Engagement is Driving the Transformation of Marketing
By Kathleen Hosfeld
It was in the 1960s that management guru Peter Drucker first said that “Marketing is the whole company seen from the point of view of the customer.” Half a century later, we have another chance to catch on.
In a recent article released by McKinsey Quarterly, titled “We’re All Marketers Now” authors Tom French, Laura LaBerge and Paul Magill describe the growing realization that marketing is “everyone’s job.”
Drucker may have first published on the subject, but it has been reinforced recently in research on purpose-based businesses conducted by Raj Sisodia, who noticed that some companies outperformed others financially but seemed to spend less on marketing. In an earlier article, I took issue with that statement, clarifying that they spent less money on advertising and promotion – not marketing per se. How do they outperform other companies if they don’t spend as much on push forms of marketing? Answer: Through living out a purpose that fosters good will from customers and other stakeholders. In these companies marketing didn’t go away. It became focused on relationship and the customer experience. As a result, it became everyone’s job.
Social Media is Not Driving Transformation
In a recent discussion forum, one of my contacts asserted that “social media is driving” significant changes in marketing. I disagree, social media is the enabler, not the cause. Customers want engagement with the people and companies with which they do business. They want to trust the people with whom they work. A desire for, no, an expectation of engagement is driving the transformation of marketing.
Engagement is a word we have previously heard mainly in HR circles, centered on employees. Increasingly, however, engagement is the word used to describe successful marketing relationships that shape customer experiences. Delivering customer experiences requires the cross-functional coordination that previously was only used to service very large corporate business to business accounts.
Today, however, those who want to deliver world-class experiences are working across organizational silos to make sure customer touch-points deliver the experience and reinforce the brand.
As described in the McKinsey article, this approach requires a new level of organizational alignment and conflict resolution, including adaptive financial systems that can respond rapidly as needs arise.
The authors say that the major barrier to creating engagement is organizational rather than conceptual. Delivering superior customer experience means building processes to create internal engagement and alignment, cross-functional collaboration, and the ability to dialogue internally as well as externally with customers and other stakeholders. These capacities enable companies to design and execute superior customer experiences and, ultimately, value to all parties.
The McKinsey article: “We’re All Marketers Now”
We’re interested in your thoughts, and the customer experiences you’d like to deliver.