You know it’s conference season when your travels take you to London, Boston and Austin, Texas, in just a few weeks’ time. But it’s worth the opportunity to hear and meet some of the most influential leaders and marketers behind today’s best practices and new innovations.
Recently, hundreds of marketers flocked to London to get a pulse on global marketing trends at SiriusDecisions’ 2016 Summit Europe and the Festival of Marketing. Hot topics on the agendas? Customer advocacy. Social and digital disruption. Success frameworks. Marketing performance.
Here’s how marketers across the pond are tackling these all-too-familiar challenges.
Prepare for the Disruptive Digital World
“ ‘We have what I call the “lost generation,” people in their late 30s and early 40s who don’t yet have grown-up children who are digital natives and weren’t digital natives themselves,’ [says Unilever chief marketing and communications officer Keith Weed]. ‘These are the very people who are leading so many of our brands and businesses, and they’re bluffing too much about digital from what they read in the Financial Times or Marketing Week.’ Weed urged marketers to ensure they are fit to lead by embracing training and shaking off the association that taking part in training is ‘admitting I’m not as good as I probably should be.’ ” —Read more at Marketing Week.
Use Content to Drive Digital Transformation
“Develop a unified vision and commitment among cross-functional leadership teams and start transforming your content ecosystem from dysfunction to health. Shifting from outdated and ineffective email and event marketing to high-quality, digital-first content marketing requires more than a boardroom of nodding heads. According to Erin Provey at SiriusDecisions, ‘Executive buy-in at every level must be followed by interim modifications to day-to-day responsibilities, incentives, and resource allocation to build the foundation for global/local content without completely derailing those marketers’ abilities to support their friendly local sales team in meeting the next revenue target.’ ” —Read more at BrightTalk.
Influencer Marketing Requires Losing Brand Control
“[Influencer marketing] ‘can only work if you are a little more relaxed about handing brand influence into the hands of a third party,’ [says Hugh Pile, Western Europe CMO for L’Oréal] … ‘It has to be more than a contract, it has to be a relationship where you co-create content together,’ he said. ‘There’s always going to be a proper sign-off, but you can’t just tell people what to say and do because, frankly, if they feel they’re going to lose their credibility, they won’t work with you.’ ” —Read more at CMO.
Invest in Customer Advocacy for Success
“Consider where and how advocacy can support buying cycle needs and customer cycle needs. For example, in the early stages of the buyer’s journey, make sure to deploy advocacy early rather than wait until the point at which references are typically provided. Later, during the solution phase, advocacy support can help buyers frame their vision of what investing in the offering could do for them. Once a buyer becomes a customer, advocacy takes on new importance. Customers can reap significant benefits from interacting with their fellow customers as they start to get engaged with the product and organization.” —Read more at SiriusDecisions.
“You Need to Get Into the Performance Area”
“[M]arketers are less concerned with ‘new toys’ on the market — innovations often trail-blazed by the performance industry — and more with how to use it to their full effect. ‘We’re seeing people take this technology very seriously, people focusing on the actionable part, and people wanting to get value out of what they do,’ said [NMPi’s Kate Jervis]. ‘What’s shown throughout is that there’s a constant theme of data, insight and analytics.’ ” —Read more at PerformanceIN.