Saturday, April 05, 2008

Getting the hang of FOM

Fortune 500 marketer Paul Barsch asks “what is the future of marketing (FOM)?”

The open discussion format that he chose throws open the floodgates for comments to pour and pour. I am always intrigued by marketing strategies. Did read a few of those and they were terrific insights. A lot to quote and so I try mashing it up.

FOM ultimately would be something like this –

The integration of data across the entire enterprise so that marketing, finance, R&D, operations, call centers, everyone stop functioning as data silos and are using the same copy of data – could be one of the keys to corporate success in the future. The role of the CIO is changing from technologist to business strategist with IT as a driver of the business. Technology is advancing at rapid clips. CIOs must shed the "I keep the lights on" mentality and move more towards "I help this company innovate and become more efficient with technology".

The same fundamental change in mindset needs to happen for the marketing function as well. Instead of "I make the commercials and run the website" the new mindset will be "I know our customers, I know what they want today, I know what they'll need in the future and this is how we'll make it happen..."

If we want marketing to have a seat at the strategy table, then we have to step up and take ownership of the customer experience. Without this, marketing will, remain queen of the tradeshow. Customers/consumers just aren't impressed anymore with some of the initiatives companies roll out; they expect them. And often, a great service experience in one industry is expected in another--i.e. I had a great dining experience the other night, but why do I put up with the sub-par experience I usually get from the airlines?

As a Chief Relationship Builder, The CMO will need to create opportunities for dialogue with the customer so that he becomes the Voice of Customer (VOC) inside the enterprise. This goes beyond market research into the realm of building communities. [Paul paraphrases Roy Young] when he says, "sales sells, finance finances, R&D designs, what does marketing do?" Owning the VOC and taking more responsibility for the customer experience are two solid strategies for the CMO of the (near) future. Marketing is no longer getting the customers attention, it is engaging the customer. Marketing is no longer “Here’s what we do” its “How we can engage you”.

Marketing will have to embrace the "messiness" and loss of control that will come with a move to social media. If so, marketing may be able to move beyond the "sell one more Britney Spears cd" perspective to one in which marketing is seen by consumers as being honestly concerned with helping consumers solve problems via the creation of product/service solutions and doing so in a way that will create mutually beneficial experiences.

Having a platform for customers to speak to your company is just a tool. Having someone who understands the people speaking, can synthesize trends out of the conversations, and can create plans that meet both customer and business needs will make that tool a powerful part of business.

Future of marketing: A 5th P in the marketing mix. For PARTICIPATION.

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Blogger Paul Barsch said...

What a great summarization of a very long blog topic and multiple responses. I think you've accurately captured it. Now that's said, what's your take?

3:19 PM  
Blogger Krish said...


Thanks for stopping by.

Your original post and those articulate comments are so rich there’s little to add.

Yet in recessionary times like this, there’s always some room for improvement in every department.

A recent CMO council study found -

(a) only 15% of marketers feel they do a good job of integrating disparate customer data sources;

(b) Customer churn rates in excess of 10% cost enterprises heavily in terms of retention and re-acquisition

(c) Nearly 67% agreed they have no system for re-activating dormant/lost accounts or have serious initiatives lined-up to mine existing relationships.

Now that marketers recognize their methods and competencies suck, why not stop gouging brands for delivering so little? Some of their communication ideas hopelessly misfire as well. They paraded thin ultra thin, androgynous models sporting luxury garments; the garments didn’t sell, but school girls stopped eating in the hope of becoming walking sticks.

So where does future of marketing lie?

Improve on creativity and intelligence gathering by focusing more on line of business (LOB) understanding and precision bombing.

Deliver insights that even the brands didn’t capture. Stun them. Astonish them.

Stop focusing merely on customer communication; Own up your fair share of responsibility for top and bottom line growth of the enterprises.

Do brands a favor. Help them downsize ad budgets (Remember, Banks wrote down $300 billion in subprime losses!) and make it up by marketing process improvements leading to ROI enhancement. These are worst times for brands; help them now, they'll remember you forever.

12:15 AM  

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