3. Thought leadership and great storytelling have never been more important
The buying journey requires thought leadership during the awareness, choice, and consideration phase. And organizations vary in their capability to provide it.
Representing one of the ITSMA Diamond Award winners, Cisco, Kathy O’Connell, head of thought leadership at Cisco, gave a fabulous session on how their Internet of Everything concept goes beyond the Internet of Things. For her organization, thought leadership is embedded into their corporate marketing and aligned with sales.
Kate Mansion, managing director of Mansion and Associates, really drove home the point of making storytelling simple. “People don’t have the time nor patience for complex stories and need to find value in their listening and consumption of information,” she stated.
4. Marketing and sales must be aligned in modern marketing execution like never before
My long-time colleague and good friend Eric Martin, vice president of account-based marketing (ABM) for SAP North America, was another ITSMA Diamond award winner. His session detailed his team’s work in creating the ABM program in North America and measuring results at the account level and in aggregate. ABM is all about focus, measurement, and building on success with regular reviews, reporting, and governance.
When I recall my time at DEC as a young marketer, I still hear CEO Ken Olson saying, “The only people who are not in sales support are the sales people themselves.” Maybe Ken was onto something: If you are a modern marketer, you need to be aligned with sales and accountable to how your activity, tactics, and programs impact and support the business.
5. We have only just begun to see the ultimate impact of disruptive technology and change
When we look at innovation, market acceptance, and key trends, we generally experience adoption that resembles an “S-curve.” We are clearly still in the ascent phase of these changes, and we are not even close to leveling off into a broader “run-rate” mode when it comes to marketing operations.
I shared this with MBA’s at a recent Duke/Fuqua Marketing Symposium: If you do not like change, do not pursue a career in marketing. As Scott Brinker noted, marketing technology will see a shake up and consolidation, but we are not quite there yet. Eric Lesser, research director for the IBM Institute for Business Value, showcased how technology is seen as the main game-changer across the C-suite. Organizations do not want to be blindsided by a competitor they never saw coming. He cited an almost ubiquitous example from this year’s “event season” – Uber. Click here for my virtual trip report of my social media coverage and tweets. Good luck on your personal vision quest and modern marketing journey!
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About Fred Isbell
Fred Isbell worked at SAP for nearly 19 years in senior roles in SAP Marketing. He is an experienced, results- and goal-oriented senior marketing executive with broad and extensive experience & expertise in high technology and marketing spanning nearly 30 years. He has a BA from Yale and an MBA from the Duke Fuqua School of Business.