It’s said modern marketing is, by definition, continuously evolving and changing. For companies that want to implement a marketing modernization plan it can be a daunting undertaking to reorient the organization’s way of thinking and get buy-in from all stakeholders.

I had the pleasure of leading a panel discussion with three seasoned marketing professionals –Jennifer Tomlinson, the Senior Worldwide Channel Marketing Manager at Microsoft, Jennifer Manton, the Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at Kramer Levin, and Ray Meiring, the CEO of Qorus – where we discussed what companies should be considering in their transformation to modern marketing.

Each spoke about their organization’s journey to modernization, sharing similar sentiments about how companies should begin this journey and what to keep in mind along the way.

Here are my 5 key takeaways from the discussion:

1. The fundamentals of marketing have not changed.

Understanding the customer remains a fundamental element of marketing. For our products and services to resonate with customers, we need to understand who they are, what they want, what challenges they face and how they engage and make buying decisions.

In other words, companies must have a deep understanding of who their customers are in order to inform their modern marketing strategy.

2. Content marketing is at the centre.

We’ve seen a dramatic shift in the way customers are consuming information and making buying decisions. For marketers, it comes down to developing content that will enter into the consumer’s consideration set.

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach intended to attract and retain a target audience by developing and delivering valuable and relevant content that drives profitable action.

Why it works: Customers are researching and relying on information to inform their buying decisions. Producing content that educates, informs and engages your audience helps to build a relationship before they’ve even knocked on your door.

When implementing a content marketing strategy, going back to the fundamentals of marketing is key. Not all customer segments respond to the same types of content.

What can you do to understand the types of content you need to create? Develop personas for your buyers. Envision a day in the life of that particular customer and what types of messages are appropriate for that person as they move through the buying cycle. What will they want to read, when will they want to hear from you and what actions will they take to let you know they’re ready to buy?

3. Lines are blurring between sales, business development and marketing.

Customer buying behaviour and the focus on content are blurring the lines between sales, business development and marketing. Today, customers are a lot further along in the buying cycle with their reliance on content to inform their purchasing decisions. As a result, effective content marketing is filling the top of the sales funnel. This new means of lead generation is redefining the roles of marketing, sales and business development. Bringing these teams together is critical for modern marketing.

4. Technology advances make it easier to prove your results.

Advances in technology have provided us with new channels for delivering our messages to customers, as well as the tools to help target, predict and analyze our outcomes.

It wasn’t always easy to confidently state how our marketing activities were performing. Today it’s a different story. Organizations need to be taking advantage of these technological advances so they can connect the dots between marketing and lead generation.

The ability to track and know exactly what’s happening in a business from the beginning to the end of a customer’s journey is a crucial component of being a modern marketing company.

5. It may take a leap of faith to make the change.

For Qorus, Ray Meiring described their transformation to modern marketing as a leap of faith.
When you’ve always been focused on traditional marketing activities it is intimidating to completely change your way of doing things.

Focusing on content development and implementing the tools that will monitor and analyze results will revolutionize an organization’s marketing efforts.

One of the biggest challenges, of course, can be getting people on board. However, change can begin when you share with them the results of your new approach – they will be eager to build and grow when they can see the difference they can make!

Modern Marketing Webinar - Listen for Yourself

Hear first hand about what companies should be considering on their transformation to modern marketing by checking out the recorded version of the webinar: