Marketing is at the forefront between the firm and its present – as well as prospective – markets. It is the organisational function that absorbs a lot of the environmental turbulence. But the question is how will the activities, responsibilities as well as design of the marketing organisation evolve in the future of the digital world?
The answers will emerge from the interaction of three driving forces with the unique characteristics of each firm’s strategy, legacy, in addition to the dynamics of their market. These driving forces are the following:
- Impact of digital technologies,
- Evolving role of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) as a member of the C-suite, as well as
- Emerging organisational designs.
A Completely Different Customer Journey
In the digital era of today, consumers have a completely different journey than the one that they used to be on.
What we marketers term the ‘marketing funnel’, where at the top consumers are becoming aware of the product through marketing and then express interest in the middle before buying at the bottom, is obsolete.
The new model is referred to as the customer decision journey, which is a term that was coined by McKinsey & Co. Now a customer is able to spot a new product on Facebook or come across it on Pinterest and then decide to buy it based on hundreds of customer reviews on Yelp, Amazon, or TripAdvisor. Some individuals may even watch a video blogger who is testing a product on YouTube.
Once a possible buyer has sifted through the many reviews, they are able to buy the product on their preferred social media network. Then they post a review of the product online, tweet pictures of themselves with it, tell their friends about it on Facebook and so on.
Marketing’s Changing Digital Frontier
Marketing is now one of the most technology-dependent functions in the business.
In 2012, Gartner made the prediction that CMOs would be spending more on digital technologies as opposed to the chief information officer in the following five years. Approaches for analysing markets – as well as interacting with customers – that were at the cutting edge a few years ago are fast becoming obsolete. New approaches seem to emerge weekly. The general nature of these new approaches is known widely. What is less appreciated is how they are changing marketing practice.
The new digital era is turning marketing, as we know it, on its head. However, this doesn’t mean that you just need to set up a Facebook page and hoping for the best. Digital transformation affects every single part of an organisation and its marketing.
Is your organisation on the right path or do you need to digitally transform?
Right now, more than ever before, in order to become an effective marketer in the digital era it is necessary for you to think like your customers, go where they go, let them do the talking as well as improve their experience.
DSM is the only college to offer accredited education in the digital arena. We are accredited by the MICT SETA. We invite you to visit our website so that you can see how we can help you supercharge your career!
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