Incremental or transformative change? That is the question.
Incrementalists say marketing departments can only evolve. Improvements must be achieved on a daily basis. The intense, steady pursuit of marketing knowledge and capability gains is the only way to advance marketing effectiveness.
Others say customers have answered the question for us. Their behavior shouts: Either you engage with me or I’m gone. Either you meet me or my company where we are, or you don’t. I’m not waiting for you, I’m going with whoever is ready to engage with me right now. If you’re not ready, I’ll find someone else who is.
Some CMOs respond by saying “it’s both; you need incremental and transformative change.” But this misses the fundamental reality: If you don’t radically transform your approach to marketing, you lose the game. It’s that simple.
Why? One word: digital. Technological innovation is so pervasive and profound that it has changed every facet of human existence. Culture, politics, commerce, interpersonal communcations—every aspect of human life—has been radically changed by technology. Society has been transformed by technology; the change has already happened.
But has your approach to marketing transformed too? Have you made the radical shifts required to be a digitally competent marketing organization? The answer for most companies is no.
The process of getting there starts with the customer…and brutal honesty. For example:
- How customer-centric are we…truly?
- Do we understand the underlying ecosystems that determine the level of digital attention we receive?
- Do we deeply understand the buyer’s journey and personas and how well we currently serve them?
- Are we an omnichannel marketer, or do our channels still compete with each other?
- Where is our marketing effort weak, where is it strong, and what should we outsource?
Marketing Transformation Work Steps Overview
Marketing Transformation Critical Success Factors
- Cross-functional design team (Marketing, Sales, IT, Supply Chain)
- Data-driven assessments
- Real-world hypothesis testing
- C-Suite sponsorship and reviews