A fascinating article on the Forrester Blog for Interactive Marketing Professionals called 2010: The Year Marketing Dies …or at Least Marketing as We Know It! will make you think a bit about the trends in marketing. It even goes as far as to say that in 2009 “we witnessed the most profound evolution the marketing world has seen in fifty years or more”.
Now, in technical marketing, we’re usually between a year and (let’s say, charitably) five years behind consumer marketing. This is a combination of the conservative nature of our audiences, the relatively lower investment in marketing, and the unadventurousness of our senior management. But it does confirm that we may well have already started on this “profound evolution”.
I’d recommend a read of the article if you have ten minutes spare, but at least try to take on board the implications of this section (my bold emphases):
Of course, if marketing burns to the ground in 2010, a new and more powerful marketing will rise from the ashes. The role of the new marketer:
– Won’t be simply to focus on outbound messaging but to consult with sales, customer service, and human resources on how the brand must be communicated in every consumer interaction, every tweet, and every touchpoint,
– Won’t be merely to imagine creative messages but to fashion programs that are seamless with the actual product and service experience,
– Won’t be to plan bursts of communication on a yearlong calendar but to respond to and be part of the ever-changing dialogue with consumers,
– Won’t be to count friends, page visits, eyeballs, readers, or viewers but to measure changes in consumer attitude and intent,
– Won’t be merely to talk at consumers but to listen and engage one to one,
– Won’t be to build campaigns but relationships,
– Won’t be to create impressions but experiences, and
– Won’t be to buy media but to earn it.
If the customers start to dictate the agenda, which may well be happening, then perhaps the “new marketing” will be a merger of the existing marketing and customer service roles, which are currently at opposite ends of the company’s activities, with marketing being entirely proactive and customer service reactive. But then again, maybe the knowledge in customer service is something which should always have been within the marketing remit. The fact that this already happens in the tiniest companies, because one person is responsible for everything, might be why such companies are always so much quicker on the ball.