Friday, November 18, 2011 | Edited by Daniel Moores
||What's Required of the Next Generation of Marketers
If there's one thing the next generation of marketers -- and even today's marketers -- need to know, it's that you can't just be a marketer anymore.
At one time "you could be a functional expert in one very narrow area of marketing tactics," said Tom Collinger, associate dean and department chair-Integrated Marketing Communications at the Medill School at Northwestern University. "Back in the day, if you were a direct or data marketer or PR specialist, that was enough."
But today, "if you can't understand the breadth of the choices the consumer has and the context of where your strategy fits," then the marketer is at a loss, said Mr. Collinger. "That's relatively new and I don't think that's ever going to go away."
Tomorrow's marketers will have to be well-rounded multi-disciplinarians who understand not only creative, but also digital marketing, social media and new technologies -- and how those all complement one another -- as well as how to back up a plan with data and analytics. Tech geeks are increasingly valued in marketing, and it's no secret procurement and financial management have been a hot-button issue for several years. The answer? Marketers should learn those skills, too.
Ability to read and speak data
Successful marketers five or 10 years from now will have to master relevant disciplines and tools, including those for digital and social media, to develop deep relationships with customers, said Andrew Hayes, CEO and CMO recruiter at executive recruiting firm Russell Reynolds Associates. He said they'll need to be able to "predict the future by leveraging insights, interpreting trends and mining data to consistently develop products and services consumers never really knew they needed or wanted."
And don't forget data as a key component of understanding ROI. "The marketer who is able to track ROI and understand how to manage their marketing group and budget with a ROI mindset -- those are the ones who are going to be the most successful. CEOs expect that now," said Mr. Hayes.
Analytical depth is crucial for tomorrow's marketers "because there's so much data out there," said Sunil Gupta, the Edward W. Carter professor of business and head of the marketing department at Harvard Business School.
Marketers have been starting to change the types of candidates they're looking to hire. General Mills, for instance, has always looked for marketers that build results and inspire marketing teams. What has changed, said Sarah Beaty, director-university recruiting, is that desired candidates have a greater understanding of databases, analytics and social messaging. "The change is quite rapid...We're looking for more learning agility -- the ability to adapt quickly. We look for someone who can not just manage today but can easily adapt to what's next."
Other trends that Andrew Gardner and Evan Kaplan, co-managing partners at Kaplan-Gardner, a recruiting firm specializing in digital marketing, are seeing clients look for are candidates adept at search marketing, as they are increasingly allocating money in that direction; continued interest in marketers who have expertise in localization, such as services Groupon provides; and those versed in portable media and mobile payments like Google Wallet.
Deep understanding of digital
Tomorrow's marketers, especially ones at the executive or CMO level, won't need to know every technological intricacy, but they will need to have a deep understanding of new digital and social-media tools.
"At a high level, you have to have a fundamental understanding of what's happening and what the trends are," said Mr. Kaplan. "You don't need to roll up your sleeves and code HTML 5, but if you're recruiting for those roles, you need to have an understanding."
"If you drive just digital and social media, you're only chasing tactics," noted Patricia Alvey, director-Temerlin Advertising Institute at Southern Methodist University. "We don't believe in angles when it comes to education. We try to prepare young professionals for what's next -- to understand the changing consumer market. If you think about it, it all includes digital."
That notion has influenced the University of Texas-Austin to adapt a more integrated view when it comes to digital's place in the curriculum. "We have courses specifically focused on digital but it's embedded in all of our courses," said Isabella Cunningham, chair of the department of advertising.
So don't think marketers should focus solely on digital and social media at the expense of more traditional advertising. "The digital trend is very much driving the new world order," said Mr. Hayes. "But any CMO you talk to -- they're shifting more money into digital and social, but they'll tell you they're never going to walk away from traditional. The benefit of them is the viral aspect of it, but you can't reach the same number of people at one time as you can, say, in a Super Bowl ad."
Indeed, executives in the industry are noticing a higher demand for those with an integrated mindset, along with data and analytical prowess. "Integrated marketing is becoming a major thrust and the challenge is finding people who can merge online and offline analytics techniques," said Mr. Gardner. "Offline and digital people aren't able to bridge the gap. People who can do that are going to be worth a fortune."
Schooling can only prepare tomorrow's marketers so much. Some industries have specific marketing hurdles that some argue can only be learned through experience. "If you have someone come through with a classical marketing education, and they come into this complicated market full of regulations, that classical education just doesn't work here," said Gary MacDonald, managing director and global head-ETF marketing at State Street Global Advisors, an asset-management company.
Mr. MacDonald said in the financial-services industry there are so many hurdles and restrictions on what companies can and can't promote, not to mention all the disclaimers, that tactics like social media are almost too difficult to employ in the way most companies are using it. He said that SSGA uses social media more for listening to consumers, as well as research, but that "we're starting to get more guidance and people are starting to get more comfortable with a two-way conversation." He added that the restrictions on what can and can't be said in marketing "really force us to be educators. [We] can't be cheerleaders."
(Source: Advertising Age, 11/07/11)
||Domino's Case Study: How to Blend Traditional and Social Marketing
When a new social network is added to a list of countless others, it becomes easier to reach consumers but much harder to engage them.
The release of Google+ pages for business gives business owners yet another social network to worry about updating, tracking and determining how to use it to engage consumers. Even with all of these different networks, it's still not enough to execute a highly effective campaign that will drive consumers through the doors of businesses and build customer loyalty. Social media is effective, but when combined with traditional marketing, the results can be dynamic.
The following is a case study that used social media and traditional marketing to activate the full potential of all relevant social media networks and communication channels to build the most comprehensive social media presence.
Objective: To develop an effective social media presence for 48 local Domino's Pizza locations along with creative engagement to increase the communication and awareness of each Domino's Pizza store within their own specific market and community.
Challenge: These locations had no prior social media presence.
The purpose of the efforts was to engage with consumers on platforms that they frequent the most.
- Launched 48 Domino's Pizza fan pages
- Launched four Twitter pages (one for each market)
- Unlocked all 48 locations on Foursquare
- Unlocked all 48 locations on Yelp
- Unlocked all 48 locations on Urbanspoon
- Claimed all 48 locations on Google Places
- Built custom campaign microsite
Both social and traditional marketing components had detailed connections that drove consumers directly to a store. We did not want to lose anyone at any point during the execution of the campaign. All Facebook fan pages had custom welcome applications that consumers had to "like" to get access to the coupon, which was also hosted on the sweepstakes microsite. After participants provided their information to download the coupon, they had to redeem it at the store.
- Direct mail
- Radio advertising on-air and online
- Buzz badges -- custom in-store social awareness
A loyalty special was launched on Foursquare, which required the consumer to go to the store to unlock the special. Yelp, Urbanspoon and Google Places' role was to reinforce the connection between stores and consumers as well as provide accurate information and eye-catching food photos.
The traditional marketing mediums encouraged consumers to visit the microsite to enter a contest by entering specific information about themselves as well as "liking" their local fan page and tweeting out a custom message that led their followers back to the website. Awareness products were set up at each location to remind walk-up customers that they can connect with their favorite store online and use Foursquare to unlock a special instantly.
An exceptionally effective social media presence and community was created for all 48 Domino's Pizza locations. Their social media presence was extended beyond Facebook and Twitter to Yelp, Foursqaure, Urbanspoon and Google Places. A 360 social media growth was created using a build, engage and grow methodology.
Lesson: It's now more important than ever to bridge the gap between online and offline mediums to not only run successful campaigns but to continue engaging consumers in multiple ways. This will reap loyal consumers, responsive local supporters and the growth of business.
(Source: Andre Kay, CEO and Chief Marketing Officer, Sociallybuzz, 11/11/11)
||Dialing for Deals: Mobile to Play Key Role in Holiday Shopping
Last year at this time most retailers were caught unprepared for the massive mobilization of their customer base.
Once it became apparent that the shopper in Aisle 5 was using her smartphone to scope out the quality of products, find better prices and even order from a rival right in the brand's own store, things changed quickly.
Forget the "year of mobile" blather; 2011 has been the year that retail scrambled to craft apps and mobile Web sites that would recapture customer loyalty before some mobile startup snatched it away.
We're about to see how effectively these companies prepared for holiday 2012, because, according to Mediabrand's Shopper Sciences consultancy, 48% of smartphone-owning shoppers surveyed plan to use their phones more for holiday shopping tasks this year than they did last year. They say that key shopping behaviors -- like product code scanning -- are up 300%.
While online research will continue to drive people into stores, mobile is aligned with bottom-of-the-funnel operations at retail. The phone is now seen by smartphone owners as an in-store assistant. In its survey of 1,055 American adults in mid-October, Shopper Sciences found 39% owning smart phones, only slightly less of a penetration than Nielsen recently cited (43%). Among those smartphone owners, however, a majority (57%) had already used their phones to look up product information in the last six months. More than half (52%) had compared prices, and 47% had searched for coupons. Scanning behavior was on the rise, with 43% having snapped either a product barcode or a mobile 2D code.
Clearly the smartphone is going to have a demonstrable effect at retail, as mobile shopping behaviors become more detailed and integrated with the final buying decision. We already have 40% of smartphone owners using their devices to check store inventory, for instance, Shopper Sciences says. Almost as many (49%) have redeemed a mobile coupon. And perhaps most revealing, almost a quarter of smartphone owners in this survey (24%) say they have already made a purchase on their phones.
Most remarkable to me is how tightly clustered the major shopping-related behaviors are in this survey. Close to half of smartphone owners are already comfortable with some of the most powerful in-store mobile activities. In other words, in designing apps and sites for customers, it is hard to imagine a retailer going too deep and offering its customers too much.
The rules of simple design and usability must always apply, of course. But customers appear ready to wield incredible amounts of control and power in the shopping experience via mobile devices. The challenge for marketers will be in figuring out how this taste for mobile power integrates with a store's own marketing plans and the capabilities of their own stores and sales forces.
Having store clerks cock their heads in puppy dog wonderment when customers show them their own companies' mobile Web sites on their smartphones is still too common at retail.
(Source: Steve Smith, Mobile Marketing Daily, 11/04/11)
Daily Sales Tip: How Did People Live Before...
I had a young salesman say to me the other day, "How did people live before LinkedIn?" The comment was in reference to his prospecting techniques that included a deep dive into the personal and professional life of prospects before calling for an appointment.
With so much information available online from sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr, as well as subscription directories like The List, there is no reason to make a cold call again.
The question we need to ask ourselves before picking up the phone: "Did I spend enough time researching this prospect to make a professional impression, make a personal connection, and get an appointment?"
Source: John Potter, VP/Training, RAB