Marketing – Gangnam-style

Having come from artist management, label and music production (Sanctuary Group) as well as a major label (Sony Music, Europe), now working for marketing agency Anomaly, I thought I would add some thoughts to your article The Sound of the Crowd.

We are living in exciting times, where we are seeing a gradual shift from the bigger (traditionally powerful) entertainment businesses controlling the market via ‘conventional’ push marketing (i.e. from B2C), to a point where there is not just more consumer pull but more opportunity for the consumer to push too (to the point of C2B).

For many years, entertainment companies relied on traditional (often paid-for) channels for marketing. Through the development and growth of sharing (predominantly via social networking), consumers are becoming channels, offering opportunities for entertainment/content to be passed around. This means that ‘good’ entertainment will travel.

This has added benefit for entertainment companies, which have to rely on containing the ‘right’ attributes in order to succeed. While ‘right’ would once have been considered the holy grail and often the most difficult element to get right, social media means we are gradually reaching a point where some of the filtering process to find the right thing can be done online by the public before industry professionals step in to offer further guidance and exploitation.

During a time when businesses are trying to remain financially efficient, the public acting as a filtering process, removing an element of risk for major corporations, has to be music to our ears. Syco has successfully run this model for a few years now, albeit using more conventional methods (such as TV).

American talent manager Scooter Braun’s speed of approach to Psy, just before the mass escalation of ‘Gangnam Style’ is a good recent example of how industry professionals and the artist can benefit from public filtering of an online-driven property. Braun’s involvement will offer longer-term longevity for Psy as well as commercial guidance. I am sure publishers, broadcasters, film studios, record labels and game producers will find themselves having to adapt to the speed needed in order to cope with C2B.

Interestingly, the digital/online platforms available for the exploitation of such entertainment properties become an interesting landscape for brands to occupy, therefore allowing the investment to focus in production of the content, not necessarily the media needed to maximise exposure.

The key is for brands to back the ‘right’ content, which engages at an emotional level and therefore provokes the desire to share. This is what I see as being the most interesting space to watch.

Arnon Woolfson, head of content rights and IP, Anomaly

Rise of the CRO and ultimate accountability…

Dominique Turpin was recently quoted in Marketing Week saying that ‘the CMO is dead’. He pointed to the rising power of the chief financial officer and the lack of accountability for marketing to the bottom line as evidence for why this role is redundant.

I often joke about how I gave myself a made-up title but in truth there is a real weight behind why I’m referred to as the chief revenue officer, rather than chief commercial officer, head of sales or even CMO. My entire career has been spent in sales and marketing and I never thought I would stay up at night worrying about churn rate, cost of sale or gross margin.

When I joined Dyn I was the only commercial member of the team sitting in a room of technical founders. We needed to get the business more traction but, as you can imagine, the marketing budget did not exist. Guerrilla, responsive and relevant marketing campaigns can provide quality leads for a small spend. Even today, we spend 58 per cent of our marketing budget on people because we value a creative marketing strategy with strict ROI targets rather than splashing money on big sponsorship deals that result in no differentiation.

Each member of that team is responsible for growth – they know their number and they set out to hit it. It is shortsighted to think that sales are the breadwinners and the efforts of the marketing team are not tangible. It’s that type of thinking that leads to infighting and lack of collaboration. Anyone client facing or anything revenue impacting falls under my purview, including customer service. It’s all about brand and culture and your people represent that better than any slick communication strategy.

Marketing generated 55 per cent of our new customers in 2012. The more leads we have coming in through marketing, the more the sales reps can focus on welcoming new customers. That is an efficient way to run a business. B2B technology companies spend on average 3.6 per cent of their revenue on marketing; we spend 9.26 per cent. This has jumped over the past four years of rapid growth, but we had to prove it first. In start-ups or subscription-based businesses like ours, this investment couldn’t be more important, as retention is the key.

When you own both the sales and marketing budgets you have the flexibility to prioritise on a wider influence and be able to back this up internally. There is growing respect for the chief revenue officer’s role – ultimate accountability.

Kyle York, chief revenue officer, Dyn

…while data is driver of a new CMO

Dominic Turpin has a controversial point of view that not all marketers will agree with. The role of the CMO has been continually developing over the past 15 years, particularly with the recent emergence of big data. So rather than being usurped it’s merely going through another evolution that sees the skill-set of the CMO expanding to bridge the gap between marketing and technology.

With vast volumes of behavioural data at their fingertips, the CMO of the future needs to ensure that this information is managed and deployed effectively to drive critical business decisions and place customer centricity at the heart of the organisation. It’s this increased level of technical understanding and ability to use information to foster more productive working processes and relationships which makes them essential to the boardroom.

Simon Bowker, managing director, eCircle



Brands salute Wiggins on BBC SPOTY win

Seb Joseph

Fred Perry and Wiggle are the first brands to congratulate Olympic gold medallist and Tour de France Bradley Wiggins after the cycling champion was crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year last night (17 December)


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