In the past 10 years, no job has changed as much as the marketer’s.
The rise and fall of various social media channels, the influx of consumer-generated content, the exponential growth of accessible data and the availability of technology tools and solutions for marketers are calling for a new kind of marketer–what I like to call the “Informed Marketer.”
Joining the ranks of today’s informed marketers isn’t about putting in more hours, having high klout on social sites, or spending big bucks on marketing efforts. It has to do with understanding who you are as an organization and what your brand stands for, what problem your solution solves, who your ideal customer is and how they want to be communicated with. Informed marketers achieve a single view of their prospects and customers by leveraging all the data they’re collecting daily. What’s more, they use this collective understanding to integrate marketing tactics that create more personal relationships with the individuals and companies they touch.
To succeed today, businesses must build engaged relationships with customers and prospects. Through this lens, the informed marketer reaches prospects and customers in a more thoughtful, personal and strategic way, to turn relationships into revenue-generating streams.
So, what makes an informed marketer? Here are some traits I’ve come to attribute to those marketers who are truly a step above:
- The ability to think and act strategically. Informed marketers have a broad view of marketing that’s not bogged down in the tactics of executing daily campaigns, meeting specific metrics, and checking to-dos off a list. While marketers have many things to do in an impossibly limited amount of time, informed marketers act with knowledge. They are privy to and understand corporate goals and formulate marketing strategies that align with these goals. In order to drive value to the organization, they step outside the marketing department box and think big. They then develop integrated marketing strategies to drive stronger, more engaged prospect and customer relationships. The key is understanding market dynamics, corporate goals and, most importantly, customers.
- A focus on the customer lifecycle. The informed marketer understands the inherent weakness of the marketing funnel: it only targets individuals who enter the funnel through marketing efforts and ignores other sources of revenue. Informed marketers accommodate other revenue drivers, such as repeat business, customer referrals, upsells and cross-sells. Today, most sales that close are not sourced from marketing, yet companies continue to allocate the majority of their marketing spend on filling the funnel with new leads. Focusing on the customer lifecycle–the path a customer takes from initial contact to having a fully-engaged relationship with your brand–enables the informed marketer to communicate with customers across all channels at every stage to further engagement and drive revenue.
- The use of technology to understand and market to customers. The informed marketer is a technology enthusiast who understands that technology is an enabler of good marketing. Marketing is an art, but it’s also a science. Informed marketers embrace the science of marketing by exploring available tools and technologies. While technology enables the management of marketing tactics, it’s biggest value is its ability to guide marketing strategy. Technology should be used to understand the customer, evaluate where they are in their relationship with your brand and to identify their needs and wants. These findings fuel the informed marketer’s messaging and communications, which technology automates. This allows marketers to reach prospects and customers with specific messages that are relevant to them, creating one-to-one, engaged relationships that drive more revenue.