In the last couple of weeks, there has been a tremendous amount of discussion around P&G’s decision to change marketing into br and management.
The consumer products world closely watches whenever P&G announces changes, whether to their strategy, marketing or in this case their organisational structure. As this AdAge article (here) mentions “P&G seems well out in front of the rest of the marketing world — or what used to be known as the marketing world — on this”.
As businesses have become more social, there have been a lot of articles about marketing. Some have spoken about the need for marketing and IT to get together, if not even merge in some way (See this Forbes article). Others have proclaimed the end of the CMO’s position altogether, including the infamous piece by IMD’s President Dominique Turpin “The CMO is Dead ..… Welcome to the CCO”. Then there have been even more articles challenging marketing to show their worth and suggesting metrics to prove their ROI (See Fournaise 2011 study of 600 CEOs or Forrester’s Marketing Performance Management Survey).
The fact that there have been so many different pieces on the topic over the last year or so, suggests to me that marketing is still vital for and extremely attractive to business, but that it is in desperate need of reinventing itself. I believe this is behind P&G’s move.
At the end of last year I wrote a post proposing what I thought would and wouldn’t change and what needs to. Six months on, in light of P&G’s announcement, I thought it useful to review my list:
What will change
- Marketing can no longer work alone in a silo; it needs to become more collaborative and more commercial or business oriented. It can no longer remain fuzzy and hide behind claims that its ROI is difficult to measure.
- anding customer service opportunities” width=”375″ height=”226″ />The sales funnel will be (has already been) replaced by the purchase decision journey, which will be a multi-layered, flexible representation of the route to purchase. For more on this, read “How Great Customer Service Leads to Great Customer Loyalty”.
- Advertising and messaging TO the customer will be replaced by valuable information made available FOR the customer. In line with the longer sales journey and multiple online consultations, communication will become more informative, more useful, more timely.
- Local will no longer be geographic but “Native”. Whether it’s language, habits or interests, customers will be targeted on their similarities that will rarely, if ever, include geographical proximity.
- Mobile web consulting will become the norm, so br and sites need to become adaptive. Content will aim to inform, educate and entertain first and foremost, rather than sell, and websites will become flexible and adaptive to the differing screens and customer needs.
What won’t change
- The customer is still the king, but content joins the ranks in almost equal position, needing more respect and value, and less commoditisation. For a great post on this read “5 Ways Content Marketing Must Change in 2014”.
- Recommendations will remain a vital part of choice and decision-making, but they will no longer come from just friends and family. They will come from organised collection – think TripAdvisor or Angie’s List – or from (self) proclaimed experts through their Blog posts and faithful followers.
- Customer (consumer) underst anding remains vital and in fact the need for underst anding will even increase as customers will be in constant evolution.
What must change
- We are all swamped with messages and information and yet – perhaps because of this – our attention span is declining. Messaging must become shorter and simpler as people use headlines to decide whether or not to stick around.
- In addition to the increased need for informative content, it will need to engage as well as (or is it more than?) inform. Storytelling will become an essential skill for marketers, both internally and externally.
- Wearable technology will totally change our where and when decisions of messaging. The customer will not only be in charge of what messages are received but when to be “visible” to receive them.
- Having changed the sales funnel to a path to purchase, the usual loyalty funnel no longer works. The simple path from awareness to loyalty will be replaced by a constant and consistent battle for trust. What’s more it will never be truly “won” as customers continue to be fascinated by novelty.
- Marketing can no longer depend on creativity alone. It won’t be enough, as if it ever was, and marketers will need to get (even more?) comfortable with their BigData and its usage.
- Customer underst anding will come from multiple sources and market researchers will become underst anding analysts responsible for turning the unstoppable flow of information into the organisation, into palatable morsels of digestible stories.
Although I didn’t predict P&G’s change, it does in fact address most of the above, by combining four functions under the new title of Br and Management: br and management (formerly known as marketing), consumer and marketing knowledge (their name for market research), communications and design. At least by combining these groups under a single leader they will be forced to work less in silos and there should be more and better collaboration. Only time will tell if this move will be successful.
Do you think P&G’s change is the right move? Will you consider doing something similar? I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially if you are, or aspire to the “old” CMO or marketing roles.
If you need help in adapting to the new world of marketing, why not work with one of the new breed of marketers? Someone who combines cultural sensitivity with creativity and technical know-how; a catalyst for the change your organisation needs. Contact us here and let’s discuss your needs.
C³Centricity used an image from Microsoft in this post.