Last winter, a good portion of the US experienced an extreme weather phenomenon known as the polar vortex. It created record-low temperatures, record-high snowfalls and – for a few months, at least – made people wonder if we were entering a new ice age.
Thankfully for the population at large, the vortex was short-lived. The deep freeze passed, summer arrived, warm temperatures are here and life has returned to normal.
If only the same could be said for marketing professionals. Considering the vortex-like changes that have redefined the marketing industry in recent years, many marketers are still reeling.
You Don’t Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows
If you are a marketer, you know the profession has been radically altered. You don’t need a weatherman to tell you which way the wind now blows. It blows digitally.
New tools, new methods and access to new data have fundamentally changed the expectations placed on marketing departments. Gone are the days when a marketer could send out a direct mail or email and hope that it led to increases in sales.
These days, marketers are expected to know the results of their campaigns. They are expected to prove ROI across a multitude of channels and platforms and devices and audiences. All the while continuing to be creative, engaging and informative.
It’s enough to give a marketer the shivers. Consider that:
- A Deloitte and Salesforce report found that 53% of global CMOs say that digital marketing has fundamentally changed their team’s responsibilities, to the extent CMOs feel under equipped to handle the changes. More specifically, global CMOs worry about finding the right talent and the right analytics to carry out their new duties.
- A report by Accenture on the role of the CMO says they risk becoming marginalized because their focus looks inward toward marketing rather than more broadly at the larger domain of organizational strategy.
- At the same time that CMOs are expected to prove ROI, a study by Active International shows there are fundamental differences in how CMOs and CFOs view the world.
The challenge is, the shift in marketing isn’t temporary. It’s permanent. It’s less a seasonal vortex and more a fundamental alteration. Call it marketing climate change, if you will.
Weathering the Storm
What does all of this mean? Depending on your point of view, it is either scary or exciting.
Companies and individuals that are thriving in this new climate are able to take advantage of the opportunities the new digital frontier offers.
They are doing this by leveraging the people, processes and technologies necessary for success. Examples include:
- A Gartner study shows that companies are now creating the role of “chief marketing technologist” – that is, someone who knows marketing but also understands the technology that drives the new marketing. These companies were found to invest more in digital marketing and to get more out of their efforts.
- Likewise, a recent Harvard Business Review study identified the traits that separate over-performing companies from their under-performing peers. Among the findings were that the high-achievers made better use of the data and analytics at their disposal, while also closely aligning their metrics with overall company goals.
- Similarly, companies that adopt digitally-savvy techniques like marketing automation see increases in sales and revenue, at lower costs. A Forrester study found that companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost.
All of these studies reinforce a common trait: companies that embrace the new realities of digital marketing are weathering the storm and ensuring their long-term success.
It’s a lesson for companies of all sizes, across all industries.
Biznet can help you weather the storm. Founded in 1994, Biznet is Michigan-based digital marketing agency whose mission is to help companies use internet technologies to maximize their digital ROI. We provide consultation and implementation services across a range of digital initiatives, including marketing automation, web and mobile development, search marketing, content and social marketing, and ecommerce. Contact us at 248.560.9000.