Marketing needs to step up … to be the driving force of business, in a world where markets are the biggest dynamic

April 1, 2019

Marketing as a profession, and a source of new thought leadership, has become a little stagnant in recent times. Over the last 15 years since I was CEO of the world’s largest professional network of marketers, the CIM, then I don’t see much progress in marketing stepping up to lead the business.

Actually I see the opposite. The advent of big data, social networks, search optimisation, online ads, has driven marketing to become ever more tactical in its nature, short-term in its thinking, and diminished in its influence on the future direction of business, innovation and growth.

I’m tempted to step back in there. Since I wrote Marketing Genius, which became “the little black book of marketing” for many, I see a profession and business function, in need of revitalisation, reenergising and probably reinventing. At a time when markets are the most dynamic force in business, marketers and marketing should be a key driver.

Alas I have tended to focus more on leadership, strategic direction and innovation, as this is where I can make more impact. It’s still about markets, customers, brands but also about futures, innovation and growth. Which is what marketing should be about.

So I was delighted to see a new article 10 Principles of Modern Marketing by Kevin Lane Keller and Ann Lewnes recently which I thought I would extract a part of, as it hopefully gets marketers and marketing back thinking bigger, thinking future, and thinking business:

10 Principles of Modern Marketing

To be successful in the digital era, marketers should adopt the best new modern practices as well as rethink and refine classic approaches.

The marketing field has changed dramatically in recent years in direct response to the way technology has affected the wider practice of management. Technology now affects virtually every facet of how organizations design, plan, execute, and measure their marketing efforts. While every industry has changed — consumer products, financial services, durable goods, and others — the technology industry, by virtue of its fast-paced, innovative nature, tends to lead the charge when it comes to marketing transformation and has become the model for modern digital marketing efforts. Changes in the marketing of technology products are important not only for those marketers looking to hone their craft in that industry but also for marketers in other industries seeking to acquire new skills and practices.

With more than 30 years of experience each in the practice or study of technology product marketing, we set forth a set of principles that reflects both classic and new approaches. We illustrate these examples with several firsthand examples from Adobe, a technology marketing pioneer and enduring market leader, as well as other top technology companies such as Fitbit, Intel, Intuit, Red Hat, and Spotify.

Technology Is Just the First Step

Technology has changed everything. Fundamentally, it allows for new ways to create customer experiences, new mediums to connect with customers and other constituents, and trillions of data points to understand customer behavior and the impact of marketing programs and activities. Yet, with all that progress, we are still only at the tip of the iceberg in terms of the profound impact technology will have on the future of marketing.

Even though technology is becoming only more advanced and disruptive, marketers of technology products must realize that technology is only the first step. To fully realize the potential of technology, it takes transformation across people, processes, and technology. Only by recognizing all three forces will modern marketers reap the full benefits that technology can have on marketing transformation.

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