The Evolution of Marketing
NextPage is fully aware that the digital age has redefined marketing, and in so doing, created an evolved definition of the role of Chief Marketing Officer. You can almost visualize a ‘March of Progress’ type of illustration. It would begin with Mad Men’s drink holding Don Draper, morph into Darrin Stephens, of Bewitched fame and finally develop into an Apple-esqe view of Apple’s VP of Worldwide Marketing Pete Schiller – probably hidden behind multiple electronic devices. In this 3 part series, our Connect magazine author, Michael J Pallerino shares his perspective on what this means to the modern CMO.
With $110 million in global revenue, GiftCards.com is one of the No. 1 sites for all things gift cards. Add to it the company’s recent designation as one of Inc. magazine’s fastest growing private companies, and the brand practically markets itself, right?
Nothing is ever that easy in marketing – nothing. CMOs like GiftCards.com’s Carlos Tribino know this. Tribino is part of the new breed of chief marketing officers – a position that is evolving more than any other time in the past. Today’s marketers are playing roles they have never played before. Their job descriptions are becoming more complex, which, in turn, is giving them more traction and influence.
There is no reading between the lines here – it’s a whole new world out there today. Times and technologies are changing and evolving. In the digital age, businesses are redesigning the way they work and collaborate. And that means your marketing. While you’d be hard-pressed to find a CMO that says his job is less risky than it was, say five minutes ago, Tribino is a bit more optimistic.
In fact, the CMO Council’s recent “State of Marketing” report shows that chief marketing officers are more optimistic about today’s current business environment and their place in it. According to the report, 81 percent of the surveyed CMOs believe they can achieve the goals senior management bestowed upon them this year.
“Beyond the obvious pressure to perform, CMOs face challenges to balance short-term versus long-term objectives, as well as the balance between the tangible and the intangible,” Tribino says. “A new business opportunity may be good for the immediate bottom line, but bad for the brand’s long-term health.”
Tribino says that sometimes the numbers in A/B testing can prove a tangible gain, while experience and know-how may show the opposite. “It is challenging to find a happy medium or a solution not supported by numbers,” he says. “It is a difficult task to convince a boardroom or an executive team when ‘intuition’ contradicts the numbers.”
While marketing has long been one of the most scrutinized departments, it is becoming more recognized for its ability to help filter the scores of data that is becoming so prevalent in identifying and understanding today’s consumers and their buying tendencies.
“The marketing and IT leaders we spoke to recognize the increasing dominance of data and the value that comes from improving platform integration and tracking capabilities,” says Stella Goulet, CMO of Avanade. “Mining rich analytics and employing the right technology to ensure a comprehensive customer view is critical, as companies seek to optimize their marketing campaigns.”