Marketing is getting rewired- How do marketing specialists rewire themselves?

12.08.12 05:26 PM By S.Swaminathan

I was reading Bill Lee's  HBR blog article on Marketing is dead. Quite an evocative headline, I must say. We have either heard or seen such headlines for example - CRM is dead, Long live CRM!

So, I wanted to get away from the hyperbole to the real message or take-out there from his article. There is nothing extraordinary in the article that one has not read or seen in the blogs, conferences or discussion forums over the last couple of years. The key questions to me is how is it being practiced on the ground?

I agree with Bill Lee that there is a tectonic shift in how traditional marketing will be done in the future but the chasm within the marketing specialists still remain which is the biggest challenge and pain for marketers. 

Lee talks about about four key points that is needed to rewire marketing as against the traditional marketing model that is broken:

  1. Restore Community Marketing
  2. Find your customer influencers
  3. Help customer influencers with social capital
  4. Get your customer influencers involved in the solution you provide

The interesting aspect of making this change happen is how will marketing specialists - advertising, public relations, digital marketing, CRM & analytics have to adapt themselves to these new rules. What I observe today is that the advertising folks have a poor understanding of community marketing or content marketing or database marketing while digital marketers have a relatively poor understanding of brand keys and architecture and public relations folks talk only about online reputation management(ORM). This is where marketers get frustrated with their marketing partners. 

Here's what I believe can make it happen on the ground:

  1. Hire outside their disciplines- Many of these specialists need a higher appreciation & respect of the techniques of the other and a seamless fusion of each of the strategies into their marketing plans is increasingly important if this model has to be fixed. 
  2. Identify leaders as orchestrators - There is a need for what I call as orchestrators in each of the specialist disciplines who have the ability, skills and competency to tie-up the loose threads that emerge of out their team's plans into the other discpline or play a seeding role of embedding an idea of the other discipline within their marketing plans. Therefore, they lead the customers across their decision journey for their client's brands. 
  3. Clients need to identify conductors within their teams - I believe time has come for CMOs to look for conductors within their teams who demand and define the "tight connections" between the outcomes of each of these specialist disciplines & orchestrators within these specialist teams to make this happen.

 

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