Change of pace, B2B
The main difference for sales and marketing directors now in comparison to earlier can be summed up in one word: speed.
A term such as online strategy is, roughly speaking, excessive these days as almost all strategy is driven by the goings-on online. It is a change that is here to stay.
This change of pace is not just digital – it needs to permeate everything we do: More frequent activity through social media; a landing page that feels more alive; more frequent campaigns or preferably a continuous presence; perhaps more seminars instead of traditionally yearly one, more frequent personal contact. The trick is to see where your marketing is headed and adjust your marketing mix with a balanced levelling between offline and online activity.
The people we want to influence continuously assimilate new information and develop buying motives and preferences through a constant interaction with others. That is why we need to communicate with our target groups a lot more often. Keep the ear closer to the ground so that we understand what challenges and “pains” are most critical for them right now.
As a sales or marketing director within a small organization, this may mean that you yourself have to become a jack of all trades and also network with people with different types of specialist competency.
The same also goes for larger companies to a great extent. In this case, however, the real challenge is to get the entire organization to adjust to this necessary change. The management needs to understand that this is an essential matter for the company, to set goals and provide mandate and resources for these purposes.
These days it is, to most, a given that the CMO and CIO work closely together. The more seamless the coordination is the better. Marketing directors must now be at least as agile as the IT developers. For me as a marketing director within an IT company this may be even more evident, but it obviously concerns all businesses that want to survive in this new, digital reality.
Which demands should we put on the new marketers then? On which grounds should we recruit those who will actually do the job? Since reality changes so rapidly it is important not to focus blindly on formal qualifications. I myself tend to look closer at the candidate’s actual behavior and attitude. If they do not already have a strong presence online they are probably still living in the old, analog world. And have they not already been eager to learn to use these new tools, they will probably not be able to cope with the change of pace in the future.
Marketing Director, iStone
Hanna Nätt-Falkäng has 15 years of experience as marketer and digital strategist. She has worked in several e-business and B2B companies such as Adlibris, Avis, Visma and iStone.