Delivering customer demands in real-time is a relatively new discipline, and marketing’s role has completely changed in just 20 years.
Now no longer solely responsible for campaigns and communications, they manage customer experience across multiple digital touchpoints – breaking down silos across customer service, product development, sales and IT in the process.
Yet many marketers didn’t join the profession expecting to become technology experts. They’re strategic thinkers who want to add value for customers – not get dragged into the detail of data-crunching technology. This can be a source of frustration. So, as marketing incorporates more automation, how do we find a balance?
A new ‘imagineering’ role is emerging in marketing, where marketing engineering meets creative thinking. A new breed of marketing technologist who also understands user experience, data analytics and content – and can put the right mix of technologies to work.
This is a skills gap for many teams, which now need diverse skill sets covering strategy, technology and creative – all led by a commercially-savvy, customer-focused marketing manager.
“We’ve been trained to look at market opportunities and insights – we need to recognise we’re never going to be the technology experts, so we’ve got to get the right people around the table.”
As custodians of the customer database, marketers still need to understand what outcomes are possible so they can put plans in place to have broader impact. They may also be expected to choose and implement systems their teams will need to know how to run. And they’ll need a different mix of skill sets on their teams. Rather than people who know how to brief agencies, it will be people who can analyse results and create new content to fill the gaps on the fly.
“These new martech systems can actually make a lot of the decisions. So you step away from a creative campaign brief scenario to specifying a database, pulling a list and executing the right creative as defined by the AI-powered analysis of customer behaviours.”
So can this new breed of marketing talent be both technical and creative? It might be a case of taking the time to find clever, curious people who may not have a marketing background but do have a thirst for learning new things and are excited by the potential of new technologies. They’ll pick up what’s needed quickly – and they’ll be able to grow by learning through experimentation.
After all, investing in employee experience can be the best way to drive better customer experience.
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