The first piece, from Jeff Gundersen, is his piece on how CMO’s without deep experience in digital media are doomed:
We are moving toward a marketing world that is driven by a direct-marketing opt-in, predictive modeling and tracking approach. Marketing in the future will not be about the masses but about understanding micro-segments of customers and using tools that enable marketing to get more granular and take campaigns to one-to-one level.
We are living through the death of traditional brand management. Consumers are taking away less from brand advertising and more from customer experience. What this means is that marketing, advertising and communication processes are changing quickly and CMOs need to change their core competencies quickly to remain relevant in the digital world.
After years of veering among different high-profile marketing executives, each of whom proselytized about a different high-minded marketing concept, Coca-Cola Co. has gone back to fundamentals.
Mr. Tripodi is expected to espouse sales drivers over image campaigns. He’s a friendly, relatively ego-free guy who’ll likely be a friend to the bottlers. And if he does become a champion of any one channel, it’ll be old-reliable, point-of-sale.
Mr. Tripodi… recently criticized marketers who seek to dazzle without goosing sales or building recall. “We have been seduced by the clever and the cute, the image without the substance,” he said in a recent speech at an Association of National Advertisers event. “We are more concerned with production value than consumer value.”
I’d pick the latter. Unless someone can correct me, I don’t think there’s much digital media fever in channel-based consumer packaged goods, for example. In high-involvement products and services that are sold through direct channels, life is different and digital chops define relevance and irrelevance. But I think we need to be clear that new media — or any media, for that matter — is a slave to the very Tripodian world-view of results over fluff.
If I were marketing gum (or soft drinks), I’d be less concerned about “digital” and more concerned with “channel.”
If I were in consumer electronics, I’d be 80% focused on “channel” and 20% on testing ways of engaging consumers with “digital,” mosting for storytelling, brand building, and limited e-commerce.
If I were in insurance, I’d be 99% focused on the “digital” acquisition of new customers and 1% focused on my agents (I’m not, to be clear, and if I was, I’d withhold the right to change the weighting after a few moments of reflection, too).
If I were in a B2B world selling enterprise software, I’d be split between the two.
In other words, one begets the other. Selling stuff is more important than the methods you use (all things being equal, ethical considerations aside, void where prohibited, etc. You get the picture).
Absolutely love it!
I like CPGs and although being heavily exposed to ‘new media’ marketing in the last year, I ask myself really how important these tools and techniques are? What role should they play? What percentage of allocated resources is appropriate? And now the important question that you bring up: “How does it affect sales”? (or better yet cash flow in the macro-sense)
Then I recently read “Why we Buy” to learn about merchandising and buyer behavioral psychology…and it hits me that THIS is so much more relevant. I know now that my reading list at year end will also include channel and distribution strategy.
Mario: “Why We Buy” is wonderful — Underhill’s work in this area is very powerful. I’ve written about this in the blog before and am a raving evangelist for observation over typical research methods.
Thanks for the comment!
The consequence of digital, one-to-one marketing is erosion of the brand. If your focus is meeting every possible consumer on their playing field and playing the way they want to play, what is your brand?
Eventually you do not have one. You are just a sales person making a million different sales pitches to a million different people.
People want to be part of something bigger then themselves, they want their brands to mean something.
Jay: I’m not sure that “digital/one2one” causes the erosion of the brand — it may correllate, though, and if it does it is probably because those in charge have let the brand slip in favor of “one2one branding du jour,” as you suggest.
If you abandon or neglect branding, it will oblige you by falling apart. I’m fine with “digital/one2one” efforts when they help you strengthen your branding, along side other tools — like channel marketing and management, traditional advertising, industrial design, out of box experience, solid product definition, great positioning, and everything else.
I don’t see this as an “either/or.” The problem, as stated in this post, is that often the “digital/one2one” argument is presented with such breathless fervor that it leaves no oxygen left for rational common sense. It is NOT the be-all and end-all of marketing — it’s a methodology, a tool kit, that can be USED to affect positive change in your markets. Many industries will live or die by it and others would only be distracted by it. You have to pick which one applies to you.
Stephen: We are pretty much in agreement.
I should have clarified, and didn’t mean to imply that it’s either/or. It’s just dangerous to say that one particular tool is the only way to market.