Superbowl Sunday! I’m prepping my appetite for more wings than a human should be able to consume and am especially excited about my forthcoming prosciutto-wrapped figs stuffed with goat cheese (which I will closely resemble after the game.) As a life-long Bostonian I am of course rooting for Tommy-B and the Deflated Balls of New England… but ABOVE ALL I am really looking forward to the touchdown celebration moves. Here’s a list of the top 10 best touchdown moves you’ll never see again due to regulations.
Busting a move is not reserved for the well-paid (ahem… overpaid?) employees of the NFL. You too can take a page from Young MC and bust your own marketing move. Here are the top 3 marketing moves I’d love to see in 2015.
To be customer-centric means allowing buyers to essentially guide the strategy of product, sales, marketing and more. Customers become the “north star” that your business consistently follows. They become the “hero of your story,” (to quote Ann Handley). Strategically, this is the difference between being product-centered vs. customer-centric.
George Colony, CEO of Forrester, even goes as far to state:
“Companies must transform to be customer-obsessed enterprises. Customer obsession focuses strategy, energy, and budget on processes that enhance knowledge of and engagement with customers – and prioritizes them over maintaining traditional (and crumbling) competitive barriers.”
2. A Balancing Act of the Art, the Heart and the Science
In the world of Mad Men Madison Avenue, marketing was mostly art. Creatives were in control and fueled by martinis or whiskey, national ads dependent on visuals, clever phrasing and wit, and a gleam of consumer insight. Fast forward to the last 5 years and marketing has (clearly) changed dramatically.
The rise of the empowered consumer, huge amounts of data trails left behind from buyers' digital behavior, and a wealth of marketing technology has swung the marketing industry to the opposite end on the art-to-science spectrum. We are to be marketing technologists in 2015.
But in the rush from art to science, I think we’ve lost a little of the “heart” behind what drives buyer behavior and what our brands can do to connect in a compassionate way. Marketers should remain empathetic experts on buyer personas and preferences as much as we are data-driven and analytical.
Making assumptions about buyers should fall by the wayside with the availability of data and insight to validate or invalidate deep-seated beliefs about buyers. Yes, insights from big data and analytics are driving a new era of customer intelligence and predictive analytics. But there must be a balance between blindly adopting the analytics and strategy driven by stats, and strategy decisions that are driven by instincts and customer voice.
It’s not really about left brain vs right brain anymore: the new truth is that marketing is a trifecta of art, heart and science.
3. Stop Talking and Start Listening
We’re in marketing – of course we’re good at talking. My own father once told me I could “talk a dog off a meat wagon.” But when it comes to your buyers: start listening. Great marketing is not just about amplification. It must incorporate the voice of your customer. What ever happened to the buzz around customer voice programs?
I recommend a read-through of this excellent article by Tony Zambito, “Listening and Empathy: Making Your Marketing More Human-Centered.”
If you’re like the majority of B2B marketers who feel as though their content marketing and B2B marketing efforts are only effective less than 40% of the time, it’s time to re-examine how to connect your organization to its customers and buyers.
Try creating a dialogue and listening to your intended recipients. Observe them. You'll develop a better understanding of the drivers that affect your buyers as human beings every day. Really, try it. I promise it will deliver some quick ideas for you to develop more effective content, messaging, and more.
So, there’s my wish-list for marketers in 2015. A more human-centered approach, marketing with heart, and leading the customer-centric dynamic shift in your organization.
As for tonight, I’d like Julian Edelman to throw another touchdown pass like he did in the playoffs… because that was just awesome.
What do you think?