The increase in new channels and technologies has dramatically changed the environment in which marketers operate. But the way in which marketing is taught, understood and operates has not really changed.
This is not sustainable. We need a new unifying framework as a reference for what marketing has become.
Alongside this need for a new framework, there are new requirements for marketing competencies and capabilities around domains of expertise like data and analytics, customer experience, content, multichannel, and personalisation, which are neither properly understood nor being met. This is acknowledged in the marketing industry but not reflected in any definitive model.
Due to these changes, and the rise of digital, the marketing function is going through an existential crisis: it is not clear on its own remit, it does not know what skills it needs nor how to organise itself and it struggles to resolve a dislocation not only in how it interacts with other business functions but within itself with ‘digital’ vs ‘traditional’ schisms.
In The Trouble with CMOs, recently published in the Harvard Business Review, we are reminded that CMOs have the highest turnover in the C-suite. They are in office for an average 4.1 years, compared to eight years for a chief executive, according to Korn Ferry analysis.
The relationship between the CEO and CMO is also troubled. A global survey by the Fournaise Marketing Group in 2012 set out the scale of the problem, revealing that 80% of CEOs do not trust, or are unimpressed with, their CMOs.
Why do marketing leaders have such short average tenures in their jobs? Because of poor job design resulting from confusion around what marketing actually does.
The Modern Marketing Model (M3)
There are serious repercussions if we cannot define and agree on a fresh start, a new paradigm. This is why the Modern Marketing Model (M3) was developed.
The Modern Marketing Model (M3)
Without a clear reference like M3 to help clarify an organisation’s expectations of what the marketing function does, we will continue to see turmoil that is damaging value.
If we cannot reconcile digital and classic marketing, then we will see further organisational silos, duplicated work and a lack of clarity and focus around roles and responsibilities which leads to inefficiency, frustration and bickering. Opportunities are missed and the growth that marketing, and the business, wants to deliver will by stymied.
For academia and providers of marketing education, it is important that what they teach is relevant and current with what the marketing industry and employing organisations require from their teams. We must encourage educators to update their courses and curricula with reference to a model like M3.
The diagrams below outline how popular marketing models have evolved over the last 60 years, culminating in the 10 elements of the Modern Marketing Model (M3) which we then show broken down into four stages: strategy, analysis, planning, execution.
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The evolution of the marketing model
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Competencies and capabilities aligned to M3 elements
In creating M3 we have not sought to create a brand new intellectual and conceptual vision of marketing processes or terminology. We believe this is not required and risks being difficult to understand and disconnected from marketing professionals’ real world. Rather we seek to clarify, structure, and make more consistent what are currently different dimensions and evolutions that we feel need to be brought together in a contemporary and holistic view.
There are many elements where the tactical and executional opportunities may have changed, largely because of digital, but which do not need renaming for the sake of it. Conceptually they are still valid and based on robust and enduring data, research and best practice. These elements include: marketing strategy, market / customer orientation, customer insight, brand, segmentation, targeting, positioning and integrated marketing communications. Even the change from ‘Place’ to ‘Distribution’ is slight.
Removing ‘Price’ as a core element will no doubt excite debate. In our experience price is rarely under the direct remit of the marketing function, except perhaps in FMCG businesses. Price is also still covered under other areas like “Brand & Value” and “Marketing Strategy”. M3 is designed to work for all marketers and many marketers are marketing something that has no price, like behavioural change.
We have changed “Product” to “Customer Experience” which may also be controversial. Our new description still covers classic product, or service, development and innovation but ‘Customer Experience’ is deliberately broader than just ‘product’ and covers services as well as the customer journey and experience around the product itself.
“Data & Measurement” is the only completely new element added. We believe data is now a marketing asset in itself (e.g. metadata, schemas) so needs to be considered part of the marketing mix. We now market to machines with data as well as to people. Marketing also now has more dedicated roles and capabilities around data, analytics, measurement and optimisation and these need to be a distinct domain of marketing competence.
In 2013, I helped develop the Modern Marketing Manifesto, an articulation of our beliefs that the marketing discipline should embrace digital and classic marketing. The Modern Marketing Model (M3) now creates a new framework for applying this thinking within organisations.
The Modern Marketing Model is a unifying force which fuses digital and classic marketing into one future-facing framework. This informs marketing’s remit, required competencies and organisational design.
M3 defines marketing in the digital age.
View the Modern Marketing Model (M3) and download your own copy. Watch Ashley Friedlein discuss the model in the video below.
@Ashley, amazing article, thank you! Featured it on my weekly roundup for customer-obsessed team leaders: http://bit.ly/2gFWTj4
Excellent piece of work and has been said a very good update to what has gone before. I’m assuming that the numbered points are loosely in some sort of order with data and measurement at the end. For me data and measurement run through everything though, and they are so important that they should be shown as a ring running around the entire model. As mentioned though, a brilliant model and much to think about there.
Thanks @Jeremy. The model is predominantly about what marketing *is* rather than a process. I’m a fan of agile ways of working so anything overly linear I’m less keen on. To create a nice graphic, as per the model, forces a level of apparent process/linearity that isn’t representative of reality. In practice there is a lot of overlap e.g. strategy could be in the middle, as could brand, as could data. A previous model I came up with, for digital marketing, is at http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3449/3908934267_b4c8f7feeb.jpg – as you can see the data part is in the middle so that should make you happy 😉
@Ashley Makes sense and very much agree, also very much a fan of agile. Also I think you’re right about representing something in a chart and its limitations, particularly when it comes to being linear or even circular. As you say and as we know everything is very much overlapping and integrated, more so than ever before and even labelling becomes tricky these days. Very good job though and definitely an improvement on the 2009 model 🙂
Thanks @Jeremy – I did even try spirals…
@Ashley. Clearly great minds think alike as I was thinking that it needed at least a 3rd dimension like a cylinder but maybe now even a 4th or 5th. 🙂
Thanks for this Ashley and good summary, of a former and current landscape. Apologies in advance for future gazing but I hope you agree it’s relevant, what I have to say.
The question to me is however, what is the ultimate goal of ‘marketing’ in the future i.e. 5+ years…. it’s the elephant in the room.
I know others allude though let’s call it out – what will business and therefore marketing exist for in the future. I find increasingly there’s an ‘anti-marketing’ (old school ‘growth’) sense in my own purpose, per se. I got into this business to ‘do good and get credit for it’. Is that naive? I don’t think so.
We are all talking AI and there’s a Singularity on the horizon. Wonder what will marketing do then.
Of course this is ahead of the game right now to a point, but I hope and suspect there is some level of inherent purpose in most all good CMO’s and related marketers and ‘conscience of the business’ activists, PRs and the like.
At one point, our collective purpose and humanity may depend on it, right?
Brilliant analysis, Ashley. You’ve put a lot of the sea-change in marketing into a new context. The challenge now is to get marketers to “unlearn what they have learned” about the 4 Ps of marketing and learn the 10 steps in the M3 model. As an instructor at the Rutgers Business School in the Mini-MBA program on Social Media Marketing, let me know what I can do to help.
Thanks Greg. Great to hear that you like it. I think to be honest most marketers (me included) never formally learned marketing (4Ps or otherwise) in the first place so perhaps there is less to unlearn than you think.
We’re currently digesting the feedback etc but are thinking of ways we might support academia beyond what we’ve put at http://m3.econsultancy.com – perhaps pulling together supporting content, case studies etc.
How did so many marketers become marketers without any formal study of marketing? But, it would explain why so much marketing is so awful. In any event, case studies would be welcome — and I could use them in the classroom as well as online courses that I teach. Americans are very practical and want more “how to” information. But, our your side of the pond, the British want to understand “why” things work, so it would be good to have that supporting content, too.
Greg – ironically I don’t think marketers are very good at promoting marketing. If I asked my teenage daughters, or their friends, if they were considering a job in ‘marketing’ I think they’d look at me pretty blankly. So too many people end up in marketing (for better or worse) rather than set out to be a marketer. That’s much less true for ‘advertising’ but I think that is a shame.
Sad, but true. I remember sitting next to an academic from Stanford University back in 1999. When I told her that I was the Vice President of Marketing of a dot com, she said, “Eugh,” like I had just told her that my job was to promote toxic sludge.
If you were VP, Marketing, Slush Puppie then she might have been about right… 😉
It seems more responsibility could be taken by the CEO (and his CFO + CIO, reading that HBR piece). These established players seem to be shooting the ‘revolving door’ marketing messengers in a rapidly-changing business + customer-led environment. Surely businesses will continue to struggle and fail if they don’t realise this. Massive changes in marketing over a few short years should make business realise they need to consider change management for marketing transformation (see how I replaced the word ‘digital’ with ‘marketing’ there…). What do you think, Ashley?
Kudos for your framework Ashley!
It’s useful to show the importance of Strategy-Vision-STP-Brand to effective marketing which the classic marketing texts seek to. Yet, discussion of STP rarely features on marketing blogs used by professionals in favour of discussion of social media, search, email and the other digital channels. Our research at Smart Insights shows that many businesses are doing marketing without defined strategy or plans which won’t help the reputation of marketers or the results.
In my experience, where they do exist,, many marketing strategies or digital strategies focus on the comms/promotion / experience only, which limits potential to compete and differentiate in the marketplace.
While it’s good to highlight the importance of planning as we seek to in the Smart Insights RACE Planning framework, your framework doesn’t highlight the importance of comms planning directly. It will be covered in 7-10, but I think comms planning needs to be highlighted more since that’s so important to putting budget into the right activities.
For me, planning integrated always-on and campaign activities across the channels tapping into audience intent and real-time interactions personalised for individual context are too important to be missed as a planning activity. Yet they often are. It’s why we created this lifecycle marketing infographic to highlight the need to plan and schedule all of these activities – many opportunities are missed, or these activities aren’t optimised:
Thanks @Dave – yes, I take your point about planning and also the ‘always on’ (non-linear) dynamic that digital has introduced. M3 isn’t really about process, or the potentially new operating model, or ‘rhythm’, of marketing. It doesn’t cover things like culture, or agile, for example. It is not about how we do marketing, more what it is. The DNA of marketing rather than the brain/body 😉
M3 also isn’t a blueprint as such for the organisational design of the marketing function. So, for example, you could bring in some of your lifecycle marketing thinking by structuring the team around customer acquisition, conversion, retention etc. Or by the customer decision journey (find it, research it, buy it etc).
BTW, Smart Insights had a great graphic (which I think you must have created) which showed a wheel with concentric circles and had digital/classic marketing techniques plotted on it? I’d like to reference that to plot digital/classic marketing disciplines against each of the 10 elements of M3.
Great work as ever Ashley, love it.
Being a big fan of models to illustrate an approach this is a great view of where we are. As with all models the learning defines how impactful it becomes. The 4Ps (and later 7Ps and 4Cs) were institutionalised and unfortunately ended up conditioning the ‘new age’ marketer, who has been torn between trying to be a good marketer (as defined by traditional marketing courses) and one ready for this century.
I’m glad to see Data & Measurement in there – for too long, I feel, it has been portrayed as an afterthought to the typical Marketer’s remit of planning, yet it literally underpins the success of every digital campaign. This for me is the stand-out improvement on previous models.
Thanks @Depesh. Glad you like it.
Thanks for the clarification Ashley, makes sense – a scoping showing the importance of STP and brand to create value is still useful since many still think Marketing = Promotion only. Period.
I guess I’m such a process person I didn’t get that…
The wheel you’re referencing is an infographic we developed defining different multichannel marketing activities to drive growth – Dan Bosomworth of First 10 and I created it in 2012 or so based on PR Smith’s excellent SOSTAC(R) planning framework:
We wanted to show the importance of insight-driven planning, review and improvement. What we’d call agile marketing today (but underpinnned by a longer-term strategy).
Thanks @Dave. Actually I was remembering this that you did: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/94/30/5b/94305b640b7b74f07aeea852f0c1f953.jpg though not exactly what I had in mind.
We did this all the way back in 2005: https://c1.staticflickr.com/2/1022/1467461063_632e9733e9.jpg
I’m thinking of attempting to plot all the digital and classic marketing disciplines as outer circles to the 10 M3 elements…
Brilliant analysis, Ashley.
Marketing are changing every day and M3 show this for us.
Ashley, I’m author of a Growth Hacking blog at Brazil. I would like to ask for your permission to translate this article into Portuguese and post it on my blog, citing the original link and your name as the author. It would be possible?
@willian yes, sure, go for it.
To say “the way in which marketing is taught, understood and operates has not really changed.” is a testament to WHY marketing’s bubble is about to pop, a testament to WHY brand engagement scores on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram are all plummeting (Forrester & Buzzsumo), a testament to WHY Forbes cites that only 32% of brand marketers believe they’re executing an effective digital strategy, a testament to WHY Accenture shows that only 45% of executives believe digital will achieve business results and, a testament to WHY P&G cites digital as “ineffective”
You’re right, marketing needs a new framework but before that, marketers needs to see that BECAUSE of digital, A Malcolm Gladwell-esk permanent sociological tipping point has occurred in the way’s consumers behave rendering past one-way, promotional-focused marketing methodologies irrelevant and ineffective. Moreover, HBR’s work is pointing to why CMO’s are failing and why CEO’s don’t trust them: with so much noise and excitement around digital transformation, CMO’s frameworks are focused on revenue potential and technology usage and NOT what they should be focused on: “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him/her and sells itself”. – Peter Drucker
The real “answer” then (or the real “framework”) in today’s digital world must follow Tom Davenport’s guidance in Analytic 3.0 approaches: the core market driver of NEW human, digital behavior. “Brands must leapfrog the conventions of their categories to champion new ideologies that are meaningful to customers” – Douglas Holt
Unless brands seriously overhaul established marketing normatives and practices – and begin to understand the sociological drivers of human-centric actions – they will not convert and deliver real consumer engagement (ROI) in a digital world.
Full data set at: Digitalbigshort.com
Just come across an interview with Philip Kotler (the ‘father of modern marketing’) at http://www.marketingjournal.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/kotlerinterview.pdf where he says:
“Any manager or student who studies only the old marketing will be no match against digital marketers.”
“The company’s chief marketing officer (CMO) has to balance the company’s spending between traditional and digital marketing and to take advantage of synergies between the two.”
“CMOs are recognizing the growing importance of content marketing”
So Kotler, at 85 yrs old, is pushing digital, digital/classic marketing integration, and content marketing. I must contact him to enrol him in marketing M3… 😉
Ashley, appreciate how you’ve highlighted Kotler’s points around how the old is no match for new, how CMO must balance and realize synergies between the two (digital and traditional) and how integration of the two is paramount.
I also love how in the article, Kotler, the father, points to Drucker as the grandfather. In 1992, Drucker wrote an article for HBR in which he predicted “the shift to a knowledge society” – he was very right: finding information in today’s digital, knowledge society isn’t hard. What’s amazing though is how Drucker, 25 years ago, already said that in an information [digital] society, the information MUST lead executives to ask the right questions.
For example: If Kotler clearly says that traditional and digital are different, why are we not concerned with the comment: “But the way in which marketing is taught, understood and operates has not really changed.”
Doesn’t that cause some element of concern? If the father of marketing is clearly saying they’re different…and the grandfather is saying we have to ask right questions, Ashley, I’d love to hear your thoughts around why are we still operating, teaching and understanding marketing in a way that hasn’t changed?
I think moreover, that you’re bang on with your comment that we need a new and unifying framework. The framework I use is Digital is to Marketing as Gunpowder was to War. Before gunpowder, military generals were taught how to strategies using horses, archers, foot soldiers with spears and swords, etc. However, once gunpowder showed up, we saw how wars were still fought using pre-gunpowder strategies: line-em-up and shoot. Today, the strategies of war teachings have radically changed: we use snipers, drones, precision, etc.
Old marketing strategies were one-directional: we watched TV, we listened to radio, we read print magazines and newspapers. Consumers “received” messages. Today though, because of digital, we still, just like with war, see marketers using digital in pre-digital ways: they use YouTube like it’s TV, they use podcasts like they’re radio and they use digital advertising like it’s print.
Today’s data-based, dialogue age demands engagement and not promotional approaches. We have to start teaching marketers to stop bringing knives to gunfights.
Again, your thoughts are appreciated.
Keven, you are right that “generals are always fighting the last war.” But, I want to address your earlier question about why we are still operating, teaching and understanding marketing in a way that hasn’t changed.
I teach digital marketing and social media marketing at a university, but I can do that because I’m an outside “industry expert” who is brought in as an “instructor” for an executive education program. When some undergraduates expressed interest in taking the Mini-MBA courses that I teach, the university said they couldn’t — even though it didn’t offer digital marketing or social media marketing courses at the undergraduate level. Why not? Because the tenured professors learned “marketing” in the 20th Century and had no experience teaching topics like search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, content marketing, web analytics, or a host of related subjects. And it may take a generation before tenured professors are ready to teach these subjects.
Now, this isn’t a rant on academics. I’ve seen a similar situation in the clients that I have worked with over the past 15 years. Top marketing executives — the CMOs or VPs of Marketing — got to where they are by knowing how to manage 20th Century marketing and advertising programs, which is why so much money is still spent on TV long after most of the audience shifted to digital media.
So, we live in an era where marketing is being re-invented more quickly than most academic institutions or more large business organizations can absorb.
That’s why Ashley’s framework is so important. It begins to lay the foundation that we need to do more than invent to tactics. It lets us provide a new generation of marketers with a framework to create strategies that work.
But, to roll this out, you will need two crucial elements: Training and education. (And they are different.)
I’ve taught lots of “training workshops” and they will be needed at industry conferences and in webinars to show existing marketers how to adjust to this new model successfully.
And I’ve taught lots of “courses” and “online courses” and they will be needed to develop the next generation of marketers. This will also benefit their employers, who won’t need to re-train them in what works because they didn’t learn that in college.
That’s what I think is needed to overcome this sea change in marketing. And that’s why I’m excited about the new model that Ashley has shared with us.
Greg, I agree that new training and education is needed to reshape and empower marketing in today’s digital age. I also agree that Ashley’s model is showing that a holistic mentality is paramount if we are to bridge consumer engagement into operational transformation.
I’d like to share a few things with you and again, would appreciate your comments accordingly.
Firstly, I too have seen that due to the entrenched teachings of past, both academics and industry are lagging behind the adjusted reality of today’s digital landscape. Seeking to enable change, I authored a 3-part White paper on Contextual Marketing in today’s digital age dealing with 1) the new required mindset and the challenges we face (deals with your points of established practice vs. current day relevance) 2) What marketing leaders must do to present required action for seamless acceptance and 3) the 5 steps marketers must follow to ensure this acceptance, adoption and ultimately profitable growth. You can get a free copy of this work from my emissaryinsights.com website.
Secondly, I also agree that training and education are different and are critical for today’s and next generation’s marketers. For this reason, I’ve authored a program called Mastering Digital Strategy. By intent, the program is designed to disrupt the established teachings of academia; by educating under the framework of marketing agency vs. in-house brand marketer, I force objectivity and an outside-in approach towards what’s being done. In addition, it lines up with Ashley’s Modern Marketing Model through it’s 5 courses and enables a new framework through the lens of Tom Davenport’s Analytic 3.0 customer-centric approach.
The first course, The Fundamentals of Digital strategy addresses the right side of Ashley’s model (points 1, 2, 3): strategy, marketing orientation and customer insights. The second course deals with programs and not tactics: how to do exactly as you say: “do more than invent tactics”. The third course is how to hone and develop digital, customer-centric profiles for online engagement based on online behaviors (Ashley’s 4th, 5th and 6th points in the MMM). The fourth, how to actually drive engagement through relevancy and content (Ashley’s 7th 8th and 9th points) and the fifth, Digital insights and analytics for ROI (Ashley’s 10th point)
Beyond education, the program also comes with 10 templates that takes the education and turns it into training and action; giving the participants instant “here’s what you learned” and “here’s how you do it”. And lastly, each course has an exam to ensure and measure participate understanding; once passing all 5 exams, participants receive official certification, backed by The Direct Marketing Association of Canada’s Blazon.
You can also see more details on the Mastering Digital Strategy program on my emissaryinsights.com website, under the training tab.
Your industry and academic perspectives on this would again, be truly appreciated.
Thanks @Kevin and @Greg. Very interesting commentary.
Part of what I’m trying to achieve with M3 is a balance of the ‘old’ and the ‘new’. Not for the sake of it, to try and keep both camps happy, but because I believe it is the right way forwards.
Almost all the ‘old’ thinking, when considered from a strategic/conceptual point of view, is still valid. To use Kevin’s war metaphor, we can still go back over 2,500 years to Sun Tzu for words of wisdom on military strategy even though the tools and tactics have changed dramatically.
Similarly I don’t think we’ve actually changed that much as humans for thousands of years in terms of basic needs, wants, motivations, behaviours. For example, if you look at the work of someone like Professor Robin Dunbar (famous for the ‘Dunbar Number’) you’ll see all the evidence says that despite social media and digital networks, we still can’t really know more than around 150 people properly (see https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2010/mar/14/my-bright-idea-robin-dunbar etc)
I think almost all of Drucker’s, or Kotler’s, thinking still applies in many of the fundamentals. Have a look at this piece by John Louth from 1966 to see how, in many ways, our excitement around ‘digital’ or ‘customer-centricity’ or ‘globalisation’ or ‘data-driven optimisation’ or ‘customer insight’ is really nothing new. It has been thought, and said, before: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/the-changing-face-of-marketing
I agree with Mark Ritson that ‘digital’ risks allowing tactics to dominate strategy (see https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/05/11/mark-ritson-beware-the-tactification-of-marketing/). Digital certainly impacts business strategy but ‘digital marketing’, in my view, is just an executional arm within ‘marketing’. I don’t like the idea of a “digital marketing strategy”; a ‘digital marketing plan’ is fine. Either way, ‘digital’ should only be there to support the marketing/business strategy. It is not an end in itself.
All that said… I agree with Greg in that I think much of academia is out of touch with where the industry is. I think it is fine for them to teach the evergreen fundamentals and strategy, but it is not acceptable to lose touch with the latest tools, tactics and techniques (mostly digital) that students are going to need in their day jobs. At least part of the reason most students pay to study is to improve their employment prospects and employers are going to be looking for practical skills as much as strategic ones, particularly for less senior roles.
I would encourage you to read the following to see what I fear many marketing students may feel with what is currently being taught: https://medium.com/@dpalm/studying-marketing-at-university-was-a-frustrating-waste-of-time-b7bf0ef39d7
Some think we need ‘revolution’ in marketing thinking and teaching. I believe ‘evolution’ is enough. I haven’t seen any revolutionary models or broader thinking that I think will stand the test of time.
Cool, Kevin. But, here’s what we are up against: At last count, 4.6 billion pieces of content are created daily. So, a white paper — even a 3-part white paper — is a step in the right direction, but will be lost in a glut of other information.
Training and education increase the leverage because you can generally get and keep someone’s attention longer and that gives you time to help them unlearn what they have learned as well as learn what now works. So, your courses are likely to have more long-lasting impact.
If Ashley writes a book, that would help. We could assign it as the new “textbook” for our training workshops and online courses. Heck, even an e-book would help. Ashley could select a dozen experts to co-author chapters to produce a roadmap for other to follow.
An annual conference would be helpful. Speakers could share the latest research, case studies, and best practices that attendees could take back to their organizations and agencies.
And here’s what I’m thinking about contributing to this effort. I’m currently create a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Influencer Marketing Strategy for Rutgers and Coursera. One of the academics who is helping me create my first MOOC is Barbara Oakley, a professor at Oakland University in Michigan. She has 1.8 million students in 200 countries taking her MOOC on “Learning How To Learn.” So, when I’m done working on my first MOOC, I will propose one on Ashley’s Modern Marketing Model. That’s another way to take an idea worth spreading (as TED Talks would describe it) and help it to spread.