Here’s the problem…
Marketers and business leaders, think that the role of Marketing is all about the marketing mix i.e. running programs, campaigns and initiatives. But, without the backdrop of the strategic elements in the traditional model – this is stepping into dangerous territory where the role of Marketing is relegated to external agencies or other departments within the firm.
This is why, Marketing jobs are at risk.
Leaders need to design their marketing capabilities so that as a function it is at the centre of market management. This means that they are conduits between the internal capabilities of the organisation, and the external factors to establish a strong market position by attracting loyal customers.
By the above description the value metrics for Marketing (and thus its role) becomes a lot clearer;
The further removed you are from any one of these metrics in your current Marketing role the further you are from the traditional model.
The core skills of the Marketer should be focussed on building the strategic pillars and then to rely heavily on independent agencies to implement that strategy. Agencies are specialists – such as creative advertising agencies or technical experts. Effectively the Marketer’s role requires an ability to lead and manage these agency relationships.
In today’s ‘new model’, agencies have taken on some – and at times even all – of the marketing competencies by building their services around offering traditional strategic marketing management skills and processes. They end up sitting alongside the Marketer in leading market management activities, rather than being managed and directed. There is no doubt that this has blurred the lines between the players in the marketing universe.
Over time, Marketers have lost their leadership skills to effectively influence, engage and motivate others to deliver marketing excellence.
The agencies have a vital role in implementing strategy and producing results. They are specialised in creative solutions, activating strategies and problem solving.
However, there is an emerging issue with the changing media landscape in measuring the value add of digital channels.
The transparency of digital agencies to prove their effectiveness and not wasting your money is under question by large corporates as featured in AdNews. One could argue that the reduced marketing leadership has resulted in diminished value.
There are other signs clearly pointing to emerging problems around Marketing’s value and effectiveness:
Productivity is the other side of the story which deals with output and efficiency. There are some principles you may need to consider as a business or Marketing leader. During an economic downturn or even a looming recession, marketers should turn to productivity building strategies.
As the market slows down – or matures – winning competitor’s customers becomes a “cat-and-mouse” game. In this scenario companies typically seek to increase cash flow from existing volume. The levers include:
1.Fixed and variable costs related to your marketing, production, and headcount. Marketing can engage on-demand skills as required to avoid fixed salary pressures and improve productivity.
2.Increase prices. It may pay to trade-off the loss of some customers for higher average returns.
3.Enhance product mix. Instead of simply putting the prices up across the board, a firm can segment the market according to price sensitivity. Then it can target less sensitive segments with upgraded products—this raises the average profits for the company’s product while maintaining existing customers.
As a leader, the responsibility to deliver greater shareholder value and keep a check on ROI means marketing needs to go beyond the “P” for Promotion and manage all of the other 3 “P’s” effectively; Price, Place and Product.
Leaders need to design their marketing capabilities as follows:
Forrester Research 2016: Dynamics That Will Shape the Future in the Age of the Customer: https://go.forrester.com/wp-content/uploads/Forrester-2017-Predictions.pdf