Sign up to the Modern Marketing Manifesto

To stimulate debate and help focus attention on the talents, skills and approaches we believe are fundamental to the development of the marketing discipline and the personal development of practitioners, Marketing Week and sister brand Econsultancy recently formulated a manifesto for modern marketing.


Taking the appropriate collaborative approach we have listened to all the feedback and comments we have received to flesh out and consolidate the initial ideas. Now we have reshaped the manifesto material and are delighted to produce an overhauled version taking on board your ideas. Please read the below and then we’d be delighted if you signed up and showed your support for the manifesto.

To endorse the Manifesto for Modern Marketing please tweet #momama-signed up, or post beneath this article online, or email us at We will be using the manifesto as a springboard for many initiatives this year and look forward to hearing from you.

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We believe marketers should sit at the board table and help set strategy. If you do not believe your understanding of markets, products, customers and positioning plays a vital role in shaping strategy then you are not a modern marketer. Digital thinking should be embedded in marketing strategies as a matter of course. It is a mindset rather than just an executional approach. If you do not ‘get digital’ then you cannot be a modern marketer Great businesses look beyond the horizon. Great marketers have the vision to define the horizon.

We believe modern marketers have to be commercial. This means knowing the P&L backwards. It means knowing where money is being made and why. It means knowing how to measure and optimise key commercial metrics. Marketers can, and should, take increasing responsibility for revenue targets. With ecommerce the transaction is the ultimate click in the customer journey. Modern marketers must optimise the customer journey along its entire path including the sales funnel and post-sale. Sales and marketing must be more closely aligned and have common points of accountability.

Customer Experience
We believe that improving the customer experience must be the relentless focus of modern marketing. Customer experience is about customer centricity as evidenced by the service or product that we deliver across channels. It is about respecting the power and importance of great design. Experiences are events, products, services, hardware, software, customer service. Indeed, every interaction with a customer is an experience that we must make as relevant, pleasurable, easy and useful as possible for them. Since resources and time are not infinite we need segmentation to help ensure we deliver the best possible experience to our most valuable customers.

We believe that the mobile revolution is only just beginning. But we see beyond just ‘mobile’. Modern marketers think about the whole customer experience and the multiple screens and touchpoints that control it and mediate it. Customers do not recognise lines and nor should we. Online, offline, above the line, below the line – we need to think and deliver customer experiences without delineation. Modern marketing must be connected, joined up and integrated. This includes internal integration and goes beyond integration within the marketing function across digital and classic skills. Integration must also exist between customer facing functions . It is about working across the entire business and collaborating with other functions, such as sales, technology, editorial, HR and customer service.

We believe that the internet has forced transparency upon brands and businesses. Brands no longer control the message, consumers do. This loss of control means businesses must communicate authentically and this requires a clear sense of self to which they can be true. In a digital age what modern marketers need most is a strong brand.

We believe data must be turned into insight and action to be a source of customer, competitive and marketing advantage. Data is the bedrock upon which successful research, segmentation, marketing automation, targeting and personalisation are built. Data allows us to predict future behaviour which is fundamental to creating strong customer lifetime value models and optimising marketing effectiveness. Digital channels provide new and valuable sources of data and customer insight that can be acted upon in real time. If you do not see data as exciting, valuable and empowering then you are not a modern marketer.

In the quest to deliver outstanding brand experiences across channels, we believe that personalisation offers the greatest opportunity to transform what customers currently get. Digital channels in particular allow us to use everything we know about a customer to inform and optimise each interaction. Location, device, screen size, usage characteristics, the weather… we are in an era where we have exciting and powerful new data points to power personalisation. Personalisation is not just for existing customers: we no longer need to know who the person is to provide convenient and relevant experiences. As modern marketers we respect the privacy of our customers and recognise we must deliver value to them in exchange for personal data.

We do not believe technology is a solution in itself. Technology is an enabler. But modern marketers must be comfortable and adept at procuring and using technology to their best advantage. We believe modern marketers will have increasing ownership of technology at the same time as technologists become more marketing-aligned.

We believe we need creativity just as much as we need technology. We need storytelling just as much as we need data. We believe in the power of emotions and the irrational just as much as the rational. If our marketing is to be modern we need the passion, creativity and craftsmanship of the right brain just as much as the analysis and logic of the left brain. The digital age is providing increasingly ubiquitous access to everything. In this context we need innovation and creativity in our product and service design, as well as our marketing, to make an impression.

We believe that content marketing and the focus on owned and earned media represents a fundamental shift in marketing that is more than a fad. Content is more than just words, pictures or video. Games, apps, events, APIs and so on deliver rich content experiences too. Content reinforces a brand’s credibility and authenticity in what it stands for, believes in and cares about. For modern marketers, content is a vital expression of the brand.

We believe social media is about changing our business culture, the ways we work and the ways we engage with our colleagues and customers. It is about creating businesses that have social in their DNA. It is about realising that everything, including our marketing, now happens in an environment where customers can, and will, talk about what we do and can share it with the world. Modern marketers know that ‘social’ is not a choice.

The preceding points outline what we believe marketing now is. But what does it mean to be a modern marketer? How do we behave and what defines us as professionals?
We believe the following ten characteristics are the hallmarks of the modern marketer:

  • Accountable – we expect to be held accountable for the value our marketing delivers. We believe in validated learning over opinions and conventions.
  • Ethical – we believe our marketing must be ethical. It must be honest and respect customers, particularly their personal data and consent to use it.
  • Customer focused – we believe we must put the customer at the centre of what we do. We must listen to customers and be the voice of the customer within our organisation.
  • Agile – we must be responsive and adaptive. We embrace change. We believe in flexibility and iteration.
  • Collaborative – we believe collaboration with colleagues and customers is far more powerful than silos and hierarchy. We want to share knowledge and skills.
  • Innovative – we are not afraid to try new ways of doing things. We are curious and always learning.
  • Brave – we like to try new things. We are not afraid of failure as we learn from it.
  • Passionate – above all we are passionate about what we do. We know it can always be done better. And our quest is fun.

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