“One of the most persistent put-downs of the internet era is to tell somebody they ’don’t get it’. But even for those who ’do get it’, the sad truth is that getting it doesn’t come with life membership…as technology develops, you have to keep getting it again and again.”
So says Michael Nutley in the opening paragraph of his column in this week’s magazine. Mike goes on to talk about the effects that the mobile phone might have on the outdoor marketing sector in the months to come.
But for me his words could register as a fairly stark warning to any marketer, with any expertise and in any business sector. Take a look at Lucy Handley’s cover story this week. Three-quarters of CMOs are planning wholesale restructures of their departments before the end of 2011 to cope with what they see as the changing demands and requirements of success.
Evolving technologies and shifts in consumer behaviour mean there are new opportunities and challenges for business and in particular marketers. Those organisations that are structuring themselves with a capability to exploit those opportunities are setting new benchmarks in engaging and profit-driven marketing.
“Organisations that are structuring themselves to exploit these opportunities are setting new benchmarks in engaging and profit-driven marketing”
Of course, you could dismiss the insights within our feature. After all, it is largley based on insights Forrester Research gleaned from talking to 100 chief marketers in America, plus a few interviews our writer conducted on her own trip to the US last month.
But I think you would be foolish. Because what is going on in the US is also going on here. And in France. And in Germany. And all over the Middle East and Africa. And further afield in Latin America and China.
Next week’s cover profile, Ann Lewnes, the senior vice-president of global marketing at digital media giant Adobe, says the same shifts are going on in every market around the world, albeit at a different pace and from various starting points depending on each country’s infrastructure, culture and so on.
But really, this week’s cover story isn’t a piece telling you how you should execute your marketing. It isn’t anything like as prescriptive as that. Instead it highlights options being explored by other marketers and managers with regards to how they operate.
Should you hire a social media specialist or is it just folly to assume you have social media ’covered off’ by drafting in an expert? How much more can you get from your budget by negotiating and collaborating more with other departments? Do you leave over any budget, resources and time just to experiment?
Most of us are still trying to apply old models of working to a new environment. Top marketers from InterContinental Hotel Group, PepsiCo, Epson, ING Direct, Thomson Reuters, Dunkin’ Donuts, Ford and MoreThan are trying something different.
Mark Choueke, editor