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Marketing Today – All hands on the deck

, July 6, 2021, 0 Comments

Marketing is boundaryless, now. Like it or not, it is the product of a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world. So, everything one does is marketing in some way. A product manager needs to focus on design, because that is a key value proposition of the product. At the same time,he/ she is responsible for the go-to-market strategy.

At the same time, customer experience and customer engagement are in many ways extensions of the marketing function. In fact there are CX products that focus specifically on improving marketing effectiveness. Similarly, an HR manager needs to ensure he/she is a strong ambassador of his/her employer brand. Marketing is in everyone’s wheelhouse today.

The complexity of marketing is probably more pronounced in the services sector, more so in IT consulting. Marketing as a tool for demand and lead generation  is like going after that proverbial elusive leopard.  It is one thing to create content extensively and furiously, but quite another to convert that to qualified conversations.

Agreed that content is key to effective marketing. One one cannot think of hitting the field without a proper narrative and the right material. But without properly defining the market, the target audience, and aligning the content to the customer journey, all the great ideas one puts out can fall on deaf ears.

That’s where concepts such as account based marketing (ABM) are considered fail-proof and have become extremely popular. With ABM, the marketer chiefly focuses on specific target customers/accounts who appear most likely to convert, as opposed to mass market ads and generic messaging. ABM targets customers by personas, by industries, by customer journey map. It is tightly interwoven with sales, heavily driven by research and intelligence, and draws upon the benefits of digital marketing.

For example, in my organization, we are running a campaign targeting specific accounts in a CapEx heavy industry, to initiate conversations with them on modernizing their applications and transforming their business. The results have exceeded expectations, even if one were to understate.  We are not just looking at marketing qualified leads, but also seeing real conversations happen, even if hard wrought.

Ultimately, marketing, whether to the end consumer, or to an enterprise, is all about solving a real-world problem. It is as relevant as its ability to solve problems.