Undoubtedly, your job in some way, shape or form involves communicating the value of the products or services that your company sells so that people will buy them. I’d also venture to say that you’re finding it harder to differentiate your product from the rest of the marketplace. Why is that?
First, there’s the distinction between what you are doing and what you should be doing as a marketer with your eye on the horizon. An article in the Harvard Business Review outlined the responses of a study called Marketing2020. In it, the authors put forth the notion that marketing’s role needs to evolve in order to create an organizational structure that creates a “total experience” for customers:
“Companies are increasingly enhancing the value of their products by creating customer experiences. Some deepen the customer relationship by leveraging what they know about [customers] to personalize offerings. Others focus on the breadth of the relationship by adding touchpoints. Our research shows that high-performing brands do both—providing what we call ‘total experience.’ In fact, we believe that the most important marketing metric will soon change from ‘share of wallet’ or ‘share of voice’ to ‘share of experience.”
Of any function within an organization that holds the talent and potential to drive a total customer experience, it’s marketing. As we look to the future of marketing, our role will be much more than just creating a customer. Instead, marketing’s role needs to be to evolve a customer using differentiating, content-driven experiences across the entire lifecycle.
David Edelman and Jason Heller of McKinsey pointed this out in their article Marketing disruption: Five blind spots on the road to marketing’s potential:
“Continuously evolving customer expectations are a major disruptive force, but marketing is still limited in its ability to shape the entire experiences…This lack of responsibility—and accountability—for the entire customer journey will continue to inhibit marketers’ efforts to develop seamless and consistent experiences across all touch points.”
So what does this mean for marketers?
Marketers create value through content-driven experiences
It’s time that marketers take on new responsibilities and leadership roles. Instead of just describing the value of the products and services that a company sells, marketing must now create differentiated experiential value that’s separate and distinct from a product or service. Here’s a few examples of companies already doing just that:
- Marriott’s Content Studio – Focusing on next-generation travelers and driving new business, Marriott launched its Content Studio to create content across all platforms. They’re looking to own original content marketing and build worldwide communities of people passionate about travel that will also drive them to their hotels.
- Qualcomm’s Spark platform – Built by inventors, semiconductor and mobile giant Qualcomm has built an online hub for forward-leaning futurists. They hope to re-imagine the future of communication and technology by celebrating inventors everywhere through storytelling and exploring a world that’s changing for the better every day.
- Jyske Bank TV – One of the largest banks in Denmark, Jyske Bank has centered its entire marketing strategy on an Internet-based TV station. It’s not your traditional bank. Jyske has transformed into a media company that also happens to sell banking services.
Experiences: The 7th era of marketing
As we move into a new era of marketing, many elements of previous ones persist. In fact, some of the best elements of the previous eras will likely play important roles (maybe even forever) as we move into the seventh. Brands are beginning to realize that it’s not the product or service that keeps customers loyal – it’s the experience that they have at every stage of the journey with the brand.
My and Robert Rose’s book, Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing, explores both the “why” and the “how” of navigating this new era of marketing. We look at the evolving role of marketing within an organization toward growth drivers, innovators and unifiers. We also provide a framework – called Content Creation Management – for creating an active, functioning and scalable way for marketing to use content-driven experiences to differentiate and create value. If the goal for businesses is to become more like media companies, this book is the road map to get there.Comments