Despite the fact that consumers remain extremely skeptical about marketeers and marketing messages, there is no doubt that marketing remains central to the creation of value for the brand. But, in this changing topsy-turvy world, marketers are going to need to adapt to the new environment, to arrest certain old habits and adopt a new mindset. And, this is absolutely not just about social media. As much as I remain a devout evangelist of digital marketing, it is probable that the term itself, digital marketing – much like many other related terms, like social media – will fade into the distance in the not-too-distant future. The art of marketing will evolve, recapturing an umbrella notion to encompass digital and mobile marketing. The difference will be in the mindset: an attitude that accepts that the customer is more than theoretically at the center of the business.
There are many new marketing terms today that are designed to help in the transition.
If we talk about digital marketing today, it is because there are new people and skills needed, new lines to open on the P&L, and new codes to open for trade accounts/suppliers with the likes of Google (adwords), Yahoo, Microsoft (Bing…) and Facebook (ads).
If we talk about community managers, it is to put the notion of community on the radar and to initiate a more “2.0” collaborative strategy. Of course, it would be wise simultaneously to (re-) put the customer at the center of the organization as well.
If we talk about social search, it is because companies have not understood the need to engage in the social media circles. Giving the concept a name allows it to move from abstract to real in the board room.
Real Time Marketing
If we talk about real time marketing, it is because we are still operating under 3 or 5-year plans and bureaucratic systems that are slow as mollases.
In the future, the term marketing will encompass seamlessly digital marketing, m-mobile and social media marketing. I like the notion of “blended marketing” but even this will become a self-evidence. Community management will happen via everyone in the organization. Search will be social and geolocalized by definition. And real time will be virtually the only time.
The mindset change
Marketing in the future will be a far cry from the way marketing is currently taught in business schools and the way marketers have long been used to practicing. New core skills are needed: Listening, creating content, curating. Social media is like a giant, never ending customer focus group. On top of that, marketers will need to cozy up with the IT folk and customer service people, two groups that still are looked at from the end of the nose in most organizations.
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