It starts with the marketer’s doomsday scenario:
“Today’s chief marketing officers (CMOs) confront a painful reality: their traditional marketing model is being challenged, and they can foresee a day when it will no longer work.”
Ever had that sinking feeling – what are you going to do next? Or in the gig after that?
The article continues by listing the challenges that we as marketers will increasingly face – declining effectiveness of advertising, lack of trust by the buyer in our messaging, multitasking of our audiences, proliferation of channels to reach buyers – to the point where TV advertising may just be a waste of time and money.
You don’t buy that? Think about it – there are now 1,600 broadcast channels in the US. While surfing the web, a typical teenager does 2 other things, and even 80% of business people multitask! And according to a Yankelovitch report people are also switching off – 69% would like some sort of product to avoid marketing and 55% would avoid buying products that overwhelm with advertising…wow.
“Marketers need a more rigorous approach to a fragmenting world—one that jettisons mentalities and behavior from advertising’s golden age and treats marketing not as “spend” but as the investment it really is. In other words, it will be necessary to boost marketing’s return on investment (ROI).”
… now there is a novel concept.
But marketers seem clueless. While the effectiveness of TV advertising in 2010 is estimated to be 35% of what it was in 1990, and while TV viewership has plummeted by almost 45% between 1994 and 2003 – TV advertising spend has continued to rise!
The article further posits that the answer lays in approaching the different marketing investments (not expenses!) like an economist
“For CEOs, the key to economic leverage is allocating capital to the businesses generating the highest returns. For marketers, economic leverage comes from aligning messages and spending with a brand’s most compelling elements.”
They further recommend that marketers allocate 20-25% of their budget on “well-structured” experiments. I suspect that the actual number for smaller and younger companies will probably be way higher – but the key is “well-structured” experiments – much like what VistaPrint did (see MarketingSherpa)
There is no question that we marketers will have to do things differently as we move forward. Besides building predictable brand creation and brand maintenance machines as described in the article, we will also have to demonstrate more innovation and be willing to take on more risks while trying new ways of doing things.
Also, and as I have said before, marketing will have to start taking responsibility for “all” the ways in which a company behaves in the marketplace. Too many CMO’s are just too focused on the brand creation and maintenance while forgetting that their help desk, customer centers and distribution partners are pissing us off to the point where we make promises to ourselves never to buy their products again.