there was greater focus on the target customer as opposed to marketing campaigns.
A few weeks ago I tweeted a nice little play on words …
Here is the problem with the current state of affairs within marketing – way too many marketing professionals are either non-adaptive veterans or young digital natives without a foundation of business and marketing experience. Now that I have likely pissed off 100% of my readers, please let me explain…
First off, your target audience makes purchase decisions based upon the product/service you deliver and what they perceive the company is all about. At the same time, marketers focus on sizzle campaigns. If marketing executives spent the same effort and creativity focused on the target market and their motivations, marketing would likely yield stronger results given our high digital/social world. Just look how many people are literally asking for help, making suggestions, and providing crucial target market information. If we are looking to drive purchase decisions, maintain continued loyalty, and provoke word-of-mouth marketing, consider the three key elements of a brand reputation:
1) Great product/service
2) Awesome customer experience
3) Continuous proof that the brand values its customers
I would even go so far as to say that you do not need a great product or service, just one on par with the competition. Case in point … does Zappos offer any product you cannot find elsewhere? What they do offer is exceptional customer experience as every member of their team takes action to prove they value their customers.
If we use Zappos as an example, we see that marketing of the company goes way beyond the marketing department. Everyone on the team is marketing, positioning, and building brand reputation for the entire company.
And this is the change that must happen in marketing. We can no longer think of marketing as a departmental role, but rather a leadership role within the entire company. The CMO can no longer regard their role as leading a department. They must be bold enough to drive integrated communications across the entire company organization. They must be intimately engaged in the activities and behaviors of their target market. How many Chief Marketing Officers or Chief Strategy Officers are actually engaged in the interactive digital world? How many are actively engaging on social channels? How many blog to their audience reinforcing they understand the target audience and seek to deliver value to them?
And on the flip side, how many digital natives have the experience to drive company-wide initiatives?
I believe that marketing strategies, plans, and execution have not adapted to the changing market audience because a chasm exists between young marketers and veterans. Look for a leader that can bridge the two worlds and drive marketing throughout your company.
Make It Happen!
PS – This is an important topic and current challenge. Contribute and join the conversation.