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The Rise of the Marketer

With advances in technology, marketing moments with prospects and customers are occurring in more and more places – through websites, advertising, social channels, trade shows and more. This is evolving the role that marketing plays within the enterprise, as marketing teams become less siloed, and more of a horizontal function across the entire company.

In this role, marketing can have an impact throughout the entire company. In fact, studies from McKinsey show that companies investing in advanced marketing and sales capabilities have 30 percent higher revenue than those that don’t. And this type of investment can yield 5-10x greater returns than investments in hardware.

So what does this all mean for the future of marketers? Marketo wondered the same thing so it partnered with The Economist and set out to understand what the marketing industry can expect over the next three-five years. In a study of nearly 500 senior level marketers, it identified four key areas where change is happening:

Marketers need to retool their digital engagements, and especially their strategic planning functions around digital activity. With the influx of data in today’s world, marketers need analysis tools to properly read, understand, and take action upon all of the data they are collecting.

Digital and data technologies are dominating the investments that marketing teams are making. The study showed that 25 percent of investments are going towards analytics tools that knit together data from different channels, while the other 75 percent is going towards tools that enable customer engagement such as email and social.

Marketing is shifting from a cost center, to a revenue driver. This doesn’t necessarily represent a shift in what marketing teams are doing, but it shows that marketing teams now have the tools to track when customers first begin engaging with a company, making it easier to attribute ROI to marketing functions.

Marketers are more often leading customer experiences and engagement, with 75 percent of respondents saying marketing will be completely responsible for this role in the next five years. According to 78 percent of respondents this engagement is related to sales outcomes, and can be tracked through renewals, retention and recommendations. All of the data that marketing teams collect will be crucial in mapping these customer activities and driving the loyalty that comes with personalized engagement.

Marketers have a unique opportunity to have a major impact on their organizations, by collaborating with sales, IT and other teams to make the above four predictions a reality. In a perfect world, this will evolve the role of the marketing team from a useful one to an indispensible one.

To read the report from The Economist, which includes interviews with six legendary marketing geniuses, visit: The Rise of the Marketer.


Written by

Caitlin Ridge
April 21, 2015