The Future of Marketing Lies in Creating Engagement

A couple of weeks ago, The Economist Intelligence Unit (in collaboration with Marketo) released a report called “The Rise of the Marketer – Driving engagement, experience and revenue”. It is a survey among 500 high-level marketing executives from around the world on their opinion on the future of marketing. Not surprisingly, it shows that this future lies in creating engaging experiences, and not in mass marketing and advertising.

First of all, here’s the download link for the entire report. It is worth a read from cover to cover, as it clearly paints a marketing picture that is refreshingly free of old advertisers beating the drum regarding the importance of yet another TVC. Instead, it makes a point in showing the urgent need for a radical changte in marketing.

Here’s a glimpse into the key findings, taken straight from the Marketo blog (our added highlights):

  • Over 80% of all marketers say that their organizations will need to undergo dramatic changes in order to keep up with increased technical and consumer demands. 68% of marketers feel they are viewed as a cost center today; however that is going to shift dramatically. In fact, in three to five years, 80% of marketers say they will be seen as driving revenue for their companies.
  • While roughly a third of all marketers say they own the customer relationship and engagement today, that shifts dramatically in three to five years as nearly 75%(!) of marketers say that they will own end-to-end customer engagement.
  • Marketers’ #1 investment over the next 12 months is in making a shift to digital marketing and engagement; perhaps not surprisingly, they also say that the top 2 areas of skill development in their organizations are in the areas of Marketing operations/technology and digital engagement.
  • The importance of data and technology to make these shifts can’t be understated with more than 80% of marketers saying they will use data and technology to connect with customers and engage them in a conversation to build advocacy and trust over the next three years.

Marketo sums the report up in six emerging trends:

  1. Marketing is shifting from a cost center to a revenue generator
  2. Marketing will become the Chief Customer Advocate in an organization
  3. Marketing is moving from an era of mass marketing and advertising to and era of engagement marketing
  4. Marketing needs to invest in new digital skills and operational expertise – marketing is shifting from an art form to art & science
  5. Marketing must leverage technology to succeed in this world of individual engagement at scale
  6. Key technologies like Internet-of-Things and real-time personalized mobile technologies will shape the future of marketing
 Cover photo: Andrej Iliev/FlickrCC