What is the Role of the Marketer in the Digital Era?

Campaign MarketingCustomer ExperienceDigital Marketing

Recent­ly Adobe gath­ered some of the best and bright­est Nordic cre­atives and mar­keters in Stock­holm to dis­cuss the future of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing. It was time for the first ever Adobe Round Table in the Nordics.

What is the role of the mar­keter today? How is the dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion mold­ing this role, and what can peo­ple in mar­ket­ing do to keep up to date with the rapid­ly chang­ing dig­i­tal land­scape? These where some of the top­ics dis­cussed as the first ever Adobe Nordic Round Table kicked off in Stock­holm with 12 attendees.

Data vs. “Gut”

The dis­cus­sion at the Round Table quick­ly cen­tered on the top­ic of the dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion of the marketer’s role. A recent study from Adobe shows that many feel lost in the world of dig­i­tal adver­tis­ing and find it hard to make the most of their data. Most of the par­tic­i­pants in the Round Table rec­og­nized this descrip­tion, but their take on what to do var­ied. While most agreed that there has been more changes in mar­ket­ing in the last two years that in half-cen­tu­ry pre­ceed­ing that, some of us felt that this was because hard­ly any­thing had changed pri­or to the dig­i­tal rev­o­lu­tion. In gen­er­al there was agree­ment that mar­keters need to step up, and take respon­si­bil­i­ty for under­stand­ing the change and edu­cat­ing them­selves. As one mem­ber of the Round Table point­ed out: You won’t become a bet­ter foot­ball play­er if you don’t prac­tice, and you won’t become a bet­ter mar­keter with­out prac­tic­ing new possibilities.

On the ques­tion of data ver­sus gut instinct most felt that while data should be the guid­ing force it only reflects the now and the imme­di­ate past. To under­stand what hap­pens next you need to trust your gut feel­ing and stay curious.

The Wiz­ard Mar­keter & Creative

Very often man­age­ment will tell mar­ket­ing to cre­ate some­thing dig­i­tal that stands out. But once real­i­ty kicks in there is nei­ther in-house sup­port nor a bud­get to do anything.

The sync between the busi­ness and the mar­ket­ing depart­ment is not always as tight as it should be. Great expec­ta­tions are often tem­pered by the harsh real­i­ties of lim­it­ed bud­gets and resources. The Round Table par­tic­i­pants agreed that today’s mar­keters are expect­ed to do more with less – to be quite the wiz­ard. A tricky sit­u­a­tion, but some of the ideas brought for­ward was to not get bogged down with chan­nels, and to always be ready to exper­i­ment rather. Some­times sim­ple changes, like A/B test­ing, will yield great results.

A dig­i­tal dri­ver in the age of expe­ri­ence business

A major­i­ty of mar­keters now view them­selves as part of a dig­i­tal and glob­al com­mu­ni­ty where the tech­nol­o­gy is open­ing doors of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and plat­forms for inter­ac­tion we could only dream of 15 years ago.

A marketer’s respon­si­bil­i­ty today is to gen­er­ate and man­age mean­ing­ful expe­ri­ences to very diverse and very demand­ing audi­ences. If we do it right we can under­stand dif­fer­ent cus­tomer jour­ney and use that to build every­thing from valu­able brand­ed expe­ri­ences to more effi­cient touch­points for our cus­tomers. How­ev­er, the dis­cus­sion also brought up that if we fail at this we can say good-bye to brand advo­ca­cy, repeat busi­ness if even a first sale. Deliv­er­ing a uni­fied and valu­able brand expe­ri­ence on all plat­forms — dig­i­tal and ana­logue – is a must today.

We talked about how to deter­mine where the dig­i­tal cus­tomer jour­ney begins, and how to be part of it in a good way. Slop­py retar­get­ing was brought up as an exam­ple of where this goes wrong. The abil­i­ty to fol­low cus­tomers across devices, and find ways to under­stand and mea­sure activ­i­ties on both ana­logue and dig­i­tal touch­points was seen as much more inter­est­ing. Is there even a clas­si­cal ’moment of truth’ in this scenario?


Two hours intense dis­cus­sion: Pål Pers­son; Berghs; Nin­ja Nossen, Kap­i­tal; Jonas Nys­tröm, Clas Ohlson; Imran Afzal, Adobe Nordic; Peter Mack­hé, Dagens Analys; Pon­tus Staunstrup, Staunstrup.com (mod­er­a­tor); Johan Lopes Helges­son, Adobe Nordic; Jeanette Pet­ters­son, Coop; Rolf van den Brink, Dagens Opinion/Beaconomist; Fredrik Öst, Snask; Roman Pix­ell, HiQ; and Jes Schyum, Adobe Nordic.

Peo­ple like emails, but not from marketers 

Email mar­ket­ing is still a com­mon, cen­tral tool in the dig­i­tal com­mu­ni­ca­tions tool­box. Adobe Nordic recent­ly con­duct­ed a sur­vey on 3,000 Nordic respon­dents regard­ing how con­sumers actu­al­ly per­ceive mar­ket­ing emails from brands. The results were not very sur­pris­ing. Peo­ple do not have warm sen­ti­ments towards the bom­bard­ment of brand bul­letins they receive. The sur­vey indi­cates that even though brands put a lot of effort into high fre­quen­cy com­mu­ni­ca­tions with the exist­ing or future cus­tomer, they are more or less wast­ing most of their juice.

Accord­ing to the sur­vey, only every oth­er says that there is any like­li­hood (if any) of them open­ing a mar­ket­ing email find­ing its way into their job inbox. About 75 per­cent say the same regard­ing mails aimed at the pri­vate inbox­es. The sur­vey also pin­points that the biggest mis­takes brands do when it comes to email mar­ket­ing is that the con­tent is not mobile friend­ly; too lengthy and poor­ly writ­ten, based on bad data (wrong names, wrong offer­ings etc.) or that the lev­el of per­son­al­iza­tion has gone creepy (!).

The Round Table dis­cussed about the thin line between per­son­al and creepy, and mar­keters have to stay on the safe side to have a chance of attract­ing the inter­est of the recip­i­ent. You need to have a long-term approach to these things. One false step and your cus­tomer is off to the competition.

To wrap up the two hour dis­cus­sion, it is obvi­ous that with new tech­nol­o­gy, the pos­si­bil­i­ties are basi­cal­ly lim­it­less. But for each chan­nel we open up, for each email we dis­trib­ute, we are open­ing up new mini “moment of truth” where the cus­tomer will expe­ri­ence the brands at each con­tact. The dig­i­tal era is just get­ting start­ed, and we are all in the expe­ri­ence busi­ness now.

Campaign Marketing, Customer Experience, Digital Marketing
Pontus Staunstrup

Posted on 10-10-2016

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