Customers are now driving innovation in products and services. Brands will succeed or fail based on the views of their first customers who, thanks to the evolution of technology, can now be heard by a bigger audience than ever before. Welcome to the Customer Age, the marketing equivalent of the Industrial Revolution.
Marketing Directors are overwhelmed with the plethora and complexity of marketing channels available, and often feel they need not only to understand them all, but also to be experts in them all too. Achieving ROI appears complex, when there are so many places that marketing budgets can be spent.
The marketing agencies that support brands need to change. Services need to be joined up so the focus is on expertise, innovation and customer thinking. A siloed approach simply cannot provide the holistic strategy that is required to ensure the best possible customer journey.
Brands themselves need to consider what agencies they are utilising and how they work together. It is often the situation that five agencies fight for budget for their piece of the puzzle, rather than working together to ensure that all the pieces fit together.
The new approach needs world class talent. Already the creative industries are contributing over £80 billion per year1 and thousands of jobs to the British economy but this is simply not sustainable as long as the government doesn’t support us. Creativity is not nurtured in education and by the age of 14 children are able to give up all creative subjects. Young people with the potential to innovate and change how we think simply do not receive the support they need in education.
The pace of change in our industry can feel overwhelming to anyone, but our role as marketers is to ensure that we work in a way that is adaptable, forward thinking and gives brands the support they need to have confidence in what our industry can provide them.
The Customer Age means that the power no longer sits with brands and not enough of them recognise it. They must recognise that success depends on listening to customers, being influenced by them and letting their desires drive their business decisions