Thinking of strategic marketing

What I read

Some days ago I was reading and article published in the McKinsey Quaterly talking about marketing. The tittle was “The consumer decision journey”.

Although that the article is not saying anything new, the way the authors (David Court, Dave Elzinga, Susan Mulder and Ole Jørgen Vetvik) stressed the new marketing problematic is quite interesting.

There were four points which arose my attention:

  • Marketing’s goal is to reach consumers at the moments that most influence their decisions
  • Due to the explosion of product choices and digital channels, plus the emergence of an increasingly well-informed consumer, a more sofisticated approach is required
  • Due to the shift toward a two-way communication, marketers need a more systematic way to satisfy customer demands and manage word-of-mouth
  • During the customer journey, marketers must integrate strategy, spending, channel management and message across the organization

I do agree with all those concepts, however, I’m not so sure if they are strategic marketing decisions… Actually, they look like the “new issues” of marketing under the perspective of the function and close to sales…

What I thought

First of all, marketing as a function continues to be so operative and in the best case, tactic… If this is true, I would have some questions:

  • Is it right to continue thinking of influencing consumers? Would it be better to think of helping the dialogue between people who belong to our key audiences?
  • Is it right to consider that the “marketing goal” is to reach consumers at the moments that most influence their decisions?
  • Do marketers need a more sophisticated approach to deal with complexity? Wouldn’t it be better to go back to basics and make it simple (which doesn’t imply linear)?
  • Isn’t it a simplification to consider that we only have a two-way communications? Are our world and our behaviours so easy to understand?
  • How can a function integrate the whole organization?

So, if we understand marketing as a company process [neither a businees process, nor an organization one] my thoughts, in a “simple” way are:

  • Marketing is “the” responsible of the first line of the company P&L [incomes] and co-responsible of the long term value creation, and it must balance both issues
  • Marketing should understand its key audiences which means, it should know the people [within its key audiences] insights and take care of the people journey
  • Maketing should take care of the experience that the company wants to create an this is “branding”
  • Marketing should maintain the company’s relevance, and this means that it should innovate in the way of developing new businesses, markets and products

At the end it’s a question of observation, anticipation and execution to innovate and be unique…

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<a href="" target="_self">Cristian Saracco</a>

Cristian Saracco

About the author

Founding Partner | Allegro234 Founding Member | The Flow Collective Full Member | Medinge Group Member Editorial Committee | Branders Magazine

Sep 3, 2009

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