We are all forever students.
I’m pretty sure the first time I heard a variation phrase, it was many years ago, and by Brian Solis. It’s an elegant idea and a nice balance to a marketing world where today, many vie for expert status.
I’ve long since adopted the philosophy and it’s a driver for this infrequent series. In my mind, roundups are as much about learning as they are finding new people and sharing big ideas.
It’s easy to read…but writing is thinking. It’s a way to internalize and reflect more deeply on a topic. We run so fast and so hard in marketing, we have to make time for reflection.
Our industry is besieged by a perennial change which means there is no such thing as graduation. Ever. To that end, we are all forever students.
And that’s the theme for this week’s Unscripted Marketing links [UML]. As it is on many Saturdays, I offer three articles I’ve vetted and recommend for your perusal. Feel free to start writing about these too, by leaving a comment below.
1) Left Brain + Right Brain = Chief Revenue Officer
The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is being asked to do more and more. It’s an ever-growing balance of art and science. In a piece for AW360 – The Rise of Dual-Brain CMO – Thom Gruhler writes that the top marketer can add one more duty to the list: chief revenue officer.
It won’t be easy, but it could be rewarding for those that learn and adapt:
“Taking responsibility for revenue generation is a risk for CMOs, but is also an area with a ton of opportunity for those who can figure out how to navigate this new terrain.”
He lists four-way CMOs can help drive revenue that includes:
“…a mix of both left-brain and right-brain skills to their job – to not only engage audiences, but leverage data to impact the customer experience (CX). They need to lead the use data analytics, personalization and optimization to improve campaigns, while also showing ROI for highly-targeted activities that are led by digital.”
I’d underscore his emphasis on art and science – not art or science. Data tells you what happened as opposed to what is going to happen.
2) The Struggle for Marketing Talent is Just Beginning
A new study by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) is warning the industry of an approaching “talent crisis,” according to reporting by Erik Oster for Adweek. The ANA commissioned a survey that found disparate notions of marketing among academia, business, and those entering or new to a career I marketing:
“The report cited four key reasons for the disconnect between advertising agencies and marketers, academics and students: the digital transformation of the ad industry, increased competition from tech companies, ‘differing generational expectations of work environment, job responsibilities and career advancement,’ and academic curricula not keeping pace with the rapid changes in the industry.”
I believe the issues could well be rooted deeper in the culture of the industry. For example, two of the most prominent trade publications in the industry include the words “ad” or “advertising” in their titles.
Advertising is indeed marketing, but it only one part of marketing. As any PR professional knows, how we frame the profession, affects both the talent we attract and the continuing education that’s required.
The full ANA study is available here: Bridging the Talent Disconnect: Charting the Pathways to Future Growth.
3) Survey: B2B Marketing Looks to Build an Audience
There’s a world of difference between content marketing and marketing content. The latter blasts content all of the web, while the former is a dedication to publishing quality content, in the same place, and consistently over time. The purpose is to build an audience.
B2B marketers have latched on to the notion, according to Ann Handley in a piece titled 2018 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends. She summarizes her thoughts on the latest annual content marketing survey by MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute (CMI), including:
“80% of all B2B content marketers surveyed agree their organization is focused on building audiences (i.e., one or more subscriber bases); that’s an 18% increase from last year. And nearly all – 92% – of the top-performing B2B content marketing programs say they are focused on building audiences.
Takeaway: B2B marketers get it: A clearly defined audience is one of the foundations of a successful content program. Without it, content is merely a tiny voice in the wilderness—shivering, alone, friendless.”
The study is embedded nearby and freely available on SlideShare.
Side note: There’s a new face on the welcome slide this year.
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Art or Science: Creative Marketing and PR