By Matthew Stevens– Originally published January 8 2018
What does the future of marketing look like? Last year, MOI Global undertook a six-month project to find out. Consisting of three global dinner discussions, a survey and top marketing thought leadership from some frankly badass panelists and speakers, Disrupt Forum 2017 uncovered many of the answers.
We started by dissecting the anatomy of the modern marketer. Today’s buyer has all the power, and any marketer who wants to redress the balance needs to adopt a new way of thinking. But no marketer is an island. And no single skill set will do. Instead, both MOI’s Anatomy of the Modern Marketer survey and the panellists from our first Disrupt Forum dinner revealed the key characteristics we should identify, promote and nurture in the Modern Marketer.
Sitting alongside a readiness to learn and to adapt is a hunger to improve. Many of today’s marketers choose opportunity and corporate fit over cash reward, and are aware of how their development and progression helps the business. This means they are focused on organisational goals, alongside their own.
Marketing is no longer a single discipline, but multifaceted. The Modern Marketer is part scientist, part creative, and while technology has brought the need for a whole new set of digital skills, traditional marketing skills are as relevant and crucial as ever: the need to understand data, finance, and to build a strategy, hook an audience…
Hook an audience. Isn’t that old-school in this age of inbound marketing and user-generated content (UGC)? Well you need to inspire and compel them to collaborate with you in the first place, or why would they bother? And collaboration skills are key internally too – 78% of marketers who took our survey chose ‘collaborator’ as the most important personality trait. Marketers who can work with and learn from other functions will have a broader perspective and a bigger ideas pool.
Perhaps the most important trait of all in an ever-changing world is curiosity. “Stay hungry,” says Disrupt Forum panelist Geraldine Kor, director of marketing, DXC. “If you are constantly hungry, you’ll always be curious and be seeking.” The ‘Modern Marketer’ is always alert to new trends and opportunities, always seeking new ways of doing things, always ready to listen, learn and adapt.
The best marketers put understanding customers at the heart of their marketing, obsessing not just about who and where they are, but also their attitudes, behaviours and actions. They understand that the customer experience they provide is what differentiates their company from the rest.
So what did we learn? As hard as we tried to find it, there’s no single set of skills, training course or process today that will remain fit for purpose for very long. But for marketers not daunted by change, there’s a world of opportunities.