Seven issues that need every marketer’s attention right now

Regardless of your brand, your industry or your job title, Rob Morrison argues you need a point-of-view on each of these issues. At least for now.

“You’ve got issues, Morrison.” If I had a dollar for every time I heard that. Sheesh.

But enough about my personal life. Truth is, we all have issues – especially if you’re lucky enough to be a marketer. The toughest thing is that the issue du jour keeps changing. Don’t bask in the glow of today’s success because tomorrow brings a whole new list.

So when today’s issues are tomorrow’s fish and chip wrapper, how do you keep up?

My tip is to do what you’re doing right now. Take a step back. Read the trade press. See what issues other marketers are addressing. And, more importantly, how they’re addressing them. Here’s my top seven issues right now.

 

1. Transformation is table stakes

I’ve written about the struggles of marketers managing transformation in previous columns. The difference now is we’re over the tipping point. As a marketer, if you’re not looking at developing, producing and delivering your message (and your product) via innovative platforms then you may be in trouble. Of course, traditional brands will survive but expect them to be niche, not mainstream. My advice? Be nimble.
Because for every Amazon and Uber there’s a MySpace and a Pandora.

 

2. Making social commercial

Notice how social headlines have been influenced by Buzzfeed? Including my one above. Seven reasons for this. 23 questions on that. What drives social engagement rates is now getting clearer. It’s a maturing medium.

The big question now is, how do you get beyond the listicle and into generating real leads to convert into real business?

Smart marketers realise it’s about business outcomes, not just likes and shares. The trick here is accreditation – where first contact with a customer is via social, record that. At the moment, B2B marketers are doing this well – clearly as their customer volumes are lower.

 

3. The rise and rise of data science

How many times have you heard that ‘data is the new oil?’

Actually, it’s not.

Insight is the new oil. Data is the land you drill to find it. And to do that, you need help. ‘Data scientist’, as a job title is now more important than ‘market researcher’. Why?

Because the right piece of data hasn’t come from a loud-mouth in a focus group. It’s come from real behaviour in the real world. If you’re looking for a data scientist, remember, you don’t need to own them. At least not immediately. There are plenty who work freelance or on short-term contracts.

 

4. Making better-er content

It’s true, the world is awash with content – video, long form, posts, tweets. So how do you give your content the best chance of connecting with your audience?

Make it shorter: we’re trying to get every video under two minutes. Make it authentic: consumers are too smart to fall for ‘snake oil’ tricks any more. And make it timely: address an issue your audience cares about when they care about it.

 

5. Internet of (marketing) things

Human beings are creatures of habit. Our first purchase is like a first date. If it goes well, we’ll come back. IoT is like Tinder for marketers.

The information you gather from one purchase means you can be more compelling on that second date. Or you can break into a relationship your consumer has with another brand. At the moment, IoT is functional. It won’t be for long. If you can spot an opportunity here, don’t be shy. Inventing a widget which links behaviour to sales in your industry is the new Wild West.

 

6. AI becomes BAU

Maybe it’s because I work a lot with IBM Watson, but I’m already seeing the second and third evolution of AI in business. Watson is being put to work in more obvious places like government and research. But is presence is also being found in industries as diverse as aviation and fashion. In marketing AI allows us to crunch huge amounts of information in its purest form – photographs, text, graphs, charts – and
draw down on what the marketplace is doing and saying right now.

AI really does have utility in every industry – even yours.

 

7. Right-time (not real-time) marketing

Car insurance providers have known this for a long time. There’s no point in talking to a customer about renewal or switching unless they’re near the end of their current policy. No matter how compelling and topical your message is, they simply don’t engage.

Marketers are now realising the same is true for almost every industry. It’s the reason we see re-marketing as such a powerful tool online. Do you know when the right time is for your product?

 

That’s it. Agree? Disagree? Got a different list?

Truth is, it’s not important. Just as long as you now have a little extra food for thought. Just remember, regardless of what’s on your list, it will be a completely different list this time next year.

Which is exciting. It’s why we all got into marketing in the first place, right?

 

 

Further reading

 

Image copyright: wavebreakmediamicro / 123RF Stock Photo

Rob Morrison
BY Rob Morrison ON 9 August 2017
Rob Morrison is creative director of OgilvyOne.
  • justin

    Great read Rob. I’m especially thinking about Right Time Marketing. some brands can’t afford ‘always on’ so we want to be ‘always on-time’.

    • Rob Morrison

      I’m gonna shamelessly steal “Always-on-time” Justin. Love that.