October 10, 2018
The State (and Future) of Digital Marketplaces
You can probably recall when the term “modern marketing” felt…modern.
Just conduct an internet search for the term and you can find dozens (probably hundreds) of definitions of modern marketing or modern marketer. Some are clear, others are purposely vague. But consensus? Not happening.
Today, calling yourself a modern marketer is almost reflexive. And as a result, it gets tied up with all kinds of tactics and tools rather than actually defining a newer, differentiated style of marketing. The purpose of the term was to describe a sea change where marketing adopted more science to cultivate its art, enhanced its accountability, and became focused on driving revenue. Perhaps the term was never clear, but it’s now muddled beyond usefulness.
Have a fancy martech stack? Modern. Handy with a spreadsheet? Modern. Building an inbound strategy? Modern. When someone says modern marketing, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a reference to technologies or tactics. It doesn’t communicate the role marketers are now playing.
Marketers are now tasked with three key goals: own and optimize the customer journey, engage customers more deeply, and deliver greater revenue from the customer. Consider these trends.
When you take these trends together, the takeaway isn’t about modernity. It’s about value. Marketers have the mandate to capture more value for their company. They’re expected to capture this business value by providing personalized value to customers when they’re most likely to put a premium on that value. Put more succinctly, marketers are charged with crafting and delivering a virtuous cycle of value between brand and customer.
We need a better term to define this breed of marketer. We need value-driven marketers.
Let’s put this into a more concrete example, consider the eCommerce industry. For marketers in this sector you, of course, need to acquire customers. But as you scale, acquisition evolves into a focus on generating greater revenue and activity from a set of your most loyal customers.
In fact, RJ Metrics found that among top performing eCommerce brands, they generate a greater percentage of revenue from repeat purchasers than new purchasers over time. For lower performers, the repeat and new purchasers essentially flatline.
In this hyper-competitive environment, the key to winning is creating value for the business by offering more value to the most engaged customers. Rather than concentrating resources simply on slick campaigns and acquisition tactics, the marketer must be singularly focused on value: understanding what the customer values, when they most value it, and responding dynamically to the changes in value that occur among customers.
The demand isn’t limited to eCommerce and retail brands. In any competitive market – travel, media, sports, entertainment – this mandate exists. Which is why research firms like Gartner have declared customer experience the new battlefield for brands.
This isn’t simply about adopting new tools and techniques or fancy slogans. It’s about marketing owning the value exchange between the brand and the customer. Not merely perceived value in the form of awareness, but monetary value in the form of revenue and deeper, repeated engagement.
Modern business runs on a continual cycle of value exchange. And in that paradigm modern marketing isn’t enough. It’s time for marketing to step up and drive this cycle. It’s time for value-driven marketers to take the wheel.