in technology, consumer behaviour and industry are fuelling frequent disruptions to the status quo. The role of the senior marketer has subsequently shifted as well, with new expectations and skill sets arising on an ongoing basis. What trends are impacting marketing, and how does this affect senior marketers and their ability to thrive? Let’s take a look.
Marketers Must Embrace the Digital World and Manage Accordingly.
It’s not breaking news that digital marketing has gone mainstream. Once the domain of the forward-looking, it’s now standard for businesses operating in nearly every industry. Yes, marketers still have to handle traditional responsibilities such as managing relationships, attending industry events, allocating budgets, etc., but even these tasks are done in tandem with technology, not in isolation from it.
For the senior marketer, this means working with a team of experts in search engine optimization, social media and much more. The structure and nature of these teams will differ, but the senior marketer must be well versed in the functions of various specialists and will be required to stay up to date on ever changing digital platforms and their place in the big picture. Those who lack the lingo, or can’t contribute to meaningful discussions on digital trends will quickly be weeded out of the recruiting process.
Marketers Must Comprehend, Utilize and Leverage Data
Privacy concerns are a hot button issue as lawmakers and citizens alike debate the merits and ethics of data collection in today’s rapidly changing digital world. Regardless, an absolute revolution is taking place in analytics and personalized marketing, and it shows no signs of slowing down.
Today’s marketing managers are expected not only to be fluent in the technologies and practices that allow for data collection, but to possess the insights necessary to transform this information into actionable plans and strategies.
An ever-increasing web of re-targeting and platform integration has led to an infinitely more personalized approach to engaging the customer throughout the various stages of the sales funnel. Of course optimizing search engines such as Google has become a science, but as new platforms such as voice search instead of text become more and more prevalent in the purchase process, the ability to understand and take advantage of these developments is what will separate the winners from the losers.
“It’s not a matter of if voice will be used as a brand and marketing advantage, but when,” says Robert Blatt, CEO of software company MomentFeed. “And when that shift happens—moving from voice search to voice engagement—retailers want to have a first-mover advantage, as users only hear the No. 1 recommendation.”1
Getting the most from data means managing relationships within the company while setting up structures that allow for insights to be leveraged. Are technical and creative specialists working in lockstep on digital strategies? Are insights gained into consumer behaviour being brought to the attention of the operations manager and those responsible for product development? Are they informing the short and long term strategies of the company? A good senior marketer can provide value by facilitating cohesive action throughout the organization.
Marketers are Content Specialists and Field Experts
Creating long-term repeat customers is the dream of many companies as it creates ongoing revenue and provides some relief from the grind of competing strictly on dollars and cents. One way to do this is by providing a steady flow of content. (Like I’m doing right now!) Not only will this deepen the relationship between the organization and their existing customers, but it will also assist in the development of name recognition for companies and employees, which will attract new business. If the content is of high quality, it can provide credibility to the company and portray expertise. Blogs, video content and, of course, social media are just some examples.
While a senior marketer may or may not be responsible for actually creating the content, they will certainly be called upon to coordinate with content creators and delivery teams, while ensuring that the material is compelling, accurate and, above all, on strategy. This includes effectively utilizing these content assets in the digital landscape and sales funnel described above.
More so than a particular set of knowledge, today’s marketers must possess a commitment to staying on top of trends as they continue to develop. The emerging trends of today will be tomorrow’s old news, but the effective senior marketer will remain current. None of this makes obsolete the age old talent of understanding the consumer. A full comprehension of their wants, needs, desires and habits remains as vital as ever. In the new field of play, however, it’s the methods of informing these insights, and capitalizing on them, that has shifted.
1. “The 5 Biggest Marketing Trends For 2019.” CMO.com by Adobe: Digital Marketing Insights, Expertise and Inspiration – for and by Marketing Leaders. Accessed July 11, 2019. https://www.cmo.com/features/articles/2018/12/12/the-5-biggest-marketing-trends-for-2019.html#gs.oypowb.
Stoltz, Brenda. “5 Of The Hottest Trends In Marketing Right Now, According To Industry Experts.” Forbes. May 15, 2019. Accessed July 11, 2019. https://www.forbes.com/sites/allbusiness/2019/05/15/hot-marketing-trends/#65a4d2da1da3.
“10 Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2019.” Quick Sprout. Accessed July 11, 2019. https://www.quicksprout.com/2018/11/15/10-marketing-trends-that-will-dominate-2019/.