HD Marketing

Sharpening the Conversation – The Team and Tools You Need to Market in an Increasingly “Digitally Savvy” World

How do marketer capabilities and relationships need to change as disruptive technologies transform the marketing value chain?
Booz Allen and Hamilton jointly with the ANA, the IAB and the AAAA conducted this study in 2010 with 250 marketers and 75 industry experts. Together, they identified the ways in which the complex media environment is reshaping the marketing ecosystem. And they spotlighted the priorities, capabilities, and partnerships that will be increasingly required across the marketer-agency-media value chain. Here the 6 key trends (% mean agreeing survey participants):

1. Marketing as Conversation. Listen, facilitate, and create advocacy. Marketing is less about pushing messages at consumers and more about co-creating experiences with consumers.

  • The message is only one input to a conversation
  • New digital tools for expression have dramatically expanded their power of voice
  • Advocacy is a more important marketing objective than awareness (+50%)
  • Marketing will be about leveraging and activating consumer groups — turning consumers into prosumers: Brand evangelists, equipped with the right tools and motivations, can be the new 30-second spot
  • Consumer insights are more important now (80%)
  • Generations have shortened from a 10 to a 3 year time frame
  • Currency of consumer segmentation and insight has evolved again—first was demographics, then psychographics, now “behavographics.”
  • Ethnographyshould be part of the marketer’s tool kit (30%)

  • Kevin George, a GM/VP Marketing at Unilever (Axe), says:
  • Observing what customers actually do, rather than what they say they do
  • Changed the culture to one that actively encourages taking risks
  • Start by defining the type of experience we want consumers to have with our brands, then determine the right media channels that deliver that experience
  • More and more digital channels are the best for creating that two-way dialogue
  • The most important thing is that we don’t let the technology drive the strategy
  • Focus from the very beginning on creating a conversation about your brand between consumers, not just brand to consumers
  • Work with retail partners to develop execution strategy two years before launch. That has changed with retail, and it is changing with media companies

2. Media: The New “Creative.” Marketing message distribution—timing, context, and relevance—is as important as creative execution.

  • Media sourcing becomes automated
  • Experimental budgets, media innovation funds, and experimental line items are becoming standard practices.
  • Reduce up-front spends
  • Monitor and adjust both media buys and creative messaging in real-time
  • Media mix should be adjusted every 36 hours
  • Media sourcing will look like the equities market in five years (+50%)
  • ~15% of your budgt for experimental budgets and media innovation funds are critical
  • Centrally controlled innovation fund (25%) with “venture capital–like model”

3. Marketing + Math. Data quality, quantity, and accessibility have brought math to marketing. New digital tools, predictive models, and behavioral targeting will turn insight into foresight.

  • Need integrated databases and PhDs in statistics, quant jocks, engineers & rocket scientists
  • Marketers now all have to understand the power of algorithms
  • One centralized database that overlays CRM, media behavior, and creative effectiveness with granular levels of sales information (80%)
  • Technology, data capabilities, and speed will establish competitive advantage

4. Mind the Gap. Marketing spending in digital media is far from commensurate with consumer behavior shifts—when will the divide between traditional and nontraditional media end?

  • The gap is significant, and it is growing
  • Digital media presents marketers with unique opportunities to engage consumers, generate data, and establish relationships
  • Organizational barriers also contribute to slower change

5. The “Digitally Savvy” Organization. Technology without an aligned organization, the right talent, and a progressive culture is inadequate. Functional skills are rising to the level of brand strategy.

  • Stymied by lack of senior organizational support (+50%)
  • Functional capabilities have become more important across all sectors
  • Recruiting talent with adequate digital knowledge is of top concern

6. The Network Effect. Partnerships and collaboration among agencies, media companies, and marketers will grow in number and depth. New players will assume important roles and continue to reshape the value chain.

  • The entire agency model ‘value network’ is based on the value of an idea, and each agency wants to protect, block, and own that idea
  • Marketers must act as integrators
  • Media and creative agencies should be rebundled, but there is little consensus on the appropriate type of agency to play the lead role (75%)
  • The race to own technology, data, and talent

Here you will find the nature and extent of the changes required.

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