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Until recently, the development of marketing technologies has occurred at a high enough pace to preclude a new definition of marketing. 

But now, we feel the new discipline can be defined in broad terms, with digital pervading pretty much everything you do as marketers.

Next week the Festival of Marketing debuts in the city of London, with conferences, events and parties all hung off the core tenets of Econsultancy’s Modern Marketing Manifesto. At the festival we'll add the detail to the manifesto. Which brands are doing precisely what? And is it working? How have benchmarks moved?

If you haven’t seen the festival line-up, check out the website, and if you haven’t read our manifesto, check that out, too. We’ve had great feedback on our new definition of marketing, with many of you ‘signing’ in agreement by commenting on this post.

As part of this search for feedback, we recently surveyed around 700 Econsultancy users and assayed what level of agreement they show with the ‘pillars’ of the manifesto.

Although we had already incorporated your opinions into our draft, we wanted to find out how precisely the final treatise hits the nail on the head, or if indeed we’ve missed the nail and struck a thumb.

First off, it seems on the whole you agree. Below you can see each statement from the manifesto and the percentage of respondents that strongly agreed with the statement.

  • Modern marketing must be connected, joined-up and integrated (83% strongly agree).
  • Modern marketers have to be commercially minded (75%).
  • Improving the customer experience must be the relentless focus of modern marketing (69%).
  • Marketers should sit at the board table and help set strategy (68%).
  • Marketing is becoming increasingly technology-driven (66%).
  • Creativity, story-telling and innovation are more important than ever (65%).
  • Personalisation offers the greatest opportunity to transform brand experience (47%).
  • ‘Social’ should be in a company’s DNA (44%).
  • Data is the bedrock on which a modern business should be built (23%).
  • Consumers control the message, not brands (41%). 

To some extent, giving readers these options is a little leading in that all are bullish, positive and we hope, representative of fact, regarding marketing departments today.

However, despite majority agreement with each statement, there are some differences between strength of agreement.

It's clear respondents are fully sold on marketing as the following:

Strongly agree marketing is..

  • Integrated and focused on the customer experience. (see JUMP).
  • Commercial. (see FUNNEL).
  • Strategic, with a representative at board level. (see Digital Cream FX).
  • Technology enabled/driven.
  • Creative (see PUNCH, beautifully illustrated by one of our Vine competition winners below).

Unsure about..

The statements that don’t meet with such firm approval include:

  • Consumers control the message, not brands.
  • Data is the bedrock on which a business should be built.

Is this surprising? Not entirely surprising. In these instances weaker approval is likely down to these statements being more in need of a caveat.

With data, the manifesto also states ‘data must be turned into insight and action to be a source of customer, competitive and marketing advantage’. This is an important note of warning – data as abstract fetish is nothing, it has to be used pragmatically, with insight.

Consumers control the message, not brands

Similarly, 'controlling the message' is an issue of brand transparency and perhaps needs fleshing out to be wholeheartedly backed. To that end, the manifesto says, 

We believe the internet has forced transparency upon brands and businesses…. This loss of control means businesses must communicate authentically and this requires a clear sense of self to which they can be true.

Simply put, in a digital world, you need a strong brand.

Data is the bedrock on which a modern business should be built (see CRUNCH)

Next week at the Festival of Marketing, Econsultancy, Marketing Week and Creative Review will attempt to set the new benchmark for marketing, with a week of inspiring talks and clinics, debates and discussions, and lots of fun on the fringe.

At the same time, we hope the agenda across FUNNEL, JUMP, PUNCH, CRUNCH and Digital Cream FX will help to further set the tone for new marketers, as per our Modern Marketing Manifesto. So that's why we hope next week will matter.

If you see the Econsultancy team at the festival, make sure you say hello. If you’ve got further comments on the new mode for marketers, leave them here or on the original manifesto post.

Ben Davis

Published 3 October, 2013 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is a senior writer at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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Comments (1)

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Michael Bian

Agreed here "Modern marketing must be connected, joined-up and integrated" Like anything in business, being strategic is critical.

almost 3 years ago

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