The future of marketing

I read this article by Tom Goodwin in the Guardian at the tail end of last year. It’s all about the onslaught of digital marketing and our deference to it as marketers. Goodwin talks about how people with the skills to execute cutting edge and relevant digital marketing campaigns – often people that are young and techy – slot into the wider marketing landscape.

I found myself nodding my head all the way through the article. I completely agree that many marketers are lacking knowledge about what they can achieve with technology – and it’s hard to come up with an innovative Snapchat campaign if you think that it’s something to do with a card game you enjoyed when you were five. It’s then not a huge jump to start believing that the folk that do know all about this stuff are the new marketing experts. But, like Goodwin, I don’t believe that marketing’s future lies in the hands of 20-year-old graduates.

What has always been and still is most important is the overarching marketing strategy, the thought behind a campaign. At Dynam, we’re all about clear thinking. Here’s our (simplified) take on putting together a marketing strategy:

  • Stage 1: Look at what’s been done in the past and where you are now
  • Stage 2: Decide exactly what it is you want to achieve
  • Stage 3: Split up your audience into sensible groups
  • Stage 4: Work out your key messages
  • Stage 5: Decide on the best way to get those messages to the different audience groups
  • Stage 6: Check if it’s working

At Stages 1 – 3, you need people with marketing experience and sector-specific knowledge. At Stage 4, you need your best ideas people, your copywriters, designers and account managers. And at Stage 5, you need the people that know how get those ideas out there. Media buyers, social media experts and yes, those digital-savvy youngsters.

You also need somebody to oversee the whole process, and that’s where experience comes in to its own. Those that have been around a bit longer are usually better at taking the birds eye view, slotting digital marketing into an overall marketing strategy. They also know how to collaborate, influence and persuade, when to concede and when to stick to their guns.

Goodwin’s article rightly points out that it’s always the ideas that are key. As an agency full of creative thinkers, we’re definitely jumping on this bandwagon. When it comes to any marketing campaign, once you’ve got the idea you can work out how to communicate it. This is no chicken and egg situation: the idea always comes first, the execution second. It’s not an excuse for ignoring the digital revolution – all marketers need to keep up-to-date – but knowing what Vine does is no replacement for taking a considered, holistic approach to your marketing.