Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"Behold! The future of the marketing department"

"When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened." - John M. Richardson, Jr.

Recently, I was engaged in a lively discussion with a group of CMOs and marketing executives from within the CMO Network on LinkedIn. The question that started all the active dialogue was, "What will the marketing department look like in the future?" CMOs from companies across the globe responded with a variety of forward-looking, futuristic perspectives.

A few key themes or perspectives that resonated include:
  • The marketing department will be smaller, but more powerful. Some departments will be populated by strategists and analysts to respond to the ever-changing marketing conditions and the demanding needs of consumers and buyers. The non-critical functions will be outsourced to specialists. However, smaller does not mean less complex or less robust. It actually means more market-driven power with a level of flexibility to respond. This will allow the department to focus on the customer and the market segment requirements.

  • The marketing department will redefine and streamline media strategies. In today's battle for attention, and the availability of rich content through various media outlets, there are large numbers of consumers who compartmentalize their media consumption - using the Internet to the (near) exclusion of any other media, reading nary a newspaper or magazine in print form, spending less (and shrinking) time looking at television.

  • The marketing department will focus on KPIs and metrics. Marketing can no longer run from being accountable to the top and the bottom line. Marketing will continue to be held to the fire for budgets and outcomes with an emphasis on metric-focused environments and major attitudinal shifts. There are too many organizations where "marketing" is just seen as the "comms people," rather than something that is absolutely core to the business. Metric-driven marketing will be critical and ROMI (return on marketing investment) be it on a project, group or organization, will be expected.

  • The marketing department will embrace integrated media. Yes! Even though "integrated media" is not a new catch-phrase, vehicles such as social media, SEO strategies, and other new tools will become just "another tool" in the marketing toolbox. We will most likely see fewer separate organizations on "Web marketing," SEO/SEM marketing and social media marketing in the future, and strategies will develop to be much more comprehensive.
As you look to the future to enhance your marketing department, be forward-looking as you set up your strategies, and allocate your budgets. Because the information landscape is changing so swiftly with the consumer, you will need to adjust your business accordingly. However, the core principles of marketing have not changed, so we need to be prudent on how we craft our future, reach our customers, and maintain relevance in their minds.

Where does Creatis fit into all of this? Creatis has a valuable window into how many companies set up their marketing departments, and our vantage point provides us with valuable insight into how organizations either cling on to old-school ways or aggressively work to reinvent themselves. If you would like to learn about our perspectives or experiences, please contact us at creativeperspectives@creatis.com, or call 877.558.3233 to learn more.

"My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there."  - Charles F. Kettering

1 comment:

  1. I think that many companies are trying to find the right balance. It is tough to be strategic when planning and adjustments are made on a quarter-by-quarter basis.