Reinventing the 3Ps of Digital Marketing

Over the last few weeks I’ve had the plea­sure of attend­ing and pre­sent­ing at a num­ber of the Adobe Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Sym­posia around Europe. We’ve had an incred­i­ble turnout of peo­ple at each of the events which have been held in some icon­ic loca­tions such as the Berns Hotel in Stock­holm and the EYE in Ams­ter­dam. While it’s great to see large num­ber of dig­i­tal mar­keters and tech­nol­o­gists attend­ing our events, it’s even bet­ter to hear them mak­ing new con­nec­tions, meet­ing our part­ners and dis­cussing their chal­lenges and tri­umphs with peers. I tru­ly believe that one of the best things that atten­dees to our events receive is this oppor­tu­ni­ty to mea­sure them­selves against their con­tem­po­raries and gain reas­sur­ance that they aren’t alone in their cor­po­rate and per­son­al quests to rein­vent them­selves and mas­ter dig­i­tal marketing.

Mar­ket­ing Rein­ven­tion Continues

I man­aged keynote con­tent for much of the Sym­posia, aim­ing to build upon the Adobe Sum­mit 2014 theme of rein­ven­tion. The mes­sage that we’re hear­ing loud­ly and clear­ly from mar­keters these days, is that the pace of change is still incred­i­ble and that stay­ing ahead of the con­sumer, in order to give them what they want, is increas­ing­ly chal­leng­ing. In our Sym­posia dis­cus­sions, we explored how the tech­nol­o­gy land­scape has changed dra­mat­i­cal­ly even in the last few months, with bea­cons increas­ing­ly look­ing like the bridge between the on and offline expe­ri­ence, smart­phones play­ing an ever-more impor­tant role in the cus­tomer jour­ney and con­nect­ed devices start­ing to present new oppor­tu­ni­ties for marketers.

Growth Hack­ing Your Way to Success

One sug­ges­tion offered for mit­i­gat­ing the tech­nol­o­gy land­scape is to take a leaf out of the ‘growth hack­ing’ play­book. If you’re not famil­iar with growth hack­ing, then I encour­age you to at least take a look at this site or con­sid­er attend­ing one of the growth hack­ing con­fer­ences . Growth hack­ing has been born out of the lean start­up cul­ture and takes some well estab­lished prac­tices such as SEO (search engine opti­miza­tion), A/B test­ing, social media and con­tent mar­ket­ing and applies them all at once in a con­cert­ed effort to gain mar­ket share. This strat­e­gy cre­ates a mar­ket pres­ence in a cheap and effi­cient way, which can then be used as a foun­da­tion on which to adopt more main-stream busi­ness prac­tices and the future of the com­pa­ny. Clear­ly, growth hack­ing requires a cer­tain approach to mar­ket­ing based on agili­ty and a will­ing­ness to fail fast—understandably not always char­ac­ter­is­tics of large corporations—but there is a great deal that can be learned from its methods.

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Peo­ple, Process, Product

As an alter­nate, we dis­cussed the need for larg­er orga­ni­za­tions to con­cen­trate on the tried and true mantra of peo­ple, process and prod­uct ‘The Ulti­mate Mar­ket­ing Machine,’ a July/August arti­cle in the Har­vard Busi­ness Review, por­trayed some unique ideas on the way in which the mod­ern mar­ket­ing orga­ni­za­tion could, and pos­si­bly should, be think­ing about the peo­ple and roles with­in. The authors advo­cate the cat­e­go­riza­tion of these peo­ple into groups based on the labels, think, feel and do. ‘Thinkers’ are the ana­lysts, mod­el­ers, testers and the data sci­en­tists; ‘feel­ers’ are focused on usabil­i­ty, cus­tomer expe­ri­ence and increas­ing­ly on cus­tomer ser­vice; and ‘doers’ are the peo­ple design­ing dig­i­tal con­tent and build­ing your apps—the inter­face between your brand and your con­sumer. What’s also required—as cit­ed by Brad Rencher, SVP and GM Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing at Adobe, in his speech at dmex­co 2014—is hav­ing a mar­ket­ing ‘generalist,’—theperson who sits between all of these roles and inter­prets the busi­ness needs to bring every­thing togeth­er. The point is that now is a good time to think about our roles and the role of mar­ket­ing in gen­er­al, even if it doesn’t say ‘mar­ket­ing’ on your busi­ness card.

When it comes to process, the HBR also advo­cates a reassess­ment of marketing’s impor­tance to the orga­ni­za­tion and per­haps even its place as well. Suc­cess­ful orga­ni­za­tions are mak­ing bold deci­sions to place mar­ket­ing along­side oth­er key func­tions such as cus­tomer ser­vice and IT; in fact, Motorola’s CMO is also the CTO and Sony recent­ly moved to place cus­tomer ser­vice under the remit of the CMO. In our expe­ri­ence, the most suc­cess­ful orga­ni­za­tion have made moves to build bridges between IT and the office of the CMO, in some cas­es co-locat­ing IT resources with­in the mar­ket­ing depart­ment. What­ev­er your view, the brand can only ben­e­fit from tighter inte­gra­tion of inter­nal depart­ments who are all bought in to a com­mon goal.

Core Ser­vices through Adobe Mar­ket­ing Cloud

It prob­a­bly won’t sur­prise you to learn that we looked at prod­uct through the lens of Adobe’s Mar­ket­ing Cloud, and more specif­i­cal­ly the inno­va­tions that we’ve been mak­ing in the area of core ser­vices {link to core ser­vices on}. These core ser­vices are help­ing to define what it means to have a mar­ket­ing cloud rather than a col­lec­tion of SaaS tech­nolo­gies, and For­rester saw this as one of the stand­out areas of devel­op­ment, and some­thing that has helped us to estab­lish our­selves as a leader, in the For­rester Enter­prise Mar­ket­ing Soft­ware Suite Wave.There’s much more to core ser­vices than I can cov­er here, but if you’d like to see them in action, take a look at our Lon­don Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Sym­posia here, as we’ll get access to the oth­er record­ings and slides.

If you were able to join us at the events, thank you for help­ing to make them some of the best that we’ve held; and if not, then I hope that you’ll con­sid­er it when we run our next set of Symposia.