The Evolving Marketing Landscape
The past two weeks have been a busy week for me: Ad:Tech, Web 2.0 Expo, attending the Social Medic Club and helping a client ramp up their Blog Outreach program.
Speaking with folks from Ad:Tech and just surveying the marketing blogosphere lately, we are seeing three trends that are affecting the marketing landscape all the way from increasing importance of a CMO to the strategic changes required for SEO.
The Three Trends Affecting Marketing
- Longer Tail of Media Consumption
Increasing variety of media (mobile, social networks, search blogs, Xbox 360) that people are consuming means more effort required for marketing/brand/PR integration and more requirements for a â€œgrand strategyâ€ vision.
- Marketing increased emphasis as a Revenue Driver
Increasing Trend Towards Measurement and ROI means that marketing will take high prominence in the C-level space, helping shape product development, internal culture and budgeting
- Social Media as the Disruptor on the Web
Social affecting all of Interactive Marketing Activities, diversifying the types of media being consumed and making marketers have greater engagement with the customer audience and moving from brand control to brand management.
Changes in the Evolving Marketing Landscape
- Raise of the CMOs (As Opposed to VP of Marketing)
Elevating Marketing position as part of a revenue generating, rather than cost center; rebalancing the importance of the sales team vis-Ã -vis the marketing team.
- Evangelist becomes more integral to Marketing-PR
Going beyond being a spokesperson, writing to the community (writing post, responding to comments) and generally engaging the community be it on Yelp, Amazon.com reviews or blogs or in-real-life (IRL)
- Executing the Social Media Program
Need for Evangelists and Community Managers to execute Social Media Program to engage, manage and measure Social Media and Communities.
- SEM becomes Strategic Website Positioning
How SEM (particularly SEO) is shifting from its early days of simple keyword analysis to integrating brand, PR, word-of-mouth, content strategy, usability etc. SEM or Strategic Website Positioning needs to coordinate under the CMO and with the Social Media Program.
1. Raise of the CMO (Not VP of Marketing)
It is common knowledge that when a business is adjusting to a difficult economy, R&D slows and marketing is chopped. Marketing is seen as an expenditure, rather than vehicle for sales. The increasing emphasis on measurement and ROI is changing that somewhat.
Marketingâ€™s evolution to a more strategic role (from VP-level to C-level) is boosted by three trends:
- Marketing increased emphasis as a Revenue Driver
Thanks to better metrics and ROI measurement, Marketing is getting more respect as a revenue generator.
- Longer Tail of Media Consumption:
Diversifying media consumption means more difficult in marketing integration and greater need for strategic direction in managing multi-channel marketing.
- Social Media as the Disruptor on the Web
Social Media is helping fuel the long tail of media consumption. It also has been pushing companies to integrate their PR/Word-of-Mouth/Marketing campaigns and change their internal corporate cultures.
Jon Miller writes most succinctly on the definition and greater responsibility of a CMO at the Futurelab Blog:
â€œTo be successful, the CMO must play a role broader than just leading the marketing organization. The role must include driving revenue, leading innovation, and providing strategic vision. These growth champions must lead all four Ps â€“ not just promotion but also product strategy, place (channel and distribution), and pricing.
Like other C-level executives, these CMOs must be rigorous in their financial planning and metrics, making revenue forecasts and justifying their budgets like the investment in the future that marketing spending really is.â€
|Chief Marketing Officer||VP Marketing|
|Strategic mindset that adds value to the C-suite||Executes tactical marketing programs|
|Key skills: Financial acumen, strong business intellect, measurement and ROI||Key skills: Marketing experience, branding, awareness|
|Measurable results, hard metrics like revenue||Soft metrics and measurements|
|Marketing is seen as a source of revenue||Marketing seen as a cost center|
|Partner to sales (single revenue pipeline)||Subservient to sales|
|Contributes to product direction and strategy||Given final product and told to figure out how to market it|
|Board-level interactions||Little to no board-level interaction|
|Business leader||Marketing leader|
See Jon Miller’s article at:
- â€Are You a CMO or a VP of Marketing?â€, April 30, 2007
While we can debate the number of blogs or if MySpace is here to stay, Social Media has changed the Internet landscape just as the Internet in the 90s changed the marketing and business landscape.
Evangelist have been around before Social Media took off as the latest buzzword, but the importance of their role is increasingly clear if corporations are to have plans to thoroughly engage their online audience and communities.
Jeremiah explains that: â€œAn evangelists role is to go beyond understanding and get others to â€˜believeâ€™ in your product or service. This is beyond just communication and advertising and gets to the fundamental root of human communications, building trust. â€œ
In Matt McGeeâ€™s â€œMeet Your New Employee: Writer, Marketer, Evangelistâ€, Mattâ€™s focuses on how even an evangelist can apply to small businesses in:
- To Write: â€œYou need a blog to communicate directly with customers, and good writers make the best bloggersâ€¦.In this day and age, you need to become a mini-publisher and that demands someone who knows how to write.â€
- To Network: â€œfinding customers and joining their communities and conversations. Good “people skills” are imperative to market successfully.â€
- Do Public Relations: â€œThis should include traditional media; press releases are still the way to reach out to those folks. But it should also include online influencers: important bloggers and important online discussion forums that cover your industry.â€
Read more at:
- â€œMeet Your New Employee: Writer, Marketer, Evangelistâ€, April 26, 2007
- â€œUnderstanding the role of an Evangelist at a Web 2.0 Companyâ€, October 07, 2006
3. Social Media Program
Jeremiah Owyang is on *the* thought leader when it comes to understanding how corporations need to respond to social media opportunities. If youâ€™re not reading his blog, you should.
While he has written about the need for Evangelist and Community Managers, Jeremiah recently wrote on the technical needs of the Social Media Programs the Evangelist and Community Managers would execute, listing some important tactical level thinking:
Recognize the new influencers. Like Media, Press, and Analysts, consider Social Media yet an additional influencer group to reach.
Prepare for all scenarios. Create an internal process or at least discuss how to deal with crises. (such as exploding products, embarrassing situations). Draw from classic PR strategies, but realize that acting quickly in a human way, and not hiding is key.
Employees will blog, embrace. In addition to creating the corporate blog(s), be sure to recognize the natural employee bloggers that appear. You may find them in the product groups, support, and marketing departments. Have a discussion on how to include them in your strategy, even if it means to let them continue on their own. When it comes to trust, prospects and customers may trust employee bloggers that donâ€™t have the corporate logo on their blog.
Measurement. Youâ€™ll need to measure to prove worth in this new arena, get more budget and even get a raise. Iâ€™ve discussed this extensively, see all posts tagged Social Media Measurement.
See more under:
- “Strategies for organizing your Corporate Social Media Program (Starting internally first)“, April 23, 2007
- â€œ10 Social Media Strategies for the Fortune 1000 Corporationsâ€, December 12, 2006
- “Understanding the Community/Evangelist Role, and profiles of a few of my Favorite Folksâ€, March 26, 2007
4. SEM becomes Strategic Website Positioning
SEO (and with it PPC) has been steadily evolving away from the traditional SEO methods, with a full embrace of Social Media to usability to content strategy, with changes occurring in:
1) the further integration of PR-ish tactics like â€œlinkbaitingâ€; 2) the embrace of social media in social media marketing; 3) changing the metrics from rankings and to relevant traffic and conversion; and 4) thinking about usability and conversion optimization, not just search traffic generation.
All of these new changes will be unfamiliar to someone from the early days of SEO, which mostly concerned itself with placing important keyword on the webpages.
We are now at the point of needing to recast SEM (SEO and PPC) as Strategic Website Positioning:
The idea of Strategic Website Positioning is to think of search marketing (organic SEO and PPC), social media marketing and website development as an integrated approach, by asking questions centered around:
- How is your websiteâ€™s content, structure and usability fit with the intent of your audience?
- How does your website â€œfitâ€ in how people search (one-box searches on Google/Yahoo, Technorati, Oodle, vertical search engines)?
- How is your website positioned in Social Media Community? How do you want to participate?
See more at:
â€œSEO as Website Positioning Strategy? â€“ Updatedâ€, February 26, 2007
Closing Thoughts: A Warning on Social Media Fatigue
I still very much remember the irrational exuberance of the Dot-Com (Web 1.0) and know that not every SharkyBuisnessIdeaHere.com will not raise up to become an Amazon.com or an Ebay.
The audience, the social media audience, will suffer from â€œSocial Media Fatigueâ€. People can only support and pay attention to a limited amount of the ever increasing variety of social media websites, video networks, Pligg (digg) clones and Twitters twittering and Myspace commenting.
At the same time, the Internet was not a fad and has brought about the behemoth that is Google made websites like Wikipedia and YouTube possible.
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