AMA forecasts marketing circa 2015


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The AMA and DSI identified four marketing scenarios for 2015. The hypothetical business futures are represented by four CMO archetypes: “strategic guru,” “value chain optimizer,” “network orchestrator” and “sales facilitator.” The strategic guru CMO of the future will work in a traditional company with an integrated distribution channel. In this model, the marketing team drives strategic opportunities for the organization and the guru owns customer expertise and touch points. In the business environment of this model, there is a stable geopolitical climate and a wide availability of resources. Integrated marketing drives the value chain in this type of company, and customers are brand-loyal. Customers are empowered, and businesses understand customers in an in-depth way. “In this scenario, we are able to create new offerings based on their needs,” said Mike Kullman, director of corporate marketing for DuPont, who explained the strategic guru scenario during an Mplanet session. “This is a great scenario for many of us, and our dream scenario at DuPont,” Kullman said. “We spend a lot of money on research and development, and we are used to driving scale through global initiatives.” The second scenario, value chain optimizer, assumes a highly transactional environment, one that is much more concerned about quality than fashion. “This organization is cost-focused and risk-averse. The CMO can add value by understanding customers, creating premium pricing, and creating loyalty and continuity,” said panelist Rick Dow, senior VP-CMO at Midas International. He said the marketing department's function in a value chain optimizer model will require working closely with employees who have financial and analytical strengths. The third business scenario, network orchestrator, operates within a network of partnering companies and focuses on virtual teams and workspaces. In this business model, marketing requires flexibility and the ability to change course rapidly. Panelist Marilyn Mersereau, VP-corporate marketing at Cisco Systems, said Cisco's current business maps to this scenario. To that end, Cisco is constantly listening to its customers via blogs, wikis and other online tools, as well as offline channels. “I get customer comments on my blog, every five minutes on my BlackBerry,” Mersereau said. In addition, the marketing team and other entities within Cisco are empowered to make decisions through boards and councils, instead of a corporate structure that relies exclusively on a CEO. Finally, the sales facilitator scenario is based on the assumption that, by 2015, businesses will not be in a high-profit growth era. “There will be much more emphasis on responsibility and a more dominant role of sales in many organizations,” said panelist George Day, professor of marketing at the Wharton School. As a result, the sales team will lead strategic initiatives within those companies and the marketing department will act as support for sales. M
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