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.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here