Forget what you heard in science class, it is marketing that makes the world continue spinning on its’ axis. I guess we can chalk it up to relativity and say it’s what keeps my world spinning, fair enough?
This brings up an important topic. The future roles that we take on as marketers. When I say marketers, I’m not just talking about people selling marketing services, web design, or SEO, I’m even talking about the regular business owner, one man show, that is trying to market his or her own business.
Marketing is changing… It’s the only constant we can expect year after year. Copywriters have to change, ad agencies have to change, everyone in marketing has to change in order to keep up with the world and our target audience.
6 Ways We’ll Notice The Changing Impact of Marketing
Most people don’t like change, but we’re some of the few in the population that can’t avoid it or we’ll be broke. We have to change, in order to continue to reach our target market. Reaching our audience is going to be different year after year.
I read “The Economist” report on the rise of the marketer, which this post is based on, and it’s really something that should be talked about more often. People get hung up on SEO and how to rank #1 overnight with PBN’s or whatever else is going on this week.
Everyone wants to hear about the glamorous stuff, the shiny objects, the “quick fixes” without seeing the bigger picture. You can continue taking shortcuts if you want, but eventually you get lost and lose out when it comes to the bigger picture.
Enough rambling… let’s get into this.
1.) Marketing Is NOT a Cost… It’s a Source of Revenue
Obviously everything we do has a cost, sometimes the cost isn’t directly financial but we pay a cost in everything, sometimes the biggest cost we have is time.
Businesses have to adapt… Marketers have to adapt. Marketing a business is NOT about cost but it has EVERYTHING to do with bringing in revenue. Businesses should understand that right now, but marketers are doing a crappy job trying the “cheap solution” that they are making businesses focus on cost instead of revenue.
4 out of every 5 companies will stop seeing marketing as a cost and start seeing it as a revenue source in 3-5 years. Will you be ready? Are you ready right now?
2.) Marketing Will Be The #1 Factor in Customer Experience
This is a very interesting area to me, mainly because sales, or customer support have always been at the top when it comes to customer experience. Marketing though? How can a company’s marketing play the heaviest role in customer experience?
If you look at larger companies, many have placed “Customer experience” in the hand of the sales team, but in the future this is going to change, it should be changing right now and the smart business owners and marketers out there have already changed.
People too often look at marketing as a pre-sale strategy. That’s short sighted, to say the least.
Marketers develop content, content can be used to assist and guide customers throughout their experience, and continue through the average “life cycle” of a customer in multiple channels or mediums.
Marketing will touch on 3 important things:
You guys have already seen my post, outlining how to implement a lead nurturing strategy to your marketing plan.
Businesses and marketers get so hung up on awareness and closing sales that they completely ignore the rest of the life cycle. Lead nurturing also isn’t just a way to close more sales, it’s a way to boost the value of the existing sales, which is the quickest win you can possibly have in marketing!
3.) Marketing That Doesn’t ENGAGE Will NOT Be Marketing…
Engagement, is a buzz word that won’t die but we’re not talking about social engagement here. We’re talking about customer engagement. As stated previously, marketing is not just about awareness or pre-sale anymore, it’s much more than that. It covers each stage of the sales cycle, while also covering each stage of the customer cycle.
Engagement doesn’t mean “Liking” or “retweeting” something you post, leave that to the crappy social media management plans that cost $100/mo. We’re talking engagement in the way that your customers continue coming back.
THOSE are the results we see when we’re talking about our marketing being engaging. Do you really care about a +1, like, or retweet when you look at the metrics that actually impact your business?
4.) The Skill Set Marketers Need Will Continue To Increase
This kind of makes me sad, thinking about the “end of an era”. Mad Men was one of my favorite shows and it seems like they had it easy back in the 60’s when handling advertising campaigns. Not much to think about, you have copy, art, and pitch the idea… the rest is just a matter of placement and buying up media.
Nowadays, if you consider ad placement in the digital world, you can easily come up with 100s of variations of ads, tons of different mediums to advertise, tons of different ways to market a business, we have it much harder than they did in the glory days of Madison Avenue. Our attention span is also less than a gold fish now, so… we have it harder.
That being said, it’s no wonder why the skill set of a marketer or business owner, will need to increase.
If you look at what goes on in a marketing campaign, you have:
- Graphic Design
- Defining the target market
- Honing in on demographics
- Split testing ability
- In depth Analytics knowledge
- Sometimes coding knowledge
- Social Media knowledge
- Email Marketing Ability
- And whatever other countless things I can add here
That’s a lot of stuff, and in 3 years, it’s going to require much more.
Each subject is essentially a specialization as well. If you look at social media, maybe you have skills on one social media platform like Twitter, then you try to do stuff on Facebook, it’s an entirely different world. Different analytics, different audience, different advertising dashboard and setup, it requires the use of the FB Power Editor, etc. It can be difficult.
Same thing with email marketing. I wrote an entire guide on cold email marketing, which is completely different than opt in email marketing. Two entirely different areas requiring entirely different skill sets.
Bottom line… you have to constantly improve your skills, knowledge and execution strategy if you want to survive the landscape change.
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5.) Big Data Gets Bigger… and Your Data Better Get Bigger
Whoever says bigger isn’t better obviously doesn’t understand the power of data at your fingertips.
While we did discuss that marketing is going to be seen as a source of revenue and no longer viewed as a cost hog, that doesn’t mean data isn’t involved in marketing decisions. Also, just because it won’t be seen as a cost, doesn’t mean a business won’t still view it as an investment.
Every investment I make, and every investment you make should not be on emotion or what we FEEL will be the right move. Leave that to the silicon valley venture capitalists to deal with that crap. For us, we need data. The data needs to justify the investment and support the change in how we view marketing, as a revenue generating source.
Sometimes we won’t have that data until we start a campaign. When you’re running campaigns on multiple platforms, for example, Adwords, FB ads, Twitter Ads, Outbrain, Bing Ads, it’s imperative to have advanced analytic reporting to determine where your most profitable channels are so you can trim the fat and boost the muscle.
6.) Race to Real Time Personalization and “The Internet of Things”
First, lets discuss the Internet of Things. When I first heard the term, I didn’t get it. Didn’t care to really even look into it, but as it picked up some buzz I became familiar, and I’m sure you all have as well. If you aren’t familiar with the Internet of Things concept, to put it simply it’s just the inter-connection of different devices, or “things” we have.
By 2020 many people believe we’ll have over 100 BILLION connected devices. Think, smart phone, tablets, computers, thermostats, coffee makers, TV’s, etc.
Here’s a quote from an article on Forbes I linked to in the first paragraph of this section:
What if your alarm clock wakes up you at 6 am and then notifies your coffee maker to start brewing coffee for you? What if your office equipment knew when it was running low on supplies and automatically re-ordered more? What if the wearable device you used in the workplace could tell you when and where you were most active and productive and shared that information with other devices that you used while working?
So what’s this have to do with marketing? Good question…
This brings us to real-time personalization of marketing, and how we reach people. Real time personalization and real time engagement.
We won’t fragment marketing anymore.. It’s not going to be social marketing, search marketing, etc. it will be Omniscient Marketing.
A video I posted a while back discusses that it isn’t the width… of your marketing. Meaning it doesn’t matter how wide your presence is utilizing one channel. What matters is the DEPTH of your presence, the amount of channels you’re utilizing. That will be even more true in the future.
The Bottom Line
As marketers, entrepreneurs, business owners, and even bloggers, we have to be ready for change. It’s going to happen no matter how much you want to resist change.
It’s going to happen whether you’re an HVAC contractor, real estate agent, SEO consultant, web designer or even a blogger just trying to generate extra traffic.
Technology is pretty much etched in our DNA now, and unless there’s going to be a massive string of EMP attacks or solar flares to knock out our grid, it’s going to be something we continue to deal with and continue advancing with.
Our job isn’t to fight whether technology advances or if marketing changes, our job is to continue bringing in revenue and capitalize on these changes while our competitors are sleeping, thinking tomorrow is just another day.
What are some changes you expect to see in the business and marketing environment in the next few years? Let me know in the comments below!