New Mandates for Marketing in the Age of Disruption
The Evolving Role of Today’s Enterprise Marketer
Marketing today, as always, is responsible for the brand and its relationship with customers – from acquisition to brand preference and ultimately loyalty. But the complexities involved in the pursuit of this goal are now far more diverse and often unpredictable, redefining the mandates of today’s enterprise marketer. To execute on the demands of true customer-centric marketing, marketers have to evolve their teams, processes and platforms, expanding the scope of the job far beyond brand strategy. Marketers are now also data experts, marketing technologists, revenue managers, business leaders, and privacy evangelists.
As custodians of the customer experience, which has the potential to drive the success or failure of the entire organization, they are also responsible for connecting the dots between business functions that touch the customer directly or indirectly. From product design to delivery and logistics, billing, return experiences, service, and of course sales and distribution channels, marketing cements it all together.
Along with revenue goals, measured in terms of cost of acquisition, retention, and lifetime value, marketers are also responsible for delivering optimal marketing ROI across a dizzying array of digital and physical channels, devices, platforms, and technologies.
Finally, marketers may be tasked with mastering data, analytics, and technology (such as a customer data platform), but they are also tasked with leveraging those to deliver experiences that are more human than ever. Empathy, trust, and authenticity are more important than ever to consumers. Central to the marketing team’s mandate is to bridge the gap between what data and technology make possible, and what the brand values promise.
Bridging the Gap Between Challenge and Opportunity
Realistically, the sheer pace and complexity of change means that unprepared marketing organizations will not be able to get or stay ahead. Successful marketing teams, though, will be able to take these universal challenges and turn them into opportunities to differentiate, create brand preference, and drive business value with more efficiency and effectiveness. We see six key mandates that today’s enterprise marketer must meet to thrive in the age of disruption:
- Brand Purpose: While this is one of the oldest aspects of a marketing leader’s job, prioritizing who you wish to serve and how takes on a whole new level of complexity in a world of millions of “segments of one,” where technology, humanness, and authenticity must be balanced to perfection.
- Customer Centricity: As the owners of customer experience, marketers are the bridge between the customer and the business, acting as both the voice of the customer and an internal evangelist for customer-centricity in every facet of the business. Building a customer-centric operating model at large enterprises requires leadership from marketing and the right technology, processes and cross-functional sponsorship.
- Data-Driven Marketing: Intelligence remains key to marketing success. From big data collection to analytics and activation and measurement, marketers are expected to make data-informed and machine learning-powered decisions, as well as build the infrastructure to facilitate a perpetual understanding of and responsiveness to changing customer behavior.
- Team Development & Execution: Modern marketing leaders are not just reinventing marketing – they are reinventing the marketing organization as well. A growth mindset coupled with data and technology skill sets will define the modern marketing team. Meanwhile, the trend of ‘internalization of core services’ has been confronted with the reality of pandemic-induced talent loss and budget cuts, forcing marketers to build an optimal network of in-house talent and external experts – often managing tech vendors and agencies that they have never worked with before.
- Technology & Processes: Making smart technology investments and measuring tech ROI remains central to the modern marketer’s mandate. Even as they build a strong, resilient tech foundation to enable their CX vision, marketers must keep an eye on emerging technologies and digital tools that may impact consumer behavior, digital technology such as wearables, smart homes, conversational marketing, smart couponing, and more. Additionally, marketers are expected to drive automation and efficiency through streamlined processes, especially as teams are distributed and increasingly remote.
- Disruption: While the ability to pivot as new priorities emerge is central to today’s marketing mandate, the real winners will leverage customer intelligence, artificial intelligence, and predictive capabilities to proactively create industry disruptions, and move the goalposts for customer experience in their industry.
Navigating Change While Building for the Future
While accelerated digital transformation and overall digital innovations will remain imperative for all business functions, marketing is arguably at the front end of how it will manifest in customer experiences that are channel, device, and platform agnostic. How can you, as a modern marketing leader, best navigate this new mandate? What should you be focusing on, prioritizing, or trading-off to build a resilient, responsive, agile, and scaled marketing organization that contributes purposefully to organizational goals? Download our latest ebook that focuses on the challenges that lie ahead, insights, and perspectives from marketing leaders who have successfully turned them into opportunities.