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Beyond the Transaction: Every Transaction Has a Story

The Changing Face of Marketers

Marketing Future

What’s a bad personality trait for a marketer in this era? Being anti-social!

A decade ago, things were very different for me as a consumer.

I had a trusty Nokia 3310. Even though I could only use it for phone calls, text messaging and the occasional snake game, it worked perfectly and suited my needs at the time.

Now, I have an iPhone and every aspect of my mobile experience has changed. I do more video chats, and use WhatsApp for instant communication. Instead of “snake”, I play motion-sensor racing games.

Our daily lives are influenced by technology and it has changed the way we live, interact and, most importantly, consume information.

Marketing has always been about how marketers interact with their consumers by either creating simple messages or experiences. While the process is still the same, the way we interact or create experiences has changed considerably.

Consumers are now more aware of their preferences and how they would like to consume information. Marketing has to step up to the challenge with innovative ways to influence consumer behaviour and interact the way consumers want it to.

What about the marketers themselves? Well, most of them are still playing catch up.

There are basically five key traits the marketer of the future should have.

1. Renewed focus

Who are your customers and how do they like to communicate? Knowing and having this level of focus will help move the needle for the marketing of tomorrow. Traditionally, marketers have tried creating noise to attract the attention of the crowd and then persuade them to become customers.

What they forget is that a crowd has traits, but customers have personalities. So the future marketer will need to move from a crowd view to a customer view. At the end of the day, we need to act in a way that truly customises the experience for them.

2. Insights-driven marketing

A future marketer will be numbers-savvy. As a marketer, you have to upgrade yourself as you are expected to make sense of all the information and numbers thrown at you. While insights have always been a part of marketing, there has been a huge shift in how that data is collected, and how insights are generated and consumed.

Surveys have always been the most common way to know the pulse of consumers. But with social media now, it’s all real-time data. Marketers will need to work alongside data scientists and other media agencies to understand the market and build a strong base for the future.

3. Loyalty pays

“What percentage of my business is from repeat customers?” We have all been asked this question and I hope every marketer knows their numbers. The marketer of the future will need one more metric to be successful – the customer for life.

With increased competition and noise, marketing will not be able to reach and influence the right set of customers. Loyal customers are the ones who are most likely to advocate for you and share their positive experiences. These are the people who will have conversations and who will help drive positive sentiments about you. So there should be more emphasis on engaging and rewarding the loyal customer.

4. Budget: Digital —> traditional

Fifteen years on, digital marketing is finally seeing traction in terms of spending. However, there are still many marketers who favour traditional media over digital and put all their budgets, figuratively speaking, in one basket.

The future is highly skewed towards digital spend. Digital savviness is a key trait for a marketer of the future. A good digital marketing execution is not cheap and with budgets shrinking every year, there will be limited media you can invest in. Most companies in the near future will have a higher share of their marketing budgets set aside for digital media.

How quickly you can adapt will determine your success.

5. Click-through rates —> click-through revenue

In the end, it’s all about the business profit. Future marketers will be judged not only by the traditional marketing metrics such as click-through rates, but also by click-through revenues.

“How many new customers did we gain? Did the engagement on social media drive sales?”

Marketing drives the business. To have the budget for engagement, you need revenue. A $100,000 engagement with a click-through rate of 50% will not mean much if the revenue driven was $10,000.

Apart from that, know what you are driving through marketing. Is it brand value or actual revenue? This will serve as the key metric that you will be judged against at the end of a campaign.

To conclude, the future of marketing is determined by how marketers adopt and adapt to change. So upgrade your bullock carts to jet planes and buckle up because the world is moving at a million miles an hour.


This article was from Marketing Magazine’s special edition The Futurist, the January-February 2015 issue and is available on the Marketing Magazine website here.

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