How Has the Modern Marketing Changed?

There is some confusion about modern marketing. There is so much involved, and each discipline is so interlinked that, especially for startups and SMEs, knowing where to start can be overwhelming. As a business grows, a catalogue of siloed disciplines, freelancers or job roles can quickly become unwieldy, expensive, disconnected and ineffective.
In recent weeks a friend mentioned that they were looking for a PR firm. The challenge they were having was that very few people in the proverbial Rolodex couldn't think of someone who specifically offered PR, and those they did recommend didn't describe themselves as PR firms. 
The challenge was symptomatic of the marketplace. Of course, some companies class themselves as PR firms, and they do their job exceptionally well, but the term's meaning has changed. It's no longer simply about having the personal phone number of the Business Editor at the Sunday Times. Much in the same way that advertising isn't about Don Draper, PR has changed as well. It's more connected to the marketing suite as a whole than ever before, and herein lies the challenge for businesses when answering these three questions:
  • What do you want to do with your marketing?
  • How do you want to do it?
  • And who should you approach?

What is marketing?

We are often approached with the statement: "we want to 'do' marketing." It's a fair enough thing to say. However, in a sophisticated world, "doing marketing" means it's an ever more sophisticated and bespoke exercise built on data, market knowledge, market research, a clear understanding of your goals, and a strategy to bring it all together.
To go back to basics for a moment, marketing is often referred to less in the context of what it is and more in the context of some of the methodologies to achieving its goal.
The top searches around the term' marketing expert' pull up topics including:
  • Facebook marketing experts
  • Digital marketing experts
  • Online marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Search engines
  • Email marketing 
However, these relate to tools used for marketing purposes; they are not the definition of marketing itself. Marketing itself is the action of promoting a business with a direct link to selling products or services. While we might think of Facebook posts and newsletters, the emphasis should always be on sales and the long-term value of the brand and the company. 
What should a business look for in a marketing consultancy or marketing expert?
Search behaviour shows that when it comes to understanding marketing, we all appreciate that there are many tools involved, which is the crux of what makes it challenging to find someone who is truly a marketing expert.

Top questions about marketing experts

Specific questions that appear in Google search also cover a broad range of disciplines. For example:
  • How do I find an expert in Strategic and Digital Marketing?
  • How do I know if an online marketing expert is credible?
  • Who can help me to market my products and services?
  • Why is it more difficult to evaluate service or product marketing?
  • What is the best way to find a digital marketing expert?
  • When do you need a marketing specialist?
  • What is the role of a marketing consultant?

The role of a marketing director

Most people are experts in a specific marketing area, and they are truly excellent at what they do. A marketing expert, marketing consultant or CMO (Chief Marketing Officer), brings all of those constituent parts within the marketing suite together. 
They ensure that those disciplines are working together, working towards the same objective and that they are indeed 'working'. Marketing leadership brings the overarching marketing strategy and ensure it's in line with business goals.
Having someone in the C-Suite overseeing this level of strategic focus isn't always requiring a full-time role. In many cases, it's a position best served or supported by a fractional CMO, interim marketing director or a part-time marketing director who can bring an outside perspective to key planning stages. At the same time, the permanent team oversees regular management.

Working out what you need from your marketing consultancy

To our mind, working out what you need from a marketing consultancy begins with a good conversation. In our work, we have endeavoured to make that chat focus in a very targeted manner on your business goals and objectives, with a carefully designed Market Expansion Readiness Audit.
This looks at:
  • Target market identification and understanding
  • Business model and value proposition relevance
  • Marketing strategies and tactics
  • Resources available for deployment in the new market
Through this, we explore four key areas that will influence the probability of success in entering a new market, also revealing where the gaps are in your current strategy or setting in motion plans for those setting out on their marketing journey. As a result, you will begin to fill out the resource gap, the areas of opportunity for your business and make sure that you are allocating talent and tools in the most effective way possible.
So, to conclude - how has the modern marketing consultancy changed? There is some exceptional talent available both for full-time and part-time positions for different disciplines within the marketing suite. What a good marketing consultancy should be able to do, is help you bring those together strategically to make sure you are:
  • Ensuring those talents are allocated appropriately and not being asked to fill roles they are not equipped for.
  • Ensure that you have the right marketing mix to complement one another and allow individuals and teams to work effectively.
  • Ensure that someone has their eye on the overall goals so that different parts of the marketing suite work towards shared outcomes.
  • To make sure marketing is contributing to your bottom line.  
Our team of Fractional CMOs and marketing experts are available to help you ensure your marketing approach is strategic, practical and in line with your fiscal development goals. We offer a range of services, from CMO coaching to interim marketing director support. Contact us any time to discuss the right approach for you.

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