There are two big questions about marketing as a discipline at the moment. Firstly, is it becoming more, or less, important within organisations?

Secondly, has digital completely changed what marketing is or has it fundamentally remained the same?

As you might expect we at Centaur, under the Marketing Week and Econsultancy brands, champion the cause of marketing, and marketers, globally. We believe the value of marketing is, rightly, in the ascendancy. 

We have always maintained that digital marketing does not exist in isolation. It is part of the bigger whole that is marketing. But digital has undeniably brought new aspects to that whole. So what if we were to reconstitute marketing as it is today with digital and classic fully fused? What would that look like?

Here follows our Modern Marketing Manifesto with its suggested twelve constituents. Its aim is to outline why we believe marketing is increasingly valuable and to define what it is to be a modern marketer.

(Editor’s Note: Following on from this discussion, Econsultancy has created a new Modern Marketing Model that blends classic and digital marketing. Check it out and let us know what you think.)

1. Strategy

We believe marketers should sit at the board table and help set strategy. If you do not believe your understanding of markets, products, customers and positioning plays a vital role in shaping strategy then you are not a modern marketer.

Great businesses look beyond the horizon. Great marketers have the vision to define the horizon.  

2. Brand

We believe the internet has forced transparency upon brands and businesses. Brands no longer control the media, consumers do.

This loss of control means businesses must communicate authentically and this requires a clear sense of self to which they can be true. In a digital age what modern marketers need most is a strong brand. 

3. Experience

We believe that improving the customer experience must be the relentless focus of modern marketing.

Customer experience is about customer centricity as evidenced by the service or product that we deliver across channels. It is about respecting the power and importance of great design.

Experiences are events, products, services, hardware, software, customer service. Indeed, every interaction with a customer is an experience that we must make as relevant, pleasurable, easy and useful as possible for them.

Since resources and time are not infinite we need segmentation to help ensure we deliver the best possible experience to our most valuable customers.  

4. Data

We believe data must be turned into insight and action to be a source of customer, competitive and marketing advantage. Data is the bedrock upon which successful research, segmentation, marketing automation, targeting and personalisation are built.

Data allows us to predict future behaviour which is fundamental to creating strong customer lifetime value models and optimising marketing effectiveness. Digital channels provide new and valuable sources of data and customer insight that can be acted upon in real time.

If you do not see data as exciting, valuable and empowering then you are not a modern marketer.

5. Digital

We believe digital thinking should be embedded in marketing strategies as a matter of course. Digital may not be relevant to every marketing effort but organisations need to properly consider digital and change their culture and processes to become more digitally oriented.

It is a mindset rather than just an executional approach. If you do not ‘get digital’ then you cannot be a modern marketer.

6. Personalisation

In the quest to deliver outstanding brand experiences across channels, we believe that personalisation offers the greatest opportunity to transform what customers currently get.

Digital channels in particular allow us to use everything we know about a customer to inform and optimise each interaction. Location, device, screen size, usage characteristics, the weather… we are in an era where we have exciting and powerful new data points to power personalisation.

Personalisation is not just for existing customers: we no longer need to know who the person is to provide convenient and relevant experiences.

As modern marketers we respect the privacy of our customers and recognise we must deliver value to them in exchange for personal data.

7. Technology

We do not believe technology is a solution in itself. Technology is an enabler. But modern marketers must be comfortable and adept at procuring and using technology to their best advantage.

We believe modern marketers will have increasing ownership of technology at the same time as technologists become more marketing-aligned. 

8. Creative

We believe we need creativity just as much as we need technology. We need storytelling just as much as we need data. We believe in the power of emotions and the irrational just as much as the rational.  

If our marketing is to be modern we need the passion, creativity and craftsmanship of the right brain just as much as the analysis and logic of the left brain.

The digital age is providing increasingly ubiquitous access to everything. In this context we need innovation and creativity in our product and service design, as well as our marketing, to make an impression.  

9. Content

We believe that content marketing and the focus on owned and earned media represents a fundamental shift in marketing that is more than a fad.

Content is more than just words, pictures or video. Games, apps, events, APIs and so on deliver rich content experiences too.

Content reinforces a brand’s credibility and authenticity in what it stands for, believes in and cares about. For modern marketers, content is a vital expression of the brand. 

10. Multi-screen

We believe that the mobile revolution is only just beginning. But we see beyond just ‘mobile’. TVs are screens, books are screens, in-store kiosks are screens, billboards are screens.

We believe we are marketing in the context of different screens and experiences rather than different devices or channels.

Customers do not recognise lines and nor should we. Online, offline, above the line, below the line... we need to think and deliver customer experiences without delineation.

Modern marketers think about the whole customer experience and the many screens that control and mediate it.  

11. Social 

We believe social media is about changing our business culture, the ways we work and the ways we engage with our colleagues and customers. It is about creating businesses that have social in their DNA.

It is about realising that everything, including our marketing, now happens in an environment where customers can, and will, talk about what we do and can share it with the world.

Modern marketers know that ‘social’ is not a choice. 

12. Commercial

We believe modern marketers have to be commercial. This means knowing the P&L backwards. It means knowing where money is being made and why. It means knowing how to measure and optimise key commercial metrics. Marketers can, and should, take increasing responsibility for revenue targets.

With ecommerce the transaction is the ultimate click in the customer journey. Modern marketers must optimise the customer journey along its entire path including the sales funnel and post-sale. Sales and marketing must be more closely aligned and have common points of accountability.

What do you think? We are very keen to hear what marketers like you think of our manifesto. For discussions of this post on Twitter, we will be using the hashtag #MoMaMa.

(Editor’s Note: Following on from this discussion, Econsultancy has created a new Modern Marketing Model that blends classic and digital marketing. Check it out and let us know what you think.)

Ashley Friedlein

Published 23 April, 2013 by Ashley Friedlein @ Econsultancy

Ashley Friedlein is Founder of Econsultancy and President of Centaur Marketing. Follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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Comments (123)

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Doug Kessler

Doug Kessler, Director at VelocitySmall Business Multi-user

Fantastic Manifesto.

This is the whole landscape for today's marketer.


about 5 years ago

Dale Lovell

Dale Lovell, Chief Digital Officer at Adyoulike

This is a great manifesto that all marketers need to read. Essentially it says this to me: plan, put marketing strategy at the very top of your brand; create something great that appeals to your customers; use technology to continually improve on the customer experience and data to analyse the results. That's modern marketing.

The value of creative ideas is sometimes often overlooked in these tech dependent days, but the two go hand in hand. Technology is the tools, ideas are what you need to drive the technology.



about 5 years ago

Doug Kessler

Doug Kessler, Director at VelocitySmall Business Multi-user

I'm really glad Creative is in here.

The pendulum seems to have swung the other way as everyone chases the new. But a great story, brilliantly told can still move markets in ways that all the other new tricks in the book can't do on their own.

Of course, breakthrough creative powered by data & insight; delivered in a great customer experience; (fill in the rest) is the magic combination.

about 5 years ago

Ali White White

Ali White White, Director at Elliptycs

I think this is good and covers a lot.

My only point is that for all the talk of understanding customers, improving their experience, understanding their journey e.t.c – there isn't any mention of customer satisfaction or loyalty?

Yes, the manifesto should help drive customer satisfaction and the “experience” certainly is all about this – but I believe it deserves its own mention in the manifesto.

about 5 years ago

Marcin Grodzicki

Marcin Grodzicki, Founder at BOOM

I'd like to see accountability as a separate point. Strategy, data and commercial aspects are fine, but we really need to say this out loud - marketing is now responsible for business performance. With channels shortened, sales people often taken out of the equation and technology sourced from 3rd parties, the buck stops with the marketer, as even products are driven by insight and data coming from marketing. With all this power, we are responsible for the business, and thus should also be held accountable for it. 'No excuses' - point 13.

about 5 years ago


Serkan Kilic

This is absolutely summary of today`s Marketing and should be read all marketers!

about 5 years ago

dan barker

dan barker, E-Business Consultant at Dan Barker

A great read.

If I could add anything, it would be this:

13. Complexity

We recognise that complexity is one of the greatest challenges for brands, for marketers, and for customers today. Modern marketers work to simplify systems, experiences, and messages wherever they can.

about 5 years ago

Albie Attias

Albie Attias, Ecommerce Director at King of Servers Ltd

Very good, comprehensive Manifesto. It feels like you've covered all bases. I wonder if you could make the case for adding 'Ethical' as a constituent? Theoretically, you could devise an on-brand strategy that's creative, data driven & ticks all the other boxes but perhaps employs underhand or immoral tactics.

about 5 years ago

dan barker

dan barker, E-Business Consultant at Dan Barker

and oddly the point i was least sure about was this:

"Brands no longer control the media, consumers do."

the specifics of the $200m twitter/starcom deal yesterday is the biggest recent indicator I can think of showing that's not totally true. (as much as we may wish it to be)

about 5 years ago


Dominic Collard, Freelance marketing consultant and digital copywriter at Freelance

Few things I'd add:

* get your hands dirty - especially in the context of digital, a marketer who isn't constantly learning in a practical way will find themselves out of date pretty soon.
* common sense - strip out the pretentious nonsense that costs too much money and time; we all know there's a lot of it that goes on.
* be brave - if you only ever do what everyone else has always ever done, you won't stand out. Some of the best campaigns of the last decade had no evidence to back them up; just a gut feeling that they would work.
* embrace the chaos - it's not always possible to isolate the performance of one channel in a multi channel campaign. Social media and interconnectivity of people and platforms has meant we dont control campaigns anymore, and increasingly hard to track them. So just chuck it all out and let the chaos do the rest.
* beware the new - lots of traditional tactics still work very well; don't give up on them just because they aren't trendy.

about 5 years ago


Andrew Short

All good points, but perhaps "commercial" should be first not last.

about 5 years ago

Patrick Mulder

Patrick Mulder, ceo at AdFiliate bv

Great manifesto!

about 5 years ago


Christian Ullmark, E-Commerce Manager Europe at BabyBjörn

I would like to see "Do More and for Less" as part of the manifesto.

I often see companies create great strategy, based on data in line with the brand and so forth but it all results in one commercial or one digital campaign.

We need to produce more. More pictures, more videos, more engagement, more conversations. We are the always on generation and if you are not visible you do not exist. But in order to do so you need some fundamental changes.

We need to change the requirement of high quality content and in doing so lowering production cost so we can do more.

We need to create a template that allows employees, consultants ect to produce more by saying, "if you stay within these boundaries you can do as much as you like and you dont need to run it by me" it will take away the unneccesary bureaucracy of okaying each and every activity making you more nimble, faster to market, empowered and everything else that comes with it.

about 5 years ago



I like it a lot.

I am super keen to see how eConsultancy will align their events, reports, training etc. to help organisations deliver this.

The first step is for organisations to recognsie this, the second is how to implement change and live by the manifesto.

Is this something eConsultancy will be doing?

about 5 years ago

Marcin Grodzicki

Marcin Grodzicki, Founder at BOOM

Christian - absolutely agree, 'do more with less' is both the trend and approach our whole positioning for Dyno is based on. Look up marcing on slideshare to see our document on it.

about 5 years ago


Joris Peucheret

Great Manifesto, covers the key considerations in today marketing world!

It is worth mentioning that marketers needs to also adapt, tailor and often innovate and lead changes in their respective markets, sectors, or organisations. I would then be inclined to suggest a less "talked about" consideration:
13. Cultural Shift
(the task of International expansion is often a great example to illustrate this constituent)

about 5 years ago


Matthew Treagus, Managing Director at rtobjects

I love it.
My observations are editorial not fundamental.

Merge 1 and 12. To many marketers don't sit on the board (and aren't allowed to board meetings) because their view of strategy is narrow and subordinate, and sometimes adversarial, to commercial strategy. The commercial strategy must be at one with the marketing strategy.

Consider Merging 5 and 7. The distinction between digital and technology will reduce with time. You want this brilliant piece of work to be timeless.

10. Right point. Wrong headline. And don't you dare right multi-channel either. The point is the customer lives, as Ajaz Ahmed puts it, in 'a world gone digital' - we need to deliver into their world and not expect them to select channels.

If that gives you a weird number then Brand and Social merge as a point soon too. Brand geeks have long said and recounted that a brand is more about what you do and how you behave than what you say. Many have just continued to say things. Uh oh - that doesn't work any more. The old trite "Say. Do. Behave." has come true.

Thanks again for writing this.

about 5 years ago

Neil Witten

Neil Witten, Director at Bite Studio

I think this is great, and kudos to eConsultancy for putting this together.

I'd like to see more focus around brands being 'customer centric', and taking a 'customer first' approach.

about 5 years ago


David Burdon, Director at Simply Clicks


An excellent piece of work. However, I'm a little old fashioned after 36 years in marketing.
Could I suggest you move number 3 ([Customer] Experience) to number 1 and rename it Customer Satisfaction.

about 5 years ago


Jo Pountney

Marketing is still viewed by many with an air of skepticism and distrust - this Manifesto is a great way to communicate the values and heart that drives those of us proud to be Modern Marketers!

Dan's comment 'Modern marketers work to simplify systems, experiences, and messages wherever they can' is one I'd like to echo too.

about 5 years ago

Ashley Friedlein

Ashley Friedlein, Founder, Econsultancy & President, Centaur Marketing at EconsultancyStaff

Thanks all for the comments so far. Keep 'em coming! My brief replies:

@All - broadly I'd like not to add more constituent parts. It's easy to add, hard to take away. Ten would have been good! So I'm trying to be as harsh as possible on adding anything new unless absolutely necessary.

@Ali White - your point on customer satisfaction and loyalty is a good one. I entirely agree. I'd hope this 'permeated' various of the other points but perhaps deserves a specific mention.

@Marcin - agree with your points but I think they're adequately covered under Strategy and Commercial (particuarly the latter).

@Dan - agree complexity is a challenge and a reality. For that reason I'd like not to add another point ;) And your contention around "Brands no longer control the media, consumers do." Yes, that risks sounding a bit glib/cliched and I absolutely buy the value of 'big media'. Perhaps I could swap 'message' for 'media'?

@Albie - you'd hope 'ethical' was implicit. I'm not sure it's a point that applies enough to marketing specifically to single it out. I briefly address privacy under Personalisation as a quasi-ethical obligation.

@Andrew - the list isn't in order of priority. No particular reason why Commercial is bottom so perhaps it should go under Strategy as second.

@Amanda - yes, Econsultancy will be doing more around 'marketing' more broadly. Some of it with Marketing Week, of course. But there's still plenty enough for us to do in 'digital marketing' as well.

@Joris - agree. I talk about cultural shift and organisational change a lot in other articles. I touch on it in the second para of point 5 'Digital' around mindset.

@Matthew - thanks for suggesting ways to cut stuff down rather than add new points! I'll have a think on those and see what else comes in. I don't really like 'multi-channel', even less 'omnichannel', but do you have a better headline suggestion?

@David - I'd like to keep customer experience but I note another vote for 'customer satisfaction'

about 5 years ago


mark allen roberts

Great content,
The unfortunate reality is it only applies to 10% of the market leading companies while the others lack an intimate knowledge of what is happening in their markets today.

If you implement the above you must spend time in your markets, understanding your buyers, how they want and need to buy and the process they use to buy.

Some leaders chose to use their personal experience, gut and intuition when market data based on truth is readily available as I share in my blog post some time ago

Use the above if you have a commitment to knowing your market, disregard if your strategy is based on "how we have always done things around here"


about 5 years ago


David Burdon, Director at Simply Clicks

@Ashley - Apologies for my preference of satisfaction over experience. I learnt my marketing in the FMCG/Kotler era. But I can understand the difference between the two. The next question is whether Customer Satisfaction comes before Strategy? I'll have to consult my PIMS. Good to see you've put Commercial [Profit] last. After all, it is a product of numbers 1 to 11.

about 5 years ago


Martin Bexley at Revolve

Excellent work - this shows the full scope of the importance marketing should have within an organisation - it's not just advertising!!

about 5 years ago


Nicc Lewis

As VP Marketing in my current and previous companies in online gaming over the past 7 years +, there are many parts to the manifesto that have been part of my daily reality:
- Seat on the board and part (if not motivating in some cases) company direction
- Data -> Understanding -> Creativity in solution -> Action -> Data is the normal routine
- Customer focus, personalization and now social is core to online gaming
- Multi screen (desktop, mobile, tablet, kiosk & TV) has been one of the major focuses in a streamlined offering

In a modern digital world where buying decisions are done in a second and by comparison by the consumer building a magnetic brand has become one of the key marketing issues.

In short - very nice

about 5 years ago


Alyce Erikson

Excellent manifesto!

We are witnessing the very beginnings of the mobile revolution.

By the end of the year, it's predicted that over one billion android devices will be activated. That's a huge market, with huge potential.

As our means of communication diversify and segment more and more, the emphasis on marketing, in particular digital marketing, will skyrocket.

We are in a user driven world. Let's see where it takes us!

about 5 years ago


Sascha Becker

Thanks so much for this great manifesto. A Must-Read for any modern marketer. I am very happy ‘9.Content’ is included.

about 5 years ago


Spencer Gallagher

This really is an excellent piece of work, my only comment is that technology has and continues to re-invent and overhauled many sectors including marketing. Why out of ALL the very positive points and language does technology start with 'We do NOT believe...' Every other point is so positive. I feel that this point should be re-written in the spirit of what else is an uplifting manifesto. Tell us what you believe technology and digital can do to add value to all marketeers and brands.

about 5 years ago

Ashley Friedlein

Ashley Friedlein, Founder, Econsultancy & President, Centaur Marketing at EconsultancyStaff

@Spencer - nice point.

about 5 years ago

Mark Slocock

Mark Slocock, Managing Director at GPMD

Great post!

@Matthew your point about right point wrong headline is interesting. For me this goes hand in hand with point 3, blurring the lines between on and off line is about improving the customer experience.

about 5 years ago


Rebecca Gudgeon

Just brilliant. I feel so vindicated! Planning to integrate this into whole-team staff training now....

about 5 years ago


Peter Sigrist

Great manifesto - I wholeheartedly agree with it, although I would be interested to explore how these points intersect, and therefore, perhaps, to turn it from a list into a strategy.

@Ashley @Dan I think your point about consumers owning media or message is very powerful. I would swap media to message, as it is more obviously true, but regardless, I don't think big advertising deals undermine the spirit of the point as it is made. If Twitter and Facebook become too closely aligned with the "push" thinking of traditional media channels, I would expect the audience to migrate. I believe consumers value unadulterated social connections, so the big social media players will need to get the balance right. In this way, consumers could be said to own media, even if brands have paid routes into the heart of the conversation.

about 5 years ago


Dave Jackson


Great piece, reflective of the good work that typifies e-consultancy.

Whilst it may be implicit in several points (Experience, Data, Personalisation and Social) I find the biggest challenge for marketing is to recognise that is a dialogue, not a monologue. Budgets follow mindsets and are dominated by outbound activities. Modern marketing is nowhere if it is not built on a continually updating view of the customer. Remember two ears and one mouth is a great model for marketing.

It is why I think building and exploiting a single, comprehensive view of the customer is central to marketing's challenge.


about 5 years ago

Pete Williams

Pete Williams, Managing Director at Gibe Digital

I love digital marketing but the best is always when the original idea is well though out and creative. ROI is also what drives budgets and therefore without it Marketing will not continue to be an area that the board respects. And let's not completely right off the traditional media of radio which is not screens yet but may well be moving that way.
I believe audio is a frontier that has not been fully explored by modern digital marketing yet everyday we all listen to peoples opinions and views as well as reading them!

about 5 years ago

Kash Gobichund

Kash Gobichund, Freelancing Digital Marketing, Marketing Strategist / Corporate Entrepreneur at Freelancing Digital Marketing, Marketing Strategist / Corporate Entrepreneur

Greetings Ashley and to the Individuals that make Econsultancy the envisioned brand and organization that it is,

I would like to thank you and Econsultancy for the vision and the action in envisioning this endeavour

I do agree with you in regards to the content; and I am appreciative of this opportunity to provide further insights;

1. Strategy – I believe that also the “processes” of the Brand/Organization assists in the synergy of leveraging into the current and the future term.

2. Brand – I believe that influence has shaped the journey.

3. Experience – Brilliant insights– is one of the most underestimated factors – there is a short term focus in regards to this (I am perhaps biased as I own a Customer Retention Strategy called Brand Motion Interact).

4. Data – great insights and it is extremely important, but also processing the info so information based decision making can take place.

5. Digital – Great outlook – I do agree

6. Personalization – I do agree - focusing on the Individuals is great as the target markets are made up of groups of individuals

7. Technology – Great perception- I agree technology provides the means but at the end of the day a Brand/Organization is made up of individuals whom leverage technology to achieve the vision and the goals of the Brand/Organization.

8. Creative – I agree – Innovation is about a brand seeing opportunities and capitalizing.

9. Content – Great perspective – Add Value with the created Content.

10. Multi Screen – Brilliantly vision – I agree.

11. Social – Great insights – I agree – relationship building, networking, be with the individual customers.

12. Commercial – Great insights to end a great announcement - I agree - Understanding Money and the workings of Industries – smart and strategic.

And the greatest Marketing, Communications and Advertising concept/strategy is still a Royal Flush
"take a stone/pebble drop it into a pool of water, one would see ripples in the water" now think of what Marketing, Digital Marketing, Advertising. Communications are and you would see the pattern

Kindest of Regards
Kashveer “Kash” Gobichund

“Aspire to Inspire
Live to Dream
Envisioning the Vision and the Opportunities”

about 5 years ago


Richard Beaumont

I think there is a bog element missing here. Ethical was mentioned in an earlier comment, but I am thinking about transparency, honesty and responsibility.

Data is key, but it is also power, and as we know from our Spiderman, with great power comes great responsibilty.

Marketing as a profession needs to be clearer about how data is used to deliver personalisation. Otherwise there is a risk of alienation rather than engagement.

I certainly don't agree that customers are in control right now - data is, and customers may increasingly feel trapped or manipulated by their data histories.

For modern marketing to be truly customer centric, it needs to give some level of control over to consumers about the collection and use of data - and this is something that is very far from being achieved right now.

There may be new regulation coming, but actually being dirven by that is a mistake in my view. Marketers need to engage customers in the conversation about the use of data - which is the only way to develop long term trust in brands and engage people in a truly positive way. Anything less is in danger of being seen by the public as manipulation.

about 5 years ago


Alex Czajkowski

Can you add breast-feeding and apple pie? I've felt that these are the BASICS of what we MUST do for a long (evolving) time--but an excellent iteration of the essentials to modern marketing. Thanks for pulling it all together in one place.

about 5 years ago


David J Mottram

What a fantastic piece of work! A great summary of the post- Post modern marketing milieu. This statement of circumstance and intent within 21st century marketing will surely become a landmark in future analysis of the industry. It serves also to galvanise strategy approaches across the industry and strengthen commonality and community amongst myriad diverse practioners. Expect to encounter this on future university reading lists!

about 5 years ago


Jo Andrews

Nice one eConsultancy, I always love your content.
Agreed with the points on Commercial, so many marketers are not being trained to competently report to CEO/CFOs and to bridge the gap between the tech side of the business and the commercial side, so much value can be gained there.
For me, the tech and data points go hand in hand, you need the technology to get great data to then create the excellent customer service and personalisation. Thanks for this.

about 5 years ago


Guy Oakley, Director / Marketing Director at Interwhat & GenieConnect

great read

Love point 5 about the modern marketing professional need to get digital - sadly overlooked and poorly understood by so many - yet a fundamental part of any go to market strategy for all, from start-ups, SME and big hairy corporates !! It almost creates a even playing field for all to use, not just those with deep pockets....

Also the Multi screen approach is something that is often over looked but is a drum that we beat in our office on a daily basis !!

many thanks for sharing.

about 5 years ago


Aurelie Pols

A great read indeed!

I'd like to see in point 6, where you talk about personalisation and more specifically privacy/data protection (last paragraph), 3 words:
1. transparency,
2. consent and
3. choice.

Who knows? maybe with time, Privacy/data protection might have an entire paragraph of it's own...

about 5 years ago

Chris Hoskin

Chris Hoskin, Chief Marketing Officer at MetaPack

A great list and manifesto Ashley. As an ex CMO (and being in the midst of starting my own business) it is really useful. Thank you.

I am a big fan about thinking about PURPOSE. This is kinda-covered, but I think it is crucial to call it out explicitly. It relates specifically to 'BRAND' in your list.

Today, most marketers are falling into a trap with regards to their proclaimed 'Purpose'. They think 'Purpose' = 'Values'. They believe it is enough to describe their product/service/company either as:

1) WHO they are and what they stand for.
2) What they DO and HOW it benefits others (often leads to feature / function specifics. Ouch.)

Therefore, generally, marketers think of a purpose "for" their customers.

It is time to think of "a PURPOSE WITH" customers. I think this is crucial. It's the glue where 'Brand' meets 'Social' meets 'Commercial' meets 'Strategy'. Marketers need to embark on a journey 'WITH' customers. Not 'FOR' customers. The difference is actually quite startling. A shared purpose is what drives or powers brand value.

about 5 years ago

Stefan Hull

Stefan Hull, Insight Director at Propellernet

I'm always surprised that more marketers aren't already doing what they do according to the 12 constituent parts identified above.

But, then again, I guess I'm not too surprised...

The one thing that's missing for me is something around "integrity".

For me, that's just as important as "commercial", if not more important.

And, for me, it's part of the glue that holds everything else together.

about 5 years ago


JImm Fox

This is a very good summary of the current state of marketing and the challenges facing all companies. I'm just not sure I'd position this as a 'Manifesto.' By comparison, the "Cluetrain Manifesto" broke new ground and challenged many to think in a completely new way. Fourteen years on, the ideas and tenets of the CTM still resonate.

about 5 years ago


Jacky York

Should Sustainability and ethical choices also be part of the landscape?

about 5 years ago


James Robertson, Web Marketing Manager at

Can I get this in 2 versions? - leather bound coffee-table version, and tattoo ink for permanently inking onto certain... - colleagues - who don't get it?

Joking aside: you've articulated everything I've been banging on about: nicely done.

about 5 years ago

Chris Bullick

Chris Bullick, Marketing Services Director at Pull Digital

‘Plus ça change’ – the more things change the more it’s the same thing. We like this and totally support spirit of the manifesto. As an agency that has just dropped the ‘digital’ in ‘Pull Digital’ (well as you say – it’s a given today isn’t it?), we feel more and more strongly that marketing is marketing – The Internet has changed everything – and nothing.’ The media has changed, human responses to communication haven’t.

As such, we would question the degree of change claimed in some places: consumers don’t now ‘control the media’. But they do have a louder voice, and brands should have a dialogue that used to be a (near) monologue.

The corollary of ‘(Brands) loss of control means businesses must communicate authentically’ is that brands didn’t have to in the past. When ‘Beanz meant Heinz’, lack of two-way communication didn’t prevent Heinz from being authentic, it’s just that they would know quicker today if their customers thought they weren’t. Brands that failed to be authentic failed before the world went digital too.

But overall, for us this helps square the circle. Traditional brand agencies behave like nothing has changed. Digital agencies sometimes behave like everything has changed. Good modern marketers know what has changed and what hasn’t – and what to do about it.

about 5 years ago

Paul Stephen

Paul Stephen, C.E.O. at Sagittarius Marketing LLP

Nice work Ashley

Marketing channels have always changed and will continue to do so.

The broad idea of understanding the consumer, communicating a creative message effectively and improving results has not.

Any marketers role is to understand the current landscape and use it to full advantage. Knowledge is power.

Digital had made access to data (customer insight / performance) and yes the P&L easier but I don't think that's a new thing - a good marketer should always have worried about that.

I think my favourite line has to be Customers do not recognise lines and nor should we. Amen to that.

about 5 years ago


Masahiko Yagi

Great work!

about 5 years ago


Wendy Matthews

This is spot on. It speaks tot he need to a) have a strategy, b) put together a plan, and c) use all the marketing disciplines available. Digital is a huge one that can't be ignored, but it needs to be integrated into a whole marketing plan. Well done.

about 5 years ago



Well written!

This should be marketers guide.

about 5 years ago


Rich Moore

All good points.

Your last point -- commercial -- is the best one, and should be #1. Once that point is well understood, it shapes everything else.

Two other points: We should stop talking about 'digital' marketing, as we've reached the point that it's a piece of the whole, and in some cases with some companies, all marketing is digital. So, let's go back to talking about marketing as there is no longer a division between digital or not.

And, second, another item to add to your list -- be bold and willing to break things. We can now cost effectively try bold new ideas and adjust them quickly, so we can break old patterns and practices at less or little risk. So, we should now all exercise even greater creative freedom!

about 5 years ago


Chris Wood, Client Account Manager at Xerox

well said @Chris Bullick, articulating truths in marketing and communication. We shoujldn't forget the basics laid down by human behaviour and psychology. And@Richard Beaumont, there is a danger that the proliferation of profiling, segmentation and targeting with 'personalised' messages by numerous brands - all converging on the poor old consumer, could easily result in 'fatigue' and a backlash - to paraphrase John Hegarty, " You think you know me? Go away. You don't! You can only ever have a superficial knowledge of me".
When CRM started, I worked in a data consultancy and one of our key conversations with clients was, "How do you know if your customers want a relationship? You need to know who does and who doesn't".

about 5 years ago



This is a great summary. I would only add "alliances" because in today's world no one (specially marketing) can succeed alone anymore. Maybe "alliances" was part of commercials.

about 5 years ago



I think that this manifesto should be the "must to be list" of the modern marketers that wants to change the rules...
Thanks for write in words ideas that many marketers have.

about 5 years ago


margaret milan

Hi to all,
As a marketer of many years, the big change I see is the decentralisation of brand and marketing execution. So #2 on brand is even more important than before as everyone in the business needs to be immersed in a sense of what the brand stands for.

about 5 years ago

Judd Marcello

Judd Marcello, Director, Marketing EMEA at Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud

Well done. Thank you.

You pose two questions at the top of the post: (1) Is marketing becoming more, or less, important within organisation? (2) Has digital completely changed what marketing is or has it fundamentally remained the same?

I think the key for marketing to become "more important" is for the marketing organisation to redefine itself as a revenue generator rather than a cost center. To this point, I think your thoughts on #12 (Commercial) are spot-on ... and maybe the most important in regards to your first question.

As to whether or not Marketing has fundamentally changed, I don't think it has; the basic truths of why we "market things" hasn't changed. What has changed are the tools we use and expectations of the customers/consumers that we serve.

To that point, those in Marketing always need to keep front of mind that it is the end user we are marketing to, not ourselves. Your comments on brand, data, personalisation and social are testament to that.

about 5 years ago

Grant Westbrook

Grant Westbrook, Global Director of Marketing at Mintel

This sums up what I have been banging on about for the last 18 months in my business. (All be it in an over enthusiastic, tangential type way.)

about 5 years ago


Sanjit Chudha

Spot on - it's good to see that creatvity also features. Though thinking about the 'end user' is implicit, I think it should be made explicit in the manifesto. Increasingly marketers should be demonstrating empathy with users and especially thinking beyond the 'end user' to the 'secondary user', the one who though they might not buy this time, will next time.

But the beauty of your maifesto is that with all the elements taken together and sensibly applied, putting the user at the heart of marketing will come to pass. Fingers crossed.

about 5 years ago


Simon Swan, Online Marketing at Met Office

Looks a great piece and something very relevant to this current day, As with digital there should be room for constant change, re-addressing the 12 components as new tactics and techniques are introduced in reaching the customer.

I would also suggest another component, Skillset - making sure organisations are hiring for the right blend of skills expected to work within a present day marketing function.

about 5 years ago


Zhang Hui

Technology and Data are the two new things to most of the marketers I guess...Might be worth for me to share the leading Chinese Internet player Tencent's point of views on these two things: 1) about data: consumer insights originate from comprehensive and credible user data based on users’ tagged real-time data spanning from personal interests to social/searching/shopping behavior, therefore the value traditional market research plays in providing consumer insights is being marginalized; 2) technology: Develop a technology-driven creative team and raise the proportion of developers. Google believes that 50% of Internet ads will be in video format by 2015. Advertising creativity will be closely intertwined with technology, and the richer visual experience will enhance the impact of marketing. It will be essential, therefore, for marketers to enhance their creative teams by developing their technical talent. Hope this helps

about 5 years ago


Jo Moffatt

2. Brand
Given that brand, along with the customer, is at the heart of everything a marketer has always done and always will do (or should be) point 2 seems a bit defensive/reactive to me. Please don't restrict your points about brand to being in response to changes forced by the internet - celebrate the power brands have to engage audiences and achieve corporate/strategic objectives (ie point 1).

It's also missing a big, big and vital trick in terms of brand engaging the internal audience. An important role of an all round, strategic marketer is to engage with HR to share marketing's brand expertise with HR's people knowledge. The result is one joined up marketing strategy inside and out. This all links to employee engagement / customer satisfaction / loyalty and the ultimate bottom line. Happy to talk more with you about this offline as this also feeds into your point 1 and gains marketing a voice in the C suite.

Businesses must communicate authentically inside and out and this requires a clear sense of self to which they can be true - a strong brand with clear values, tone of voice provides this and underpins a healthy internal culture too.

about 5 years ago


Riccardo Brenna

I believe one furher and crucial point should be added


I believe - and I can tangibly see this doing my work - that people are now in real control of their choices and they want us to deliver on those and to surprise them. So, acting constantly as being "to the other side" is essential for marketing. And it is not only about personalisation, it is also about transparency and having clear in mind that companies do not own brands, but they have the privilege to manage them for the real stakeholders, the consumers

about 5 years ago


Carrington Malin, Managing Director at Spot On Public Relations

Nicely and succinctly summed up - and a very useful text to have.

Marcin raises an important point though - this wider remit does up the stakes when it comes to what marketing is responsible for and should be held accountable for. Completely agree that marketing should now be held accountable for business performance, however marketing now also carries a heavier weight of responsibility to ensure that brand communications are genuine, not simply expedient. Marketing now has an awful lot to answer for.

about 5 years ago


Richard Beaumont

@Chris Wood

"How do you know if your customers want a relationship? You need to know who does and who doesn't".

- I couldn't agree more. However this question seems to have got lost in the rush to collect more and more data.

People need to be asked, and then to be given ongoing control and choice. This is what I feel is missing in the manifesto.

about 5 years ago


Graham Robertson

it's a fun list, but it's not really a "brand leader" list. It feels very agency, very high media. The only real reason brands exist is to make more money, than if we just left them as commodity products that sold without effort. Any list has to start with how do you make more money. A brand makes choices--strategies--that put the brand in a position to make more money than if it had not made choices. Also missing is the brand promise--a focused target, move to benefits not features and driving consumer insight into everything we do. The promise you choose is the one that maximizes profit. Both Mercedes and Volvo can do safety equally well. But Volvo owns Safety. Great. But Luxury--which Mercedes owns and delivers--pays off at 20-30K more than "just safety". So Luxury beats safety. We have to set up the organization to deliver the promise, a culture that can create an experience, a focus on new products, all driving towards over-delivering on that original promise. As for media, telling a story without a brand promise, without a strategy or organized stream of choices....just becomes random tweeting and cute facebook pages no one engages in. The story telling must look back to the promise and deliver that promise into the market. The promise must hold true...not sway with the whim of today's mood on the social media front. I'm ok with agencies getting into the marketing space. But, if you don't really understand marketers, it's hard to really write a manifesto..

about 5 years ago


Jimmi Prebble

Great Manifesto. Spot on.

To point 5 - I couldn't agree more. All too often you meet marketers who are almost proud to announce 'I don't get digital' or 'I don't do digital'. It's like sayng I don't get TV's or Newspapers! I'm astonished that there is still a percentage of the marketing community who have yet to embrace or even understand the role of digital in the broader marketing channel mix. It's part of our everyday, it IS our everyday, and impossible to ignore as a marketing channel.

about 5 years ago


Evan Wood

A great framework and context for marketing generally. However, I would take it one step further and proclaim that marketing needs to represent the voice of the customer within an organization and therefore 'own' the customer experience, rather than simply focus on improving it. For customer-centricity to truly take hold, it needs to be not only part of the culture but to be evangelized by the senior management team. The CMO and marketing department are well-positioned to play this role.

about 5 years ago

Susanna Hellden

Susanna Hellden, Research Support Officer at King's College London


Thanks for this, great stuff! Although, I have to say this isn't news to all the start-up's and entrepreneurs out there, so I gather this is very much written for marketers within larger corps.

Entrepreneurs start out as a small team, or perhaps just one person, where the focus is on developing the product or service first and foremost... and most often, at least in most cases, also do marketing for that product/service as well.

The entrepreneur already have in-depth knowledge of the market s/he operates within as s/he has developed the product/service specifically for it and it's target audience. This knowledge then feeds through to marketing/PR where the creativity and drive behind it is in itself what helps generate interest for among customers and the media alike.... and the story goes on like a domino effect through that whole list of manifesto items listed.

On the background of this, I think the Modern Marketing Manifesto is great stuff because it puts "Strategy" first, ie this is where the entrepreneur begins, and there are plenty of examples that shows how this leads to great successes.

Marcin says in a comment above that strategy is now inevitable for marketers as we need to think in terms of "business performance", and again, the entrepreneur does exactly that, ie takes something (creative and new) to the market and makes it profitable!

With the onset of digital, marketing is now sharpening up to become synonymous with "the core" of what a business/brand is all about and linking that to performance. This ultimately also means that accountability is more important now than ever before!

With todays economic climate, companies have to fight a lot harder than before for their customers attention, and at the same time also have to compete with start-ups that work in entirely new ways that might outwit the good ol' boys.

I say, who ever you are and whatever you do, throw yourself in there now if you haven't already, and let the creativity and the numbers start to speak for themselves!

about 5 years ago



Nice write up! This article itself is a motivational and encouragement tool. It could easily prepare anyone to act upon their ideas and taste success.

about 5 years ago

Joseph Buhler

Joseph Buhler, Principal at buhlerworks

This sums up all the "moving parts" that marketing encompasses today very well. It should be required reading for non-marketers, especially those in finance to better understand what drives business - the customer. Marketing is positioned at the key intersection of customer and organization. The impact of the radical changes in how people interact and communicate with each other and with businesses brought about at great speed by technology and especially social tools has, therefore, been felt in marketing first.

For this reason the critical task of managing the social interaction with customers has been assigned to marketing, however, too often with a focus on tactics and tools and not based on sound strategy.

This manifesto provides a useful framework to correct this situation and have organizations proceed in an integrated, overall business objectives based fashion necessary for success in a radically transparent market environment in which customers neither expect nor respect silos and internal boundaries in their experience of the brand.

about 5 years ago


Mike Demko

Great stuff. It really captures the key points of what marketing has become.

In my quick read of all the comments, I'm surprised to find no mention of the need for marketers to be agile and responsive. I'm not sure if it should be an additional constituent or woven into the existing twelve. This manifesto in it's own right is born out of the change that is ever occurring in the digital age.

Modern Marketers must be agile - quick to adapt (or lead) further change be it due to a.) some event, b.) some new technology, or c.) some new customer or market behavior that results from a.), b.), or otherwise and be responsive to the needs of the customer and all stakeholders in the business.

about 5 years ago



I have been a data driven marketer for over 30 years especially in the IT, automotive, and finance segments and while the channels may be different the principles remain exactly the same, most of which you've covered.

Great marketing is all about understanding consumer behaviour and while all the key boxes are ticked in your manifesto what is missing is the consideration for the environment in which the media is consumed.

It's not about different screens, it's about what is the consumer's mindset while using his/her phone to search for something while waiting for a taxi, or multi-tasking while watching TV, etc. eg: Watching TV is a passive, non engaged, relaxing time; searching for something on your phone is active, engaged, and focused.

These are two totally different activities and mindsets which marketers ignore. They require totally different messages

about 5 years ago

Ashley Friedlein

Ashley Friedlein, Founder, Econsultancy & President, Centaur Marketing at EconsultancyStaff

Thanks everyone for comments so far. I can't reply to everyone but my distillation of suggestions for additions etc so far follows. Bear in my mind a) I'm trying hard not to add more points and b) we'll be doing an update to the manifesto soon based on your feedback:

Accountability - quite a few people have pushed hard on emphasising accountability. I'd hoped to have covered this in the 'Commercial' section. But, whilst this list isn't in any order, because Commercial is last perhaps the point appears de-emphasised. So I'm considering making Commercial the second point as it does follow on quite well from Strategy. Though that makes Social 'last' - heaven forbid!

Globalisalation - a number of people have put forward the need for marketers to now understand the global context and be able to manage global vs local. I certainly think this is true but it is true for a number of job functions and not true for all businesses. As I'm trying to stick to universal truths about the nature of the marketing discipline I'm resisting adding this one for now.

Agile / Responsive - this was actually in my original draft as its own point. I write and talk a lot about agility, often connected with product management and innovation. We recently published an article with 'agile marketing' case studies (
marketing-in-action). It is perhaps less about marketing per se and more about the way in which we should be able to work across various functions; it is about internal collaboration and processes. But I think perhaps I need to at least try and get the word in somewhere if it doesn't get its own point!

HR/Skills/Culture - related to Agile various people have rightly pointed out the need to recognise new skills and new ways of doing the job of marketing. Ways to cope with increasing complexity, fragmentation, proliferation of media; ways to be more reactive in marketing; ways to collaborate with other internal teams etc As with the above point this affects more roles than just marketing so I'm resisting putting it in separately but, as with agile, wondering if I can sneak in elsewhere.

Ethical/Integrity - a few people have called for this. Or a variant of it (transparency, honesty, responsibility etc). You would hope this is a given but I fear adding it risks dragging the debate into the territory of 'are marketers really evil spin doctors making us do things we
don't want to' etc which I don't think is very helpful. It's not a new
debate. And being ethical isn't just about marketing, it's the entire
business, it's all of society, it's every individual. The area I've
specifically touched on (which has changed because of digital) is privacy and respecting people's personal data. But perhaps this needs beefing up a bit. The words transparency and integrity aren't in there and I believe they are important (more so now than perhaps before).

Customer satisfaction - a few have called for this. I certainly believe this is very important. But I wonder whether it isn't an outcome (it is
measurable, a metric) of doing all of the other stuff (e.g. customer
experience) well? If you added customer satisfaction would you also have to add something like customer acquisition?

Technology - Spencer made a specific point about not leading with a negative '...not believe...'which I think is a good one so I plan to edit that.

Multi-screen - various people have suggested this might not quite be the right heading. I'm loath to go the 'multichannel' or 'omnichannel' route. But open to suggestions if anyone thinks they have something better!

Alliances - this would probably include 'partner marketing'. As per collaboration/agile etc. this is a good point though not necessarily something new and perhaps implicit in various of the other points. Maybe another word to squeeze in somewhere.

"Consumers control the media" - considering changing 'media' to 'message' based on feedback.

"Breast-feeding and apple pie" - have been suggested... will give them some thought ;)

about 5 years ago


Jacqui Malpass

Ashley great writing and with such passion and to everyone who has commented you have made me late. I shall be back to not only read and assimilate all of the points, but I think (know) I will be creating my own manifesto.

Why oh why is marketing seen as something we do rather than something we are.

I loved the comment about purpose and going on a journey with our customers.

Have a wonderful marketing manifesto day!

about 5 years ago


Edmund Jones

As a classically trained marketer I find it ironic when I read articles like this 1,2,3,4,6,8,12, are traditional areas of strength of classical marketing. They are not new requirements they are the minimum requirements of marketing. The fundamentals of good marketing has not changed.
Digital and technology should be viewed as an enabler of good marketing. New technologies. channels and tools makes its possible to deliver this good marketing. These tools allow us to be more responsive (personalised) and predictive of the needs and behaviour of our customers (partners?) . This will become more important as the shift in power to customers intensifies over time. Classical marketers have to add these new skills to their toolbox but they must never throw away the fundamentals .

Finally, are there really any marketers out there that cannot read or understand a P&L?

about 5 years ago


Patrick Eve

Excellent. I would also add 'local'. It is vital that marketeers also address their audience in the local language and locally relevant content.

about 5 years ago


Caspar Schlickum

Excellent list. Well done.

However, I fundamentally disagree with the inclusion of number 5 (digital).

In today's world, EVERYTHING is digital.

Digital strengthens and expands the potential of all or most of your other points, and many of the additional ones that have been suggested in the comments (with the possible exception of breastfeeding perhaps!)

Digital creates completely new, powerful and varied ways to execute on these.

How about augmenting this list therefore with a "digital supplement" that shows how digital has transformed the way that each of these elements of the manifesto are done by the "modern marketer" as opposed to the "traditional marketer).

I think that would make for an interesting analysis, and really show how digital has changed everything and nothing.

about 5 years ago


Nick Porter

Ashley, this is very good. Credit to you and the team at e-consultancy for putting this out for comments.

Having led large marketing and sales teams, sometimes at the same time, the inability of marketing and sales functions to work together effectively has been a significant challenge and one that I have seen across many (B2B) organisations. I was surprised that this was not addressed in your manifesto.

I echo a few comments from others about the importance of ethics, integrity and values and I consider these to be critical in a modern marketing team.

Strategy, Customer (Experience) and Commercial would be my personal top 3, but I am sure everyone has a personal top 3!

Technology, Multi-Screen and Digital feel like they could be grouped together under a general technology heading.

about 5 years ago


Offpeakluxury (Barry Mills)

Great stuff Ash. I would add just one thing. "Remember, not everyone has changed".

There are still millions of people who don't have a Facebook or twitter account, or even a smartphone. Believe it or not, some people don't even have computers, their TV is their only "screen", and they don't have a PVR to skip the ads either. Many more who do have computers are not confident users and don't want to transact through them.

I spent 16 years running a digital agency, before partnering up with a client in his online luxury hotel break company, Offpeakluxury. In the two years since I joined the business, we've grown it over 150%. I like to think my digital experience has made a big contribution to that, and I also think we're only just getting started. But if you were to ask me the single most important change I brought in, without hesitation I would say putting a phone number on the home page and moving the emphasis for customer service to voice. The digital revolution is here, but it's worth remembering plenty of consumers don't really enjoy it, and would rather do things the way they always have.

about 5 years ago


john kennedy

This is where we are in today's marketing, a fantastic manifesto.

Just think 100 years ago we were just living off the land. Now we are crowd funding projects around the world to shape new markets empowering individuals who use the connections machine that is the interweb.

In 100 years time from now, people will look at this manifesto and think, wow things were really different then, just like we do. We need these milestones in our evolution of marketing.

John Kennedy.

about 5 years ago


Dan White

Good work. Nothing like a brutally demanding manifesto to demand attention.

You've asked for comments, so a couple of thoughts:

- I'd put commercial at the top, beneath strategy. It's critical.

- Not sure multi-screen deserves a whole position on the list? I don't disagree with the point, but it stood out as being perhaps too detailed.

- Relevance in communications and marketing is important. It might be implied in personalisation, or perhaps content, but I would add my vote to any calls for it to be listed as a standalone item.

My final point is about purpose. What will you do with the manifesto? It's certainly provoking some debate, but I'm curious as to the end you may have in mind...?

about 5 years ago


Tom Cunniff

What's most needed now is a balance of curiosity and focus. Without curiosity, we will endlessly be blindsided by change. Without focus, we will endlessly wander off the path or forget where it is entirely.

about 5 years ago


Abi Jacks

A very thorough manifesto and certainly one that rings true with what we have to deal with these days. I'd be interested to know what you guys are proposing to do with this once complete?

I think an area that's missing is around testing new ideas and stepping outside what is known and safe. With so much time being spent analyzing and justifying activity - are we in danger of becoming too 'safe' and therefor more analysts than creative marketers?

about 5 years ago

Adele Ghantous

Adele Ghantous, Managing Director at Lapis Angularis

Ashley and team, great job! I echo quite a few of the statements made above and I agree, it's best to stick to 12 (ideally 10) points however I think the positioning of certain points should be made stronger. A couple of thoughts:

- We definitely should stop talking about "digital" marketing or "mobile" marketing (which is not mentioned). Rather, the manifesto should push the thinking that the modern marketer is all about marketing to the mobile customer in a digitally connected world.

- The various points about transparency, being ethical, respecting privacy, etc... could all be summed up with the fact that Marketing is under a lot of scrutiny and therefore it's about Compliance with policies and Governance of the Marketing organization.

- Accountability should be its own point... yes, it does apply to various functions within the organization, however it's new for Marketing. With capabilities brought in by Digital Marketing and the obsession with Data, Marketers are now held to a different standard and are expected to be accountable. This comes up in every conversation I have with marketing leaders and is top of mind for them.

- Last but not least, Change (or Cultural Change) is a pre-requisite for any successful Marketing organization and should be one of the driving points.

about 5 years ago

Ashley Friedlein

Ashley Friedlein, Founder, Econsultancy & President, Centaur Marketing at EconsultancyStaff

@All Thanks for continued feedback. My latest thinking in terms of changes would be:

1. To add a new point which is probably called 'Culture' and should cover points around embracing change, working in an agile way, cross-team collaboration, learning new skills as well as value like transparency, ethics, integrity.

2. To drop "Digital". Which is ironic. As people have said the whole point of this manifesto is get away from "digital vs classic" or siloed thinking. It's largely in there as a provocation to those who refuse to embrace digital and we believe must. But I guess in a year or two those people won't have jobs anyway so this point is redundant ;)

3. Change the order to have Commercial at position 2, then Customer Experience, then Brand etc.

I'm tempted to integrate "Multi-screen" into Customer Experience. But that would leave 11 points so ideally I'd cut/merge another but struggle to see what.

about 5 years ago

Albie Attias

Albie Attias, Ecommerce Director at King of Servers Ltd

Once finalised, can I suggest you produce a suitable infographic so that agencies up and down the land can print out, frame and hang on their office walls.

about 5 years ago

Ashley Friedlein

Ashley Friedlein, Founder, Econsultancy & President, Centaur Marketing at EconsultancyStaff

@Albie Well that solves the 'what are we going to do with this?' question! Someone else earlier asked for a leather bound version too?

So we're going to coin it in on merchandise.

Actually there are various ways we hope to use this. Partly just to frame our editorial focus going forwards (events, research, training etc), partly to understand better how we in 'digital' fit in, over time, with 'the rest of marketing' etc.

We have a (big) event planned as well that links to all of this but more on that in due course.

Once we've finalised the manifesto (enough) we're also considering asking people to 'sign up' to it in some way (TBC but most obviously online in some way). Then we can use it to show backing/endorsement which is useful as we interact, for example, with government and industry in general.

about 5 years ago

Albie Attias

Albie Attias, Ecommerce Director at King of Servers Ltd

Sounds good. I can also see a future Econsultancy course possibility with a module covering putting each point in practice.

about 5 years ago

Ashley Friedlein

Ashley Friedlein, Founder, Econsultancy & President, Centaur Marketing at EconsultancyStaff

One thing I'm very pleasantly surprised by is that no-one has yet suggested we make data 'Big'.

about 5 years ago


Doug Topken, Director, Global eBusiness at The Associated Press

Like the Forrester Wave and the Gartner Magic Quadrant, these guidelines are perhaps dangerous if taken at face value. Some orgs are very Marketing driven, with a very influential CMO at the right hand of the CEO, at the other end of the spectrum one might find a sales driven company, with not even the beginnings of being customer driven, whose marketing department prints collateral, handles tradeshow logistics, and sends out email blasts into the ether.

This manifesto might be improved, or made more actionable, by accounting for such Marketing maturity or evolution differences; perhaps an interactive tool can be built with slider bars or a 6 question quiz for each section to help shape the manifesto for the situation. Forrester's Wave has a spreadsheet behind it (that I would bet few have ever looked at) that allows users to effectively tweak the algorithms such that the plot changes based on his/her specific situation and what's most important to them.

Last, I'd add Accountable and Collaborative as other categories.

Accountable for obvious reasons and Collaborative to emphasize that Mktg can no longer operate in a vacuum to both be most effective and, importantly, to drive, or at least influence a positive impact on, Customer Experience.

about 5 years ago


Hilton Barbour

@Ashley - a great list that spurred a passionate thread on LinkedIn after I posted this to several groups I belong to.

Your inclusion of "Culture" might address some of the concerns surrounding Strategy. A theme of the conversations was that marketing is not just marketing communications. Therefore, Strategy should be considered as a WHOLE ORGANIZATION imperative versus merely the domain of Marketing (with an upper-case M).

Your thoughts?

about 5 years ago

Richard Fray

Richard Fray, Digital Marketing Manager at HSBC ExpatEnterprise

A good, comprehensive and succinct list and I love the Manifesto approach. If I could add / change one it would be 'Integration' which I think is broader than Experience (it could incorporate it) as it means marketers need to also think about the positive feedbacks and synergies in the marketing ecosystem (impact of paid, earned and owned on each other) and take a planned, integrated approach to capitalise on those synergies.

@Ashley, I agree about dropping 'digital'. Interestingly, if you took out the modern terms and showed this list to a good marketer in the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80s, everything on there should still resonate with them.

Having worked in 'classic' marketing for five years and then in 'digital' for nine, I have always felt that 'digital' was really just about applying the classic principles of marketing using cooler, more efficient, more measurable tools in a new environment - i.e. augmented marketing - and for me, this list reconfirms that.

Marketers have always had to evolve with their customers and learn how to use the latest available tools. Looking at your list, marketing has long been about the things on there: about analysis and testing as well as creativity (think David Ogilvy in the 60's, Claude Hopkins in the 20's), personalisation (DM), word of mouth (hotel postcards), multichannel (Argos) and embracing technology (the advent of TV advertising). Certainly digital has brought a massive step change and improvement to the way we can do marketing, but it's still marketing.

about 5 years ago

Wolf Allisat

Wolf Allisat, Chief Revenue Officer at TagMan

It’s brilliant to see that the industry is recognising the seismic shift that has happened within the role of marketing. We know from just looking at the brilliant results that can be garnered from data-informed marketing campaigns that marketers hold the keys to driving significant revenue uplift for their organisations. By thinking big in their marketing decisions and using the technology at their fingertips to make sense of the data available to them gives them a huge leg up when it comes to evaluating their marketing success across many disciplines and channels.

TagMan are currently running a survey to find out how marketers measure up in the new Big Marketing landscape! Take the Marketing and eCommerce Agility Test at the following link to be in with a chance of winning one of 3 amazing holidays, to Las Vegas, Paris or St Lucia:

about 5 years ago


John Griffiths

I would have put your point 12 as point 1. My perception is that marketers are still marginalised as companies are run by finance and operations people. Start with commercial - then when you get onto strategy it is clear it is the business strategy not the marketing strategy that the marketing person is addressing by building the relationship between customer needs and the business drivers.

Virtually all of the other headings are what marketers get off on but which boards delegate to marketing people. If marketers want a seat at the table then everyone of these headings ought to be one which make boards uneasy and to turn to the marketer asking them how to address it. On the board - not as a task handed down and to be reported back.

To me the give away on this list is that commercial is as low as point 12. Which is a recipe for marketing not to be taken seriously.

about 5 years ago

Matt Isaacs

Matt Isaacs, Founding Partner & CEO at Essence

[What follows are my own personal views. I am sure some of my colleagues here at Essence will have differing views - so please don't take this as some official view. It's not. And it's quite long - sorry!]

Dear Ashley,

Firstly, I'd like to applaud you for doing this. The response so far says all you need to know about the desire in the marketing community for it. And you took the first step.
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Lao-tzu

I think your starting list was excellent. As are many of the points raised in the comments. BUT (sorry, there had to be a BUT...) I can't help feeling this is a list that is considerably about the "How" of marketing as opposed to the "Why". If we are going to have a Marketing Manifesto I believe we need to answer the question "Why does the world need Marketing?"?

So here's my attempt to answer that question - which I view no more or less than a new thread of this debate and I hope will spark new thoughts from this esteemed company. (@Ashley - you will note it meets your criteria for brevity!)

1. Marketing influences Corporate Strategy, using it's powers of persuasion in the language of the Boardroom to effect positive change (and in doing so it will command a seat and influence at the Board)

2. Marketing facilitates the creation of Brand Purpose at the interface between Organisations and their Customers (/Audience/Users)

3. Marketing participates in the creation of Products, Services and Experiences that add Value to Brands, Organisations, their Customers and the World

4. Marketing helps Organisations define 'Value', constantly evolving the metrics of today to develop more meaningful definitions of how they deliver 'Value' to their Customers and the World

5. Marketing is Accountable, developing the mechanisms to measure meaningful Value and consistently and rigorously assessing it's own actions and the actions of others

And Marketers will do this by:

[Add whatever of the other detail in Ashley's original bullets and as debated in this thread as you wish]

* * * * *

A few things to note:
To those of you that decry the need for 'Commercial' or any focus on 'money', in the aftermath of the Financial crisis I can understand the desire to reject 'Commercial'. But the last time I checked money was the primary mechanism in the world for the transfer of value. It may be a poor mechanism - even a fatally flawed one. But until someone comes up with something better it's what we've got. And I'm prepared to bet that if we abolished money today we would probably re-invent it pretty swiftly (although I would hope with a better set of rules for our financial system).

Too many marketers are unprepared to be Commercial - to give comfort of a level of monetary return for their actions. This is often done without any hint of irony as they present plans to spend significant sums. But money is a critical part of the language of the Boardroom - and (for now) when you refuse to speak it you make yourself irrelevant around the Boardroom table (even if you are there). And Marketing needs to be there - because if Marketing doesn't champion the customer/consumer in your organisation then who will?

But just because you are Commercial does not mean you have to worship at the Temple of Mammon. If we can create better measures of Value then we can change the way organisations measure themselves - or are measured. Heck, perhaps we can even redefine how value is measured on stock markets? After all, aren't marketers the masters of powers of persuasion? Isn't the marketing craft about building compelling stories and arguments that drive action?

I for one believe in the power of marketing to influence. And I believe if we harness that power for positive change then we can move mountains. So I say:

Set the bar high.

Be the change.

about 5 years ago


Tanya Venables

I like the sentiment behind the list and the fact you don't shy away from the tough reality of things like the importance of a commerical orientation. In keeping with your notion that great marketers have the vision to define the horizon, the one point i feel is missing - and which spans many of the other factors is collabroation. I think visionary marketing/marketers will craft a new way of delivering customer experience, developing products, engaging different media etc. Brave brands will increasingly collaborate with one another to reshape the customer experience and redefine how we as consumers inform our buying decisions; I think emerging markets are going to deliver some exciting opportunities to redefine modern marketing.

about 5 years ago

Dave Chaffey

Dave Chaffey, Digital Marketing Consultant, Trainer, Author and Speaker at

Thanks for asking me to comment on your manifesto Ashley. Many larger companies I speak to are still struggling to manage the transformation to becoming a digital business, so it's helpful for those trying to make the transition to have a set of goals to live by.

When we created our Manifesto for Today's Marketing at the end of 2011 ( we aimed to set out the success factors which would help businesses compete, but also show our focus for content advice.

It's no surprise there are many similarities. The need for strategy is near the top of both lists, but our take on strategy is less ambitious - a digital integration strategy is needed. We believe companies should develop well grounded plans based on insight yet many don't seem to have a strategy when asked - they're lurching from the latest tactic to the next. Marketing media sites, magazines and vendors are partly to blame here.

A commercial, measured, optimised, agile approach is common to both. Perhaps some avoid strategy because they seek agility?

Our first point is that Digital Marketing is Marketing which always gets a double thumbs up, but this is the huge elephant in the room which Richard Fray has also picked up on (Hi Richard), this is perhaps the biggest challenge of this list… As the importance of digital has grown as audience media consumption and customer behaviour has grown dedicated resources are required - we've both worked hard to help develop these skills.

Oftentimes these skills reside in specialists with limited knowledge of traditional marketing and there are still different teams and silos who see digital as an alien threat. So, although integration is implied by your list, indeed you created JUMP!, this a big omission and still the biggest challenge in larger organisations.

about 5 years ago


John Forge

This is a good, honest list of interesting ideas. You may call it reccomendations... but a manifesto it is not!

Manifesto implies a position defined by a set of values and a policies. MORE IMPORTANT in a manifesto is the AIM, the OBJECTIVES. And it points to a radical change.

So what are the justifications ("We hold the truths to be self-evident..."), what are the objectives ("we declare that these colonnies... have the right to be free and independent states"), and the means (divine providence... our lives fortunes and sacred honor...)

We totally agree that we are in the middle of an epic change in the way (and objectives) of marketing (for example going from mass standardisation to personalisation, local to global, plus the means to develop one-on-one contacts), and ready for a new vision of marketing (personal, direct and transparent...)

Thank you very much to open this discussion.

John Forge
Euro-Pacificaiurnfys wick

about 5 years ago


Lawrence Mitchell

A really good manifesto and framework which will help move the whole function forward...and are, I feel, applicable to all types organisations (b2b, b2c, charity) from the solopreneur to the corporate.

One point I'd add is that the 'modern marketing ecosystem' includes many different skills and ways of working with colleagues who don't see themselves as marketers, but are critical for successful 'modern' delivery - technology, data analysts, content creators, specialist marketing agencies etc.

The modern marketer needs to be able to coordinate all of this, whilst keeping hold of the brand vision and customer problem (s) the brand will solve.

about 5 years ago


Gordon Young

Great manifesto. And Modern Marketing is a great line. Which is why I put it on The Drum's website and above The Drum magazine website last year. Well you know what they say about imitation...

about 5 years ago


John Grant

Tis good indeed. I tried something similar in 1999 (The New Marketing Manifesto) and there's quite good overlap and clear development.

As a list you might want to look at whether some of these are quite topical and others more immutable? (although that never bothered me, we only ever work in the adjacent possible)

I agree with the earlier comment about ethical.

My own experience and inclinations lean towards authentic companies which don't see marketing as that distinct from innovation, being ourselves, and relationships with the lovely people who pay our salaries and share our passions.

Think of it like romantic relationships. If you break out dating/seduction as a function that you pursue programmatically then you will (never fall in love and) always be a bit of a saddo?

I know that will sound idealistic if you do happen to work for Dull Plc but then we are talking about the ideal not the average?

It links into another comment which is it reads slightly to me like a Modern Corporate Marketing Manifesto; and a high proportion of brands are established by companies in a more gung ho entrepreneurial phase or with that way of going about things.

The truly great marketers I have worked with have probably been strongest on what they won't do is another point; editing your brand would probably be on my list therefore.

But not to nitpick I'd happily stick this list up and try to stick to it!


about 5 years ago


Harry Cruickshank

A useful list and a worthwhile thing to do.

One thing I would add is the urgent need for much closer sales and marketing integration, still a pipe dream for many organisations. Unless they make a conscious effort to improve communications, acknowledge and respect each other's contribution and interaction more effectively, businesses will never reach their full potential.

I also support the points made by Dave Chaffey and Lawrecne Mitchell's comment on the 'modern marketing ecosystem' is spot on.


about 5 years ago




Interesting and would like to ensure that marketing is applicable across a wide variety of organisations ie Third Sector - so surplus not profit.

Also to ensure that the small business is included and therefore the ability to create value and position the organisation in a way which creates clear water between the business/organisation and its competitors.

Simply to ensure that the business has a reason to exist.

As for order of the points. The overall skills in Ashley's recent post is key and helps to split the strategic aspects from the tactical.

Looking forward

about 5 years ago


Bob Barker

Great initiative Ashley, and comments from everyone. Can't see the word Community in there anywhere and I mean mainly online community, I suppose its going to go in Social ro digital, but the modern marketers role in building community as an asset/the new goodwill, is perhaps worth mentioning.


about 5 years ago

Ashley Friedlein

Ashley Friedlein, Founder, Econsultancy & President, Centaur Marketing at EconsultancyStaff

@Gordon We are merely standing on the shoulders of giants... ;)

about 5 years ago

Ashley Friedlein

Ashley Friedlein, Founder, Econsultancy & President, Centaur Marketing at EconsultancyStaff

@ALL Perhaps "Manifesto" isn't the right word for this? And perhaps we should drop 'modern'?

Thanks for all the great comments both here, on LinkedIn, Twitter etc and via email.

I'm close to finalising a second draft which I hope addresses a lot of the feedback without watering down the original. We'll publish that soon for you to review.

However, there is a bigger question in my mind which various of you have alluded to. You have pointed out that, really, this isn't a Manifesto. Obviously it isn't political but, more importantly, there are no aims, no policies, no objectives.

If not a manifesto, then what is it? A Framework? A set of Principles, a Foundation, a Credo, an Ideology, a set of Tenets...? None seems quite right.

This is meant to be a statement that inspires and unites marketers about what it is that they do and believe in. Something that marketers can say "Yes, that is what I do and what I stand for as a marketer".

Following Matt's comments above, I re-read the United States Declaration of Independence ( In the section on Influences there is a quote from Thomas Jefferson (the main author of the declaration) as follows:

"Neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, it was intended to be an expression of the American mind, and to give to that expression the proper tone and spirit called for by the occasion."

If you swap 'American' for 'Marketing' that is exactly the intent our manifesto has. The tone and the occasion are clearly different and MUCH less momentous but I feel they exist for the state of marketing right now.

I hesitate to draw comparisons with something as important as the Declaration of Independence. Indeed, as some have pointed out, I wouldn't even want to try and compare with the Cluetrain Manifesto.

But it made me wonder if this is actually a 'Declaration'? It is a statement about marketing and it is one that, when finished, you can agree to agree with or not i.e. 'sign'.

And, furthermore, why add in 'modern' to 'modern marketing'? This term will quickly date and whilst I agree with Gordon it is perhaps better than 'new marketing' or 'today's marketing' or 'augmented marketing' or various other descriptions, surely it is better to use just 'marketing'?

In which case this would become a "Declaration of Marketing". Thoughts?

about 5 years ago


Chris Wood, Client Account Manager at Xerox

I wholeheartedly concur with @RichardFray. When you consider the amount of 'airtime' given over to data-driven,technology enabled marketing, you'd think that marketing never existed before.

However, it did and its guiding principles hold true today - it's just that now, there are more channels, more opportunities for customer engagement and transacting. It's worth keeping one thing in mind; Revenue and Profit are the Rewards a company earns for satisfying customer needs - in other words, if you want to stay in business, you need to know your customers, identify what they want, give it to them in the most cost effective manner and make yours more attractive than the competition so customers come back for more! marketing - simples!

about 5 years ago


Costantino Roselli

This an amazing job! I believe that digital change fundamentaly the way that we act. There are 2 reasons of this. First the speed that we do things and second, the ever-changing environment. Both of those reasons doesn't allow us to create strategies like we did in the pass. We need to have the flexibility to change complete the strategy very fast to adapt on the environmental changes and follow the speeds that "demanded" from the market (network, consumers, etc).
So, when we speak about flexible strategy we speak about core changes in the way that we building our plans. As a result everything moves according to changes, speed and demands of digital environment.

about 5 years ago

Nathan Fulwood

Nathan Fulwood, Head of Marketing Technology at Realise


I'd like to second Ali White's comment about marketing needing to be built on insight. Data plays a huge role in this, but building great customer experience and messaging needs to be done with the input and involvement of your customers / audience.

about 5 years ago

Bob Apollo

Bob Apollo, Director at Inflexion-Point Strategy Partners

Great work, Ashleigh

You sort of cover it off in 12: Commercial, but I'd be inclined to add more: in the world of B2B marketing, and in particular where lengthy, high-value buying cycles are involved, sales enablement has emerged as a key priority. The leading B2B marketers are supporting the revenue cycle from start to finish.

This isn't just about knocking out a few sales tools or datasheets: it involves closely coupling the marketing message with the sales conversation, and intelligently blending digital with support for person-to-person interaction. And it absolutely demands an issue-based approach, and the creation of compelling content that successfully underpins every stage of the buying decision process.

about 5 years ago


paddy f

Excellent broad brush manifesto and love @Dominic Collard thoughts too.

about 5 years ago

Ashley Friedlein

Ashley Friedlein, Founder, Econsultancy & President, Centaur Marketing at EconsultancyStaff

@ALL - in case you haven't seen we've just published the revised final version of the manifesto at

Thanks for all your comments and input and hope you think the final version is an improvement!

We're asking for people to 'sign' the manifesto. Read to find out how.

about 5 years ago


Mitch Gallant

Such a comprehensive list, I need some time to digest all this. Such a great framework to think through and as a modern marketing manifesto I think this hits the nail on the head. I'd simply add being human with the small twist of stop selling, start helping. In today's day and age if you're not giving value to not only your users but your community then you're gonna have a bad time. Shared value ties in well with the first 3 it's personally fulfilling to make an impact.

about 5 years ago

Gary Chambers

Gary Chambers, Proprietor at SEO Websites

I sign

about 5 years ago



Great Post,i Preferred the idea of getting a physical products in my hands rather than a digital product however today's marketer and seems to be proven nowadays that digital products are not only easier to create and send but also preferred by the consumer,however again i would love to see the stats on this!

about 5 years ago



I do not understand what you mean by, "Technology is an enabler". Is there something I can read that will explain this concept?

about 5 years ago


Luis Pires

I like the manifesto, but there is one more element I'd like to suggest. Modern marketers need to be comfortable with an extremely high rate of change. What was true yesterday, may not be true today, and with an even higher probability, it won't be true tomorrow.

The modern marketer needs to be constantly challenging her own convictions and welcoming ideas that prove her wrong.

If you cannot deal with being wrong most of the time, and be humble to adjust accordingly, you cannot be a modern marketer.

about 5 years ago


James Anderson, Manager at SEOSOPT

Thanks for sharing such valuable information.!

about 5 years ago

Morten Arbejde

Morten Arbejde, Marketing at Personal

Its fun to see "Social" so long down the list, but I guess a lot of us put too much into the social media anyway. Some have huge succes with it, but for most of us we just wasted too much time watching likes and stuff :)

almost 5 years ago


jean thidar, consultant at AI

i sign

almost 5 years ago


Brad Bush, CMO at GENBAND

Great post and really hits on a lot of the main themes marketers are grappling with today. I have a similar "Human Marketing Manifesto" that I published on making marketing more human on my CIO2CMO blog here:

over 4 years ago


Owain Powell, Marketing Executive at New Brand Vision

I particular agree with all points, particularly that relating to content

about 4 years ago

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