The next big thing in marketing for 2021 and beyond is increasing the effectiveness of the marketing function. That is integrating new marketing capabilities into existing processes rather than simply adding new capabilities.
Why the next big thing in marketing is important
Firstly, this is not just our opinion. This conclusion was published in a Harvard Business Review paper entitled, ‘Is your marketing organisation ready for what’s next?’. This study interviewed 120 senior marketers and found that marketing is mostly adding silos when introducing new capabilities. For example, implementing new social media channels means a SMM team. ‘Near me’ marketing may involve a mobile marketing team. Predictive marketing may involve an intent based team.
Secondly, many senior marketers believe that technology is taking over. New technologies are infringing upon strategy, roles are becoming less clear and branding is separating from lead generation and performance. Without a one-size-fits-all approach, CMOs face a dilemma over what services to keep in-house and what to give to specialists. Technologies may straddle in-house and third-party support which leads to further fragmentation and silos.
Big things and big marketing changes for 2021 and beyond
For anyone that has followed our blog, you will have seen that current trends in marketing to focus on for 2021 are a digital first experience, innovation and growth in partnerships. We are not dismissing these and these still hold true. The pace of change during 2020 was as brutal as it was unwanted for many businesses. Rapid business transformation, increasing online capacity and remote working all create deeper silos.
Ultimately, ‘rapid’ change if not properly communicated and project managed often leads to confusion and separation. Many marketers are cut off from their HQ and colleagues with less support available to them. A CMO has a tricky job in balancing strategy against a diverse set of technologies and internal and external ‘stovepipe’ teams. Unfortunately, this detracts from the core job of marketing to communicate the value proposition and stimulate demand.
Why the next big thing in marketing in 2021 needs your attention
The next big thing in marketing in 2021 needs your attention to leverage the increasing opportunities of digital, data and value. Crucially, this means possessing the appropriate marketing capabilities including technology to benefit.
So often we either work on the overall strategic marketing plan or a single digital platform or single function with a challenge to solve. The third-party relationship is guarded and other teams have their own challenges to overcome. There are amazing opportunities to increase effectiveness, role clarity, job satisfaction and ROI with a holistic approach. Looking at a new digital platform? Make sure you integrate it with existing processes. Assessing new third-party suppliers? Ensure you have the proper structure and accountability to succeed.
In summary, the complexity of marketing is bewildering and the larger the business, the greater the disconnect. It raises some interesting questions as to whether the role of Chief Marketing Officer should be a single person or a joint role. Perhaps a CMO alongside a Chief Customer Officer or similar would clarify responsibilities and increase alignment.
Where do I go for help to increase marketing effectiveness?
Any transformation programme has elements of change management, project management, stakeholder management and methodologies. A marketing change may even include some organisational design work if the department is large. A great place to start is a marketing audit to identify areas for improvement. This enables you to measure how well the function is delivering on the marketing plan.
With any change, having the capacity to execute it is a challenge. Busy teams, third-parties and SaaS digital platforms leave little support for the CMO. Adopting new technology and adapting existing processes are a great time to call for outside support. We offer marketing transformation services from org design through to business process re-engineering (BPR). As a consultancy with experts in digital marketing, lead generation and more, we mirror many marketing areas of expertise. This gives us a unique capability to transform a marketing function and not just one team, role or digital platform.
The next big thing also increases marketing ROI
After a challenging year for many businesses, all are looking for cost savings, growth and more bang for buck. Sadly, some job losses could have been avoided if marketing effectiveness was taken more seriously. Whether you have lost staff, frozen budgets, stopped advertising or culled third-parties, ROI is key. If you have not experienced the joys of zero-based marketing (ZBM), you still had more difficulty spending budget.
In summary, if you were challenged to justify the benefit, ROI or marketing contribution, we can help. As the pandemic drags on, uncertainty lingers and purse strings remain tight, now is the time to think about effectiveness. You are planning for or fighting for your marketing budget next year and you need an ace in the hole to get spend approved. Do you, A) accept defeat; B) look at new digital platforms; C) improve the value added by marketing?
Why Think Beyond makes the next big thing a reality
If you answered either B or C to the question above, why not see how we support your marketing change. Our approach puts the customer first, uses the science of marketing and increases your ROI. All of our marketing solutions are bespoke to our customers so that we deliver the best results for your business. In summary, we won’t let you down and we put your interests first.
Also, if you would like us to call you back to discuss a free consultation, simply fill-in our easy contact form.
Finally, to find out more about our approach and why we love what we do, why not check out some more about us.