7 traits to win today and tomorrow, a marketers guide to survive disruption.

My Post-3.jpg

Recently, I was invited to go back to my undergrad Alma Mater – Miami University to speak to students and faculty. The ask of me was simple…(err well kind of) The world of technology with things like Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, and Blockchain is capturing a lot of hype these days.  But why should students entering the marketing world tomorrow, and the professors teaching them, care? To level set our conversation – I looked at the year I graduated Miami to get a refresher of the top global brands (based on revenue) compared to the top 10 global brands of today. Surprisingly, 70% of these brands have been replaced! Without question technology has changed the landscape of the global economy,  but while some of these top brands today were directly born from technology others have embraced digital transformation to remain relevant.

Screen Shot 2019-03-28 at 11.37.29 AM.png

Even in instances where technology isn’t being implemented for marketing reasons, the opportunity for a keen CMO still presents itself to understand what technology their company is leveraging and all of its potential. What they’ll discover is by then applying a marketing lens to this tech there’s an opportunity re-imagine the entire consumer experience. Helping to build meaningful relationships, make more personalized connections, establish greater trust, and ultimately drive deeper brand loyalty with their consumers.

Technology will evolve key traits will endure

As technology continues to advance, having a working knowledge of specific MarTech tools and the value they bring is highly important. However, what’s the best tool today is likely to be obsolete a few years from now. While undoubtedly “the robots” will take over some of the skills that people have built careers around, the people and organizations that survive will find ways to adapt.

So what are those key characteristics that will help marketers be effective 5-10-20 years from now? Based on my career in working with many brands and individuals “who get it” (as well as a handful who don’t)… Here are 7 Traits I assert will help marketers endure disruption

Audience.jpg

1. Know your Audience

The ability to uncover core universal human truths about your customers and consumers, as well as understanding what motivates your audience and how to empathize with them will never go out of style.

2. Data Appreciation   Physically computing data, or even pulling the correlations together, may be skills handled by “robots”. However, the ability to understand, work with, question and leverage data to make marketing decisions is something that will remain critical.

2. Data Appreciation

Physically computing data, or even pulling the correlations together, may be skills handled by “robots”. However, the ability to understand, work with, question and leverage data to make marketing decisions is something that will remain critical.

3. Strategic Positioning

The speed of innovation cycles, the rate of new competitors entering the market and the ability of incumbents to quickly catch up make differentiation more important than ever. Understanding the ownable qualities your brand can deliver vs. competition and then consistently articulating these to your consumers will remain a muscle marketers will need to flex.

4. Drive Conversions

Whether you’re looking for someone to make a purchase, provide an e-mail address, or retweet a post, marketing is all about influencing behavior. Making sure there’s enough value exchanged for consumers to take the next step is something that can be learned, adapted, and perfected over time.

5. Meaningful Story Telling

With each new brand I work on or evaluate from a distance, I realize more and more the importance of a strategic story. It’s so easy for marketers to get swept away and enamored with the features and functions and bits and bytes of your latest product. In a world that is increasingly becoming more complex articulating a clear and compelling narrative can help your brand connect with your audience at a human and primal level.

6. Leading & Inspiring

One of the most challenging aspects in any organizations can be interacting with people. Each individual brings different backgrounds, experiences, opinions, and biases to the table. Yet for a marketing idea to evolve to something greater and become commercialized, internal and external selling is critical. Conveying the value, and getting other members “on the bus” to help advocate and contribute to making something meaningful requires leadership, emotional intelligence, and the savviness to motivate

7. Continuously Learn

What I can guarantee throughout ones career is that new technology, new methods, and new strategies will emerge. You’ll be faced with the choice to embrace these or run the risk of becoming irrelevant. Having the open mindedness to adapt, the intellectual curiosity to seek out and innovate, and a growth mindset to push yourself to get smarter from one day to the next is a trait you’ll need to hone to succeed as a marketer.

This is my personal take on how marketers can survive disruption as we all step into the future. Let me know what you think, Do you agree?