Geeks of the Marketing Stack: Unite!
Geeks rule! We’ve all heard that information is power and this has never been more true in today’s digital age as we race to unearth the intelligence to make better decisions more quickly and with greater purpose.
Embracing our inner geek is critical and the most effective marketers are already making this a priority and evolving the very role of marketing itself.
For many marketers, however, the penny has not yet dropped. Depending on which study you have read over the last two or three years, 70 to 80% of the purchase decision is now made before picking up the phone or contacting sales. “Old news”, I hear you all cry, but what does it actually mean to marketing teams? It means opportunity, baby!
The tide is turning in the favour of the intrepid CMO. In a small but growing number of enterprises, marketing is demonstrating the power to manage and influence that 70 to 80% and can prove it by tracking, monitoring, analysing and responding to real-time data as the customer leaves their digital footprint. Marketing is now capable of bringing a whole new ball game to the boardroom table.
I’m not suggesting this is an easy thing to do, as it requires attitudinal, organisational and a whole host of other critical factors to be aligned, not to mention a team of talented people with a common purpose and vision of how things need to get done.
We are already seeing growth in marketing agencies (like The Crocodile) and client-side departments capable of delivering systems integration, tying together software platforms – including marketing automation software, CRM systems, data management platforms, content platforms and analytics tools – into what is known as the Marketing Stack.
The Stack offers a marketing approach that can make sense of customer behaviour, plan for it and deliver commercial success from it. The geek factor requires us to be interested and curious, to intellectually challenge convention, to embrace technology and data, to be excited by analytics, and to challenge the logic of department silos. We don’t see connecting Marketing and IT as the destination – instead we see it as a step in a much bigger customer experience picture. Econsultancy wrote an interesting piece on how this might impact organisational structure http://bit.ly/1afhRMw.
An integrated Marketing Stack can converge data and – with human intervention – help to provide critical insight about the target market. Not only does this allow marketing to serve relevant and personalised messages to the right people at the right time, it can also – over time – help to anticipate their needs and perhaps even create products the customer base didn’t even know it wanted. Organisations such as Amazon and Netflix have been living this promise for some time now and Tesco have recently created a new Chief Customer Officer (CCO), so it’s not a flight of fantasy. It’s very real and it’s happening as we speak.
At The Crocodile, we’re involved in this transformation with a number of our clients and we are (gently) challenging the role of marketing. The geek in us forces us to take a holistic approach to platforms and technology with a view to designing and implementing Marketing Stacks that use the Force, sorry, data and transform it into actionable intelligence.
It’s not a quick fix, or necessarily an easy transformation, but we believe in it and have signed up to the movement.
Long live the marketing geek revolution!