Don’t lose sight of the basics in the rush to embrace change

A new year brings with it the promise of starting afresh, but while it is a time to explore new opportunities marketers shouldn’t forget the basics.

Russell Parsons

January: a month where many metaphorically skip to work, emboldened by the possibility of a fresh start, armed with new found resolve to embrace change and meet challenges head on.

There has been much talk of “change” in articles published on Marketing Week this week. The site is sprinkled with analysis of seismic changes that will have huge implications on the way you work.

The portentously titled ‘Rise of the Machines: Are robots after your job’ is a fantastic exploration of how machine learning and artificial intelligence will impact marketing and marketers’ jobs. Elsewhere, a stellar cast of marketing directors discuss what the marketing team of the future looks like.

We also have the CMO of one of the world’s biggest companies, GE’s Linda Boff, discussing how it is meeting the technology-driven disruption tearing up the myriad of sectors it operates in by shaking up processes, practices and procedures in the hope of achieving what all mature companies are seemingly coveting – the agility of a startup.

Marketing intuition

As much as all articles tackle the ructions that are tearing up the marketing rulebook they also illustrate how many things have stayed exactly as they were.
Artificial intelligence and automation can add a layer of insight and drive efficiencies but they are nothing without the intuition of a marketer and can be of huge detriment to a brand if blindly used in the name of innovation without offering value to the customer.

Also, as much as there is a real need to consider the way your team is setup to meet the digitally driven changes of the future, the bigger need is to ensure your structure meets customer needs. A point made cogently by many of the marketers that gathered for the roundtable.

By way of illustration, I refer you to Boff: “It’s about the customer and serving them”, she says in explaining that despite the leaps GE has made in adopting technology, it all comes down to good old fashioned value exchange.

There are as many things that are changing as are staying the same. Be excited by both.

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