The pandemic affected individuals and businesses in so many ways, but one of the biggest impacts on marketing was the profession grew its role as custodians of customer experience. Business leaders realised they had to put a lot of effort into keeping up with changing customer needs and expectations – and in real time. More and more, leadership teams turned to marketing for those insights.
Marketers are now the connective tissue that enables collaboration across departments so the business can deliver on overall customer experience. We’ve always had engagement with sales, but we’re now connecting far more powerfully and effectively with service, human resources and other teams.
All through this change, marketers were learning, building digital muscle memory across multiple channels as we worked tirelessly to identify what was working and what was not.
Going forward, it’s clear the profession will need to keep learning new skills and competencies. We need people who not only have the right digital and analytics skills, but also people who have emotional intelligence and empathy.
Excellent marketing requires great technology
Marketing is at the stage where technology to help meet customer expectations is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ — it’s a necessity.
What types of technology? Artificial intelligence (AI) is a must to deliver deep insights in real time, whether that insight is for the purpose of helping drive the next best actions or helping automate customer interactions, for instance.
If digital technology is used to help with customer segmentation, lookalike modelling, making a customer experience relevant or personalised, it’s likely fuelled by AI technologies.
Another vital technology is the customer data platforms that help to visualise, unify and segment organisational data. These are the platforms that ultimately enable the delivery of exceptional customer experiences.
Data analytics is essential in terms of the need to understand what is working and what is not. Finally, a lot of the tools that help with social media marketing and video are also fundamentals in the modern marketer’s toolkit.
But it’s still about people
Don’t be fooled, though. While tech is essential for us to do our jobs effectively, marketing is about satisfying very basic, but constantly evolving, human desires and needs.
Look at corporate culture and brand reputation, for example. Since before the pandemic, consumers have been far more conscious of who they buy from and who they do business with. The pandemic accelerated this trend. High-performing businesses, customers realise, are values-led and authentic, and boast business practices that help to make the world a better place.
You don’t want to be a brand that pretends to be something it’s not, because that means your marketing cannot possibly come across as authentic. You only need to be caught out in an untruth once, and suddenly every marketing message from then onwards exists under a cloud of doubt, with all trust gone.
That need for authenticity, trust and a sense of community is innately human. So is the need for evidence, and that’s something marketers have to continue to prioritise in everything they do.
How do marketers show their value?
While we might know everything we bring to the table, it’s also important we show others in the business the myriad ways our work contributes to business performance, growth and strategy.
It can be hard, as some of our outputs or results are hard to quantify. However, it’s important that marketers amplify their voices and demonstrate their expertise.
Evidence and influence really comes down to being able to speak the language of others, to know and understand what matters most to your audience – and that’s where marketers excel. It’s the bread and butter of the profession.
It’s also a big part of the reason we have produced our new ebook, 50 Pro Marketing Tips for 2021.
Our best resource is each other
Over the past few months, Salesforce has tapped into the expertise of some of Australia and New Zealand’s top marketing minds to glean insights and lessons learned by those at the forefront of this changing role of the profession.
We’ve boiled down the top 50 insights, all practical and immediately useful, into the ebook 50 Pro Marketing Tips for 2021.
We’ve organised the tips into four useful themes that cover the breadth and depth of the marketing profession. Here’s a teaser of some of the tips you’ll find inside.
Theme 1: Improving ROI, attribution and reporting
Good marketers all have in common the fact that they want to put the customer at the centre of everything they do. And when the customer is kept at the heart of our efforts, it’s easier to see pathways for business growth. But no single one of us has all of the answers.
This ebook shares challenges, experiences and solutions. Even if they’re not challenges a marketer has faced, there will be plenty of knowledge for them to take from the shared wisdom.
Gain the benefits from the combined insights of many of the best and brightest in the business. Download your free copy of 50 Pro Marketing Tips for 2021 here.