Chief Marketing Officers Plan to Change Marketing Models

A recent article in Marketing Week UK revealed that “75% of chief marketing officers plan to rearrange their teams by the end of this year” according to Forrester Research.  This is not much of a surprise to those of us who understand that (1) marketing strategies need to continue to become even more customer-centric, and then (2) organizations will need to develop flexible operational structures to support these customer-centric strategies.  However, what might surprise many executives are a few of the changes suggested in this article.

As a marketing professor, who is constantly preaching the value of IMC and consistent messaging, I could not have been happier to read about Coca-Cola and Epson changing marketing strategies and structures to enable powerful messaging across their organizations. These marketers are focusing on content (regardless of its origin or author) rather than specific media channels. 

Strategic marketers are also recognizing that social media should not be limited to a single individual or a single department but should be utilized and understood across the entire organization. Although it is often seen as common for technology-oriented firms such as Best Buy to adopt progressive social media strategies, even a traditional consumer goods organization like Dunkin’ Donuts insists that “all key decision-makers monitor and react to its Twitter followers.” 

This past semester, TOMS shoes has been a popular project topic for many of my marketing students.  Although TOMS is a for-profit organization, it has embraced what could be viewed as a traditional non-profit mission — for each pair of shoes purchased, TOMS donates one pair of shoes to children in developing nations.  TOMS only form of advertising is word-of-mouth-advertising through social media.  “As founder Blake Mycoskie explains: “For the business to work we have to depend on social media and viral marketing more than say Converse or Nike would. A lot of traditional ads are very expensive and we don’t have the budget, but we have more than 1 million people doing our marketing for us [through social media].”  As a result, in less than five years since its founding, TOMS has donated over one million pairs of new shoes to children in need.  TOMS is a great example of the power of integrated marketing communication — a consistent message that leverages effective, but not expensive, new media channels and results in global success.


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