The new marketing department

A recent Forrester report concludes that “…business-to-business (B2B) heads of marketing who improve their team’s agility and simplify peer working relationships will enjoy more executive confidence….key to this transition will be their ability to span organisational silos and focus corporate strategy, energy and budget on enhancing knowledge of, and engagement with, customers.”

An urgent challenge content creators and marketers face today isn’t working out the new “normal” but rather how to build agile marketing departments that are equipped to respond to the unknown and unpredictable. Research supports this; for example, the Forrester report found that 97 percent of marketers are doing things they’ve never done before, and the same number are seeing a dramatic gap in the breadth and depth of skills needed.

It’s about change, not scale. We’re now at the point where we need to stop worrying about skillsets and start hiring for mindsets. We need to approach our marketing departments less like a machine to be controlled and more like a complex, dynamic system that can learn and adapt over time. This is the path to building fluid, organic processes that respond to new buyer behaviour, rather that the rigid structures with which we’re familiar. Companies around the world fueled by agile marketers are disrupting marketplaces, gaining customers bu subtle influencing and eclipsing their competition.

Agile marketers will serve as the agents of change that enable enterprises to respond to — and even lead — evolving customer expectations. This is how we’ll create truly integrated approaches in which content marketers are the ones who orchestrate all channels in an organisation so as to build long-lasting customer relationships.

By the way, this is called social business.

Email reinforces social network marketing

Given the popularity of the social network environment in B2B marketing, where the LinkedIn audience has more than doubled in the past year and even Facebook has become a de facto business network, B2B marketers are reconsidering the social network environment*.

What does this mean for email marketers? Does communication through social network channels make well-planned email marketing campaigns redundant?

Definitely not!

House lists still contain considerable marketing equity and, while social networks may play a part in attracting audiences, email is essentially a retention marketing channel. Once attraction through networking  is converted into a sales cycle, well-planned email messages help prospects through the sales pipeline.

Existing customers may well see brands in a new light through social networking effort but, ultimately, it will be quality email communication that will maximise retention.

*  According to eMarketer Reports