The One Thing Marketers Must Do To Survive and Thrive

marketers thrive

Technology changes have completely transformed our world. And now, traditional marketing approaches no longer work.  We’ve been disrupted.

–> As brainy marketers, what do we need to do?

A recent study conducted by a partnership with SAP, The CMO Club and Human 1.0, helps to lend some tangible insights and concrete actions to guide marketers like me…and maybe like you. Here’s the gist…

Conventional marketing focused on brand. While there is great value in building brands, the way to do it got disrupted.

Today, branding is shaped by external conversations that create transparency and vulnerability for organizations. That is change one. Simultaneously, a marketer’s mission has expanded beyond the brand. Today, marketers are required to drive profitable growth.

–> Marketers must learn how to drive growth.

In order to become proficient in growth, marketers need to adapt and evolve. A new mindset, skill set and toolkit are needed.

This is a do-over:  a new class of marketer is required.


Where to Focus

According to the recent SAP and The CMO Club – Human 1.0 study, there are thirteen dimensions that define the DNA of a growth marketer.   Of these thirteen dimensions, four critical elements are the drivers of a growth DNA:

  • Develop New Talent
  • Advance Omnichannel Capabilities
  • Promote A Data-Driven Culture
  • Create Market Centricity

–> Successful marketers will be highly competent in these four areas.

1. Develop New Talent

“Behind every great person…are a bunch of other people.”  Unknown

Marketing greats know how to build teams that are both diverse and cohesive.  Given the breadth of marketing responsibilities, knowing how to attract and develop teams that tick is a survival tactic to get from today to tomorrow.  By encouraging different perspectives, employing millennials and boomers, creating programs to mentor and reward, your team loyalty and impact will increase.  You need a marketing team that gels together from disparate viewpoints in order to deliver growth.

2. Advance Omnichannel Capabilities

“There are opportunities everywhere.”  Charles Filmore

Customers are using many concurrent (and often anonymous) ways to connect with companies.  Companies need to stitch together the customer persona and experience across all of these channels. As Madhur Aggarwal, VP, Growth Marketing, SAP, states, “79% of consumers now spend at least 50% of total shopping time researching products online”. Even while in stores, consumers will shop online before purchasing offline in the store.

As marketers, we need tools to listen, connect and engage. Leading marketers are employing adaptive content and unifying customer experiences across all touch-points.

3. Promote A Data-Driven Culture

“Culture drives great results.” Jack Welch

We all know that data-driven insights can produce better marketing results. Leveraging data across the organization is a different animal.  It requires a cultural shift that starts at the top and the roots of an organization so that better decision-making, driven by facts, is embraced and valued throughout a company.

4. Create Market Centricity

“The customer’s perception is your reality.”  Kate Zabriskie

Understanding and socializing the market forces – customer, prospect, partner, competitor and beyond – is core to driving growth.  Organizations who continually prioritize internally-based items will remain stuck in status quo.  Growth-oriented marketers help cement external requirements as the heart and soul of an organization.

Call To Action

“Talk doesn’t cook rice.” Chinese Proverb

For marketers, change is not optional.  Understanding where and how to focus your time and energy to “skill-up” to be a growth marketer is essential.  The blueprint is clear:  start with these four areas.

How will you recreate your marketing self to be a growth marketer?


Sandra Zoratti

Sandra Zoratti is an award-winning business leader/CMO, author, accomplished speaker and was honored with the Business Marketing Association’s 2012 Marketer of the year. She built and launched the data-driven marketing practice, "Precision Marketing" from the ground up and published her book on the topic in June 2012. Sandra has a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration.

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