12/30/2011 04:46 pm ET | Updated Feb 29, 2012

2012: Your Marketing Department's New Look

No doubt, 2011 was the tipping point for the marketing department. Marketing automation, content marketing and analytics entered boardroom conversations. Even at the smallest of companies (for which I consult), marketing directors and channel managers find themselves in the spotlight for the very first time.

So how should the CMO, marketing director and CEO respond?

I think that's the real question McKinsey & Co. attempted to answer in their July 2011 report, "We're all marketers now." (FYI: this report was the #3 most read in 2011, falling in just behind articles on strategy and brainstorming. And in typical McKinsey fashion, their research involved more than 20,000 customers... talk about comprehensive research!)

Here are the highlights (you may also grab my personal, marked-up version of the report here):

  • "Customers no longer separate marketing from the product -- it is the product."

  • "In the era of engagement, marketing is the company."
  • Customers are on the hunt for a solution waaaay before you can even think about reaching out to them in traditional direct/push marketing fashion. Translation: the conversation has morphed from "a monologue to a dialogue."
  • "Customers thirst for objective advice" and in response, "some have built publishing divisions to feed the ever-increasing demand for content required by company." (aka, content marketing)
  • "The marketing organization itself needs to become the customer-engagement engine, responsible for establishing priorities and stimulating dialogue throughout the enterprise."
  • The firm will "require a new kind of marketing organization... that orchestrates the delivery of the end-to-end customer experience."
  • What's more, "'Marketing is going to become a much more science-driven activity,' says Duncan Watts of Yahoo! Research."
  • "A premium will be placed on problem-solving and strategic-marketing skills."
  • How will you respond? What are your plans for your marketing department in 2012?


    © 2011 John M. Fox. All Rights Reserved.

    John Fox is the Founder and President of Venture Marketing, a B2B consulting firm that helps business owners get their sales and marketing un-stuck. For more, follow John on LinkedIn.