A few weeks ago I attended a two-day offsite with senior marketing leaders from across Canada. Part of the meeting was dedicated to discussing the state of the marketing industry. Honestly, it feels like it’s a bit of a mess.
I’m not saying that marketing today is not healthy with lots of opportunities for smart people; just the opposite. It’s one of the most interesting times to be in marketing. Marketers, like consumers, have options. Lots of options, which creates innovative new channels, wider selection and greater competition.
Is your head spinning?
While it’s a great time to be a marketer it can also be confusing and overwhelming. Where do you start? Big data, location based, programmatic, SEO, SEM, earned, owned & paid media, CRM, eCRM, social CRM, mobile apps, mobile websites, responsive web design, agile marketing, content marketing, cross platform, analytics, engagement, marketing automation…wait, I have to catch my breath! The list goes on and on.
The marketer’s dilemma today is not the number of options—although that in itself can be a dilemma—it’s the growing pressure to increase leads into the pipeline while lowering costs. I find many marketers, including me, spend a lot of time discussing what to do about big data, social media and mobile and little time discussing how to generate more leads while reducing their expenses. After all, I thought the role of a marketer was to communicate the value of a product or service in order to generate leads that turn into long-term profitable customers.
Is it time to rebrand marketing?
Should we even call marketing, marketing? After all in many organizations today a marketer does not control price or product or even distribution. Yes, they influence all of these but have little control over them.
However, increasingly the office of the CMO is charged with driving more new business with less. Brand building, communications, PR, merchandising, customer experience, nurturing and developing deep long-lasting relationships, etc. all fall within the CMO’s office. And the CMO now controls a huge technology budget and collects massive amounts of customer data. Marketing departments apply more science than ever before and now, thanks to marketing automation like Google and HubSpot, marketers are more like drone pilots; launching and operating global campaigns through sophisticated dashboards from everywhere in the world.
So this brings me back to the question, is it time to rebrand marketing? Maybe. Or maybe we should all stop worrying about what we call it and just enjoy the ride. I know I am.