With every season… turn, turn, turn

A marketers’ world has typically changed with the turn of generations. However, the past 10 years have produced a chasm of change that have left many marketers reeling in their attempt to adapt.

Early on in the Internet era, people used to joke about “Internet years”, implying that time moved even faster than dog years.

The issue at hand is that online marketers built organizational structures and strategy that were built upon a premise that did not include learned marketing principle, even beyond the “dot bomb” days. Rather than focusing on targeting consumers and their needs, they focused on the optimization and development of technology or communication channels, such as email, banner ads or website.

Today, most online marketers are trying to manage systems that are not designed to address the problems of the day. The issue at hand is a massive shift in the needs and intellect of a consuming public, the developed systems view consumers as a more or less homogeneous group, leveraging the relationship with each across numerous silos. None of which can effectively leverage the learning of the other, or extend the relationship with customers beyond individual transactions.

I have to imagine that any CMO or CEO reading this blog entry would be hard pressed to support their current organizational, technology or budgetary systems as being sufficient. Hind sight is almost always 20/20. However, I wouldn’t necessarily suggest that the solution be a completely disruptive innovation.

As with most things in life, the 80/20 rule is a good approach to leading change. Start with the areas of your business that are most valuable from the perspective of the end recipient, the prospect or customer. Decompose your processes and high-value communication threads, across communication channels, and find the appropriate opportunities to continue a dialog. The solution doesn’t need to be end-to-end, especially from the beginning. Focus on the areas that are high-value and build your approach over time.

In the end, the leading issue to solve is strategic approach. Most companies have an organizational investment in channel based communications, while the solution lies in consumer based needs – acquisition, retention/up-sell.

I’d love to hear your thoughts –

Mark

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