Is splitting marketing into different subsections proving to be an archaic way of thinking for brands?

Is thinking in terms such as digital marketing a reductive way of looking at the vast spectrum of consumer/brand interaction?

According the Marie Gulin-Merle, Global CMO at Calvin Klein, companies should think of marketing as one entity, rather than split marketing into different subsections.

In a recent Q&A with Think with Google’s Editor-in-Chief Bethany Poole, Gulin-Merle described a notable shift in mindset around marketing as a whole.

“It’s now misleading and duplicative to talk about traditional and digital marketing,” she said. “This just leads to the creation of siloes.”

Instead, a change in mindset should be introduced. This should be led by from CEOs and chief marketing officers (CMO) according to Gulin-Merle, with CMOs driving the part that is consumer-related.

“There are new norms forming all the time, and the ways to measure performance are changing,” she said. “CMOs should look to upskill and reskill teams. The chief information officer (CIO) is the best friend of the CMO, and can provide the kind of insight required to make positive decisions. This can bring about a full company transformation.”

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The changing customer journey

peer to peer advocacy

The customer journey is much changed from that of only a few years ago. But Gulin-Merle sees three main traction points still present for consumers.

  • The discovery phase - sometimes referred to as ‘ROPO’
  • Peer to peer advocacy - customers developing trust for brands based on information from other consumers
  • Consumers wanting to buy wherever, whenever

With 50% of all sales now digitally influenced across all industries, it’s vital for marketers to embrace the changes being seen within the industry.

Gulin-Merle explained how Calvin Klein focuses on four main areas, with the job of marketers being to marry up all four:

  • Acquiring new consumers
  • Securing a second purchase from customers
  • Cross selling or deeper selling to enhance brand loyalty
  • Customer retention

The role of content and technology

Gulin-Merle believes that digital content optimisation is vital for today’s brands, with two main types of content to the fore: hero content and always-on content.

Hero content helps to engage new customers, while always-on content supports the retention of existing customers and offers the chance for higher personalisation.

Gulin-Merle also spoke about the vital role of technology for marketers, and described how great marketers will be the ones to embrace tech the best.

She said that creative teams can’t be afraid of tech, and that is intuition is augmented by tech and data.

Gulin-Merle also described big data as being great but requiring humans ideas on how to use the information gleaned. She also iterated how companies should commit to data security.

General tips and advice for marketers

Gulin-Merle said that her mantra is ‘come to work like it’s your first day’. It’s all about not getting too comfortable and thinking you know everything, but instead being curious and humble.

She also explained that consumers connect to a brand, but they buy products. This is important to bear in mind when considering customer loyalty, and brands should look to adapt to match consumer behaviour.

She finished by saying that if you ever want to go somewhere, start walking. Identify achievements and what the promised land looks like, but also what tomorrow looks like.

Keen to enhance your own marketing approach? Speak to the Williams Commerce team.

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