Earlier this week, I delivered a free public webinar called “Digital CMOs, Digital Roles on the Rise as Marketing Transforms.” If you didn’t get a chance to see it, you can find the replay here.
In my wind up, I offered some of the white-knuckle realities that are more or less upending the marketing function and forcing many marketing leaders to fill crucial technology and organizational gaps on the path to going digital. I cited six game-changing shifts:
1. The funnel is blown to bits
That linear funnel metaphor which once approximated the express route from awareness to action is now a quaint vestige of another day. The funnel’s been blown to bits by the rise of the connected consumer and a decision journey that looks more like the flight of the bumblebee.
2. The customer is king
While it breaks my slightly word-obsessed heart to invoke such a tired cliché, the customer is, indeed, king. In a time of bountiful choice and when the information advantage marketers once enjoyed is obliterated by search and social, marketers must learn to yield to the customer.
3. The rise of big data
As my colleague Julie Hopkins likes to say, data has become the X-factor in modern marketing. It’s the secret weapon in the race to relevance in winning hearts, minds and wallets on the path to purchase. But data-driven techniques can cross that very fine line between relevant and intrusive—or even creepy—when they’re employed without sensitivity, care and discretion.
4. The rise of big content
Social and search marketing in particular are content-hungry disciplines that force marketers to think and act like publishers, producing exceptional content that earns audience engagement. But content marketing is a daily discipline that requires substantial investments that often pay back on a relatively long horizon. Marketers must find scalable and leveraged ways to source content in a way that sustains both brand engagement and the profit motive of any marketing investment.
5. The experience economy
Hyper-competition has eroded product and service advantages, forcing marketers to seek other ways to drive differentiation, preference and loyalty. The new battlefield? Customer experience. Marketers need to hide the seams between channels and experience, online and off.
6. The advocacy imperative
Consumers trust peers more than brands; that we all know. What marketing leaders now realize is that digital marketing done right enables word of mouth at scale. Tell a story and influence once. Teach your community to tell your stories? That can pay dividends for a lifetime.
What other disruptions do you see, today or looming on the horizon?