Changed Role of Marketing

We are about to publish my third B2B Marketing premium report, on Execution and Campaigns. This is my opening chapter entitled; “Digital Business Transformation Changes the Role of Marketing” (the six parameters of change listed are described in more detail in the report itself):

” Readers of industry analysts’ reports like this are used to being alerted to “change” and being advised (hopefully) about what to do about it. In my 20-odd years in the role, I have published scores of such reports – in the very old days, for IT Professionals about the trend to distributed or client/server computing; noting that the IT Service department is no longer managing pieces of IT equipment but full “business services”; and, of course, the advent of cloud computing. More recently, for B2B Marketers, I was one of the first to point out that the role of sellers will change (“Death of the B2B Salesman” in 2015), the rise of Account-Based Marketing and, most recently, Marketing’s change-in-purpose from the loyal hunter and gatherer of leads to an orchestrator of customer engagement and experience. 

But this time, things really have changed: dramatically, drastically, radically, and probably for-ever. 

COVID is the Accelerant for Digital Marketing Transformation  

No business can now afford to ignore the need for digital transformation. The prevailing arguments in some B2B organisations: “We know our customers well enough”; “Our buyers do not work digitally”; “Nobody buys our solutions over the Web” are no longer valid. In fact, the reality of working during a pandemic has proven all those objections to be false. It has finally forced many marketing organizations to respond to the pressure of digital transformation, overcoming a logjam of institutional resistance.  

Even more: the whole post-covid business world is clearly going to be one driven by overwhelming societal changes, which will result in new working practices, as well as major economic and market shifts. And these changes are already reflected in new B2B customer or buyer behaviour and preferences. That should be enough to make Marketing react, but the probability is that many businesses will need to engage in a much more holistic radical re-thinking about their products, services, channels, processes and go-to-market approach. All of which could, ultimately, result even in a fundamental re-examination of the role of Marketing itself. 

Parameters of Change  

Indeed, some business leaders are already looking for Marketing to step up and lead change. They’re looking down a new type of funnel and have realised that their customers have different expectations and now want Marketing to drive a different demand generation programme through more impactful and relevant campaigns and a seamless, cohesive customer journey. The “big picture” includes these six possible parameters of change:

1. The Offering

2. The Target Markets

3. The Brand

4. Marketing’s Role

5. The Buyers

6. The Engagement

The complete “big picture” of change will be discussed in a Premium report addressing Strategy, later this year. If the engine room of Marketing is now Marketing Operations (see the first Premium Report), and the probable aspirational goal for Marketing is Customer Experience (second Premium Report), the current functional focus for today’s Marketing organization is executing Campaigns. 

That is the focus for this report: Execution and Campaigns: building marketing programs that will engage audiences to change how they think and feel. It is exactly those items: “engage”, “how they think”, “feel” that have now changed so dramatically. 

The questions we will try to answer in this report are: what has changed and how ? What will stayed changed for ever ? What lessons have already been learned in the last 18 months that can be leveraged when planning for the next marketing calendar. “


The report will publish to B2B Marketing Propolis clients next week and a shortened version to the non-premium members some days later. Contact me if you would like to get more details.

Always keeping you informed! Peter

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