For truth to be told, i have faced many meetings i can not even count how many times that i have sat on meetings where I have felt compelled to defend my marketing budget. “It is an investment in growth,” I said, as others that are on the senior management team rolled their eyes at me.
Does nothing change???
The Economist Intelligence Unit’s newest study, “The rise of the marketer: The Driving engagement, the experience and the revenue,” found that “business owners are viewing marketing both as a revenue drivers about (69% agree, 19% strongly) and the cost centers about (68% agree, 26% strongly). At most the companies, the business owners have the knowledge that the marketing drives revenue, but the view that the marketing is a cost is just as widespread.”
Huh? Can it be both?
Over the next 3years to 5 years, the respondents expect that the marketing function will soon migrate from the cost side of the ledger to the revenue side. And, what will be driving that? Several things…
Marketers need to start demonstrating their contributions and also the abilities to drive the revenue more internally. “If you are aggressively pursuing an agenda of accountability and transparency, then you will be viewed as a trusted partner and also an adviser,” said John Dragoon, the CMO of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, in one of the interviewees.
Marketers need to win their customers at any touchpoint, making the customer to experience paramount to the driving leads and the revenue. Yet, today, two-thirds of the marketers polled say that they are not responsible for the managing of the customer experience. This will be a change as consumers now gain the power and also become less reliant on the sales, and the marketing function is now increasingly orchestrating relationships.”
Companies will be needing specialists to help manage and to shape the customer-centric cross-channel and the cross-business strategies. “Even if the marketing does not have a sole of accountability, it is first among the equals in making sure that everybody understands their role in creating the touchpoints that are differentiated, the consistent and the outstanding,” adds Dragoon.
So, what type of marketing leaders can fit in this new role? What skills do you think they need to fit in?
1. Coming in at number one is marketing operations at 39%.
2. The technology and the digital engagement is #2, also at 39%.
3. Strategy and the planning is #3 at 38%.
That of course must be in one way connected to some CRM, whether that is also in HubSpot or in the Salesforce, the Zendesk, the Zoho or any of the other myriad CRMs that exist.
But note that the two must be effectively integrated and also optimized, and the salespeople actually have to make use of these systems. Adoption is critical, which is a typical struggle at many of the companies. But just as company executives insist on the rigorous adherence to the performance systems and the processes, they should insist that their sales and their marketing teams show the same commitment to the analytics and the process optimization.