There’s a lot of discussion about the evolution of marketing and the roles of marketers. Harvard Business Review even made it their cover story in this month’s magazine, and countless blogs have been written about it. Has the shift really been that great?
The answer is undoubtedly … yes!
What have our new roles become? As many of us marketers move from generalists to specialists, what exactly does that look like? In their coverage, HBR distills these new (and old) roles into 3 categories: think, feel and do, arguing that most functions can fall into one of those three buckets. “Thinkers” focus on data and analytics, “feelers” focus on customer engagement, and “doers” focus on content and production. While simple, there’s a lot to that framework. Nonetheless, the Content Marketing Institute proposes 12 roles that will be essential for your content team alone! That may sound like a lot, but I don’t think it is. Bottom line: marketing is evolving to be much more than a monologue of offers and product features, or even sales support. Marketing has the opportunity to put the proverbial stake in the ground establishing not only a company’s brand, but creating its intellectual equity in the market.
How can we do that? There’s not one right answer for all, but the Marketing 2020 study has shown that there are some areas that seem to challenge many companies. For example only 20 percent of marketers feel their teams receive adequate training, despite the explosion of new channels and technologies. The study also predicts that technology developments will drive significant change in marketers develop value propositions their engagement with consumers. So much so, that perhaps the role that is most discussed these days is the Chief Marketing Technologist.
The most successful CMOs and their marketing departments will have a strong brand identity and strategy that they follow like the North Star. And they’ll invest in the training and technology to execute on that strategy. Those smart investments will define who leads the pack and who lags behind.