Beyond the 4 Ps, the evolution of modern marketing skills

Like many of you, when I first started studying marketing, the focus was on the 4 Ps. Early in my career, new tools and technologies became increasingly available to support our business. The increase in data and technology is radically changing the way we market to consumers.

The ability to personalize marketing at scale was something you could only dream of not too long ago. Now I see our marketing teams customizing many of our marketing activities to enrich the brand experience or how a customer interacts with the brand. These changes open up new possibilities for marketers. From the different ways to reach customers to the different information that supports campaigns, technology is rapidly following the evolution of marketing.

It won’t be long before marketers have even greater access to a rich array of data to build customer profiles. Understanding, interpreting and leveraging this data is essential for a modern marketing team. The pressure is strong to innovate quickly and create new offerings that speak deeply to consumers. The challenge many organizations face is whether their marketers have the technical skills to enable these changes.

Speaking to industry colleagues, they often explain their difficulty in finding staff with the skills a modern marketer needs – beyond marketing, an understanding of data, AI and analytics. machine learning, for example. The challenge many organizations face is whether their marketers have the technical skills to enable these changes. Like many industries, we are seeing a skills shortage among marketers to effectively bridge the gap between digital data and the insights needed to drive digital transformation and lead the growth agenda.

Soon we will have job titles such as Machine and People Ethics Officers, Subscription Strategists, Algorithm Bias Auditors and Mood and Empathy Officers and Master Storytellers1 . There will be a reduced need for the type of work a traditional campaign manager would undertake as we scale personalization. Having a culture of continuous learning will support preparation for the evolution of these roles as the marketing function evolves.

The commitment to improving your skills and retraining yourself throughout your career will pay off. From career progression to employer demand, a wide range of skills will always be in demand.

For ANZ, we identified the changing skills our marketing team needs and recognized that implementing an internal capacity building program would help our team sustain. With over 300 marketers participating in our Masters in Marketing program and Brand Academy courses each year, we are seeing a significant increase in capacity.

Speaking to some of our marketers recently, I was overwhelmed by the positive feedback. The willingness to learn from my colleagues is energizing and makes me proud to be part of the team that develops capacity building programs. My colleague Amy Rattray, Head of Marketing and Business Owner Strategy at ANZ, said: “The number 1 skill of a marketer is to recognize that the world is changing so rapidly, to say that you are a expert in something shows that you have to keep perfecting yourself, learning and being curious.

“Getting that insight to then take the best path forward for them in terms of the customer journey is something I love about marketing.”

But while the skills to make the decisions evolve, the basic goals of our marketing team remain the same. Malcolm Murdoch told me, “What I will always look for is someone to tell me a story of actions with results, and how they were able to connect those results to those actions.”

Malcolm’s words confirmed to me that the basics of marketing have not changed. We are always looking to connect consumers to stories, brands and experiences. But the way we reach customers is changing, and the supporting data is much more abundant. As automation increasingly merges with our lives, marketers need to ensure they are at the forefront of leveraging this information.

Committing to continued training and development is important for all marketers as we are seeing significant change. Investing in yourself and your team is the best decision a marketer can make now and effective leaders who support and enable this learning will be the ones with the most successful marketing teams.

Act fast, the change is here now.

By Kate Young, Head of Customer Focus and Capability at ANZ

About Marilyn Perkins

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