You can now get your hands on The Marketing Century – out this week – a compilation of expert insight across a wide gamut of marketing and PR related topics to celebrate the centenary of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). The chapter outline here is based on the book's introduction.
I'm delighted to have authored the chapter on digital marketing, and I'm more than happy to answer any questions you may have on reading it.
1. Strategic Marketing (Martha Rogers and Don Peppers, Peppers & Rogers Group)
The Marketing Century opens with a clear statement from Don Peppers and Martha Rogers: it is vital that organisations put customers at the heart of what they do, both in the long-term and the short-term. To create value, firms must lift their sights from the typical focus on current profits and instead start seeing customers as the company's long-term resource – looking at each customer in terms of the long-term return they generate. A long-term strategy for marketing – one that focuses on customer equity and not solely on current profits – can provide marketing with the context and objectives needed to maximise the overall value created by each customer.
2. Segmentation (Professor Malcolm McDonald)
Malcolm explains that all organisations need a better understanding of all their customers and the complexity of the market, and this is where market segmentation is critical. There is a general lack of understanding about market segmentation and especially the real needs of customers in mature markets. This leads organisations to trade on price and, therefore, makes them behave as if they were in a commodity market. This is the whole point of market segmentation: competing only on price assumes that price is the main requirement of customers, whereas this is rarely the case.
3. Innovation (Professors John Saunders and Veronica Wong)
John and Veronica explain how innovative companies succeed: what they do to ensure success, the pitfalls they avoid and the lessons that others can learn from them. The challenges of commercialisation and taking new products to market are also described. With the twin forces of globalisation and technology giving rise to some of the most significant, memorable and valuable business developments, innovation is an essential aspect of marketing. It has come to be viewed as equivalent to new product development, but any new activity that improves the organisation by adding value for customers is important.
4. Digital Marketing (Philip Sheldrake)
Technology and advertising feature strongly in this chapter. This was almost too long to write, such is the burgeoning volume of technological opportunities, influences and challenges that are shaping the next marketing century. It is essential because technology is enabling so much modern communication, leading to greater knowledge and understanding. Computers power the Internet and modern telecommunications, providing an infrastructure that delivers consumer content, conversations, applications and services. This, in turn, has attracted mass involvement and participation, which has led us to digital marketing and its language of persuasion. Digital marketing encompasses a wide range of platforms, media, channels, tools, services and applications. This chapter provides an expert guide to the past, present and future, highlighting some of the most significant, interesting or impactful developments.
5. Sales and Business Development (Beth Rogers)
Beth eloquently address the fact that selling has often not received the recognition or respect it deserves during the last 100 years. The point is one of extremes: when is bad it is ghastly, and when it succeeds and is at its best it is a triumph. However, between these extremes it is still never less than essential. This chapter provides a fascinating guide to the development of sales, what makes a great sale and salesperson, as well as the changing character of selling. This echoes points made in other chapters and different contexts: selling, like so much in modern marketing, relies on a trusted, ethical approach, innovation and the capacity to build profitable long-term relationships based on a clear understanding of the customer. It is also where 'the rubber hits the road' and connects a wide range of activities in the organisation. For that reason, it is both strategic and tactical: an issue that is recognised as being important by everyone from the chief executive to the most junior new recruit.
6. Customer Relationship Management (Professor Merlin Stone)
The CRM chapter takes up the point that customer insights and relationships are a vital, influential component of business success. Merlin explains that the value of CRM lies in its ability to help businesses improve their understanding of their customers. Organisations that do this effectively are more competitive and profitable because they are better able to segment and appeal to different customes, develop and maintain profitable customer relationships, decide how to handle unprofitable customers and customise their offer and promotional their offer and promotional efforts. Achieving success often requires sophisticated technology and analytical skills, but by enabling organisations to focus on how they interact with customers, CRM enhances the customer experience and builds long-term customer value.
7. Branding (Graham Hales, Managing Director, Interbrand London)
The concepts of dialogue, understanding and trust form an important element of this chapter. Graham defines a brand as a living assets that is brought to life across all touchpoints, which, if properly managed, creates identification, differentiation and value. Brands matter for many reasons: they raise awareness of a product or service; they show what is distinctive about the product or business; and they convey emotional relevance, making the case for a purchase against other alternatives. The fact that they can influence choices can result in price premiums, loyalty and advocacy that will create revenue and profit for the owner, building brand equity and shareholder value. The evolution of branding is interesting and even today it is a keenly debated subject, perhaps because a brand often conveys what is is that a society values at a given moment in time.
8. Advertising (Jonathan Gabay)
Jonathan makes the point that during the marketing century advertising has changed drammatically: not just in style but in its approach, meaning and substance. What started as a tool controlled by the few to reach the many has undergone a transformation – one that is still happening – with technology enabling consumers to choose the advertising campaigns and brands they allow into their lives. This changing relationship and shift in power require an increasingly sophisticated, subtle approach, one that draws on technology and a clear understanding of people and behaviour. From its earliest days advertising was closely connected with psychology, focusing on influence, persuasion and the benefits of understanding human behaviour.
9. Public Relations (Paul Mylrea, Head of Press and Media Relations at BBC)
The forces of technology and globalisation combine with the need for an ethical approach in both life and work in this chapter. Clearly, much has been achieved and gained in 100 years of marketing, but accusations of propaganda and 'spin' have often been in the background of PR, even as its popularity and value have grown. Good public relations remain critical and this insightful, intelligent chapter explains that PR is an essential aspect of organisational life because it is about creating dialogue and generating understanding between an organisation and it publics. It facilitates a relationship and enables people to participate in a genuine conversation, with all that implies. It is the discipline that looks after reputation. Just as an individual might engage in a conversation or dialogue to express a view, persuade, influence, enquire, challenge, manage expectations or understand, all the while staying true to their own values, so it is with PR at an organisational level.
10. Internal Marketing (Keith Glanfield)
A subject that at one time would have easily been misunderstood is increasingly recognised as being an essential, indispensable way of achieving short-term profits and long-term growth, as well as greater efficiency, brand equity and shareholder value. Marketing can be seen as a single thread that runs throughout the organisation, connecting everything that happens internally with customers and others outside the business. This marketing thread needs to be consistent, it needs to inform and set standards, it needs to be real and present. Above all, it shapes the culture – the way things are done – and this affects key messages, branding, positioning and the way the business appears. Issues of trust, loyalty, customer relationships, perceptions and appeal all benefit from greater internal dialogue, understanding and marketing.
11. Marketing and Sustainability (John Grant)
Sustainability is an issue that has always been present but has come to greater prominence relatively recently. John makes the point that while brand marketing and sustainability are often thought of as opposites (the former urges people to consume more, the latter to consume less), it is far from a simple case of two entirely separate and contradictory domains. Like many cultural opposites, brands and sustainability are intertwined.
12. Social Marketing (Paul White and Veronica Sharp)
This chapter explains how marketers tackle some of society's most challenging problems by using commercial marketing practices together with other techniques to change the behaviour and attitudes of individual – no small task. Veronica Sharp recognises the impact of marketing and the difference it can make: in particular, the fact that it adds genuine value and is increasingly used to improve the quality of people's decisions and lives. The concept succeeds by recognising that people do not operate in isolation. Social marketers have to overcome significant barriers to change and deeply ingrained attitudes, often among the most disadvantaged in society. To achieve this, they merge marketing with insights from social science to devise new types of marketing campaign that influence people's behaviour and devisions.