(Use your own mental image of a Dodo; I prefer this one.)
One of Gartner’s most-anticipated annual documents is our assembly of top predictions for the coming year; here is last year’s report (subscription required). At the risk of offering a glimpse into the sausage factory, these predictions are a distillation of hundreds of provocative and compelling submissions from analysts across the company. Many of those that don’t make the “top predicts” grade appear in individual teams’ prediction notes, such as last year’s for marketing leaders (subscription required).
Why am I telling you this? Because of a candidate that my colleague Mike McGuire and I submitted this year. We won’t know for several months whether it will appear in a predictions note, but I wanted to share it anyway:
By 2025,75% of marketing organizations will have eliminated the following channel-specific titles/roles: mobile marketing, social marketing, email marketing.
Here are a couple of signals that lead us to this claim:
- Distinct mobile marketing responsibility is a rarity. In our 2016 Digital Channel survey we asked “Who is primarily responsible for managing your company’s mobile marketing efforts?” A paltry 3% said that an individual or distinct team held this responsibility. Nearly three in four said it was a shared responsibility or that someone with broader coverage oversaw mobile.
- Social marketing is mobile. The vast majority of time spent on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is on mobile, and other popular social venues like Snap barely make sense outside of a mobile context.
More fundamentally, however, we believe in this outcome because — as a smart client once put it — “channels are for chumps.” Customers don’t distinguish between the interactions with your brand on the basis of what app they were using or what device’s screen they were peering at. Their relationship with you is the amalgam of all these and they move fluidly among them throughout the Buy/Own/Advocate cycle. Tasking individuals with managing engagement based on app or device is a prescription for myopia.
So, if these titles and the associated disciplines are evanescent, what will we call the efforts that we now pin to these labels? That’s easy: “marketing”.