Matt Zilli, Vice President, Product Marketing, Marketo, discussed tomorrow’s marketer and what it takes for marketing professionals to keep pace in a rapidly evolving digital marketplace in his presentation to Argyle’s CMO at the 2017 Leadership in Digital Marketing Forum in San Francisco on June 8. In his presentation, “Tomorrow’s Marketer – 3 T’s for Success in the Digital Age,” Zilli provided a framework to help marketers thrive in the foreseeable future.
According to Zilli, the role of marketers has changed dramatically over the past few decades.
In the past, marketers were viewed as part of an “arts and crafts” department, Zilli stated. And in many instances, marketing professionals struggled to highlight their impact within their respective organizations.
“Everything was great, but we couldn’t prove our impact. And the minute a business suffered or the economy tanked, [marketers] were the ones the CEO turned to for budget cuts,” Zilli stated.
Data and analytics have helped marketers, and today’s marketing professionals are better equipped than ever before to illustrate their impact within their respective organizations, Zilli said.
“Now, we can prove our impact based on business metrics. That’s all thanks to the digital world,” he noted. “Now, when someone comes to cut our budgets, we can defend ourselves. Before the digital era, we never had the opportunity to do that.”
However, digital transformation is occurring, and marketers who fail to identify and address growth opportunities likely will struggle to get the resources they need to succeed, Zilli pointed out.
“The best companies have made the transition from monologue marketing techniques to dialogue marketing techniques.”
For marketers, it is essential to understand the customer and provide outstanding customer experiences. By doing so, marketers can take control of the customer journey and provide customers with the support they deserve.
“In the world of digital, transformation and all the things that are changing, the number one thing is that we know the customers of our businesses better than any other business function,” Zilli indicated. “Marketing knows the customer, and we do not want our CIOs driving a digital, omnichannel customer experience.”
Furthermore, marketers need to look at all aspects of their day-to-day operations. With a comprehensive evaluation, marketers can identify problems before they escalate and map out their everyday efforts accordingly.
“This is not a software problem or a technique problem or a people problem. It’s all of the above,” Zilli pointed out.
How marketers interact with customers is pivotal in terms of an organization’s ability to foster long-lasting customer partnerships.
If marketers allocate the necessary time and resources to listen to customers and learn from them, organizations may be better equipped than rivals to capitalize on growth opportunities. Marketers also can focus on techniques, talent and technology, Zilli said, to boost their chances of getting the best possible results day after day.
On the other hand, Zilli stated if marketers use “monologue marketing techniques,” organizations may miss out on opportunities to grow their revenues and build customer loyalty and retention.
“The best companies have made the transition from monologue marketing techniques to dialogue marketing techniques,” Zilli said. “Dialogue techniques involve looking at what our customers want, listening to them and using those insights to inform and provide value.”
Marketers must look beyond acquiring customers, Zilli indicated.
“In the world of digital, transformation and all the things that are changing, the number one thing is that we know the customers of our businesses better than any other business function.”
In fact, marketers must be able to provide exceptional customer experiences at all touchpoints, or put their respective organizations at risk of falling behind rivals in a highly competitive global marketplace.
“We still spend over 80 percent of our revenue trying to acquire new customers, whereas 80 percent of our revenue comes from existing customers,” Zilli noted. “We have to flip our role on its head in some cases and think about the entire customer lifecycle.”
Moreover, in some organizations, how marketing professionals collect and evaluate metrics must change, Zilli said.
Although marketers commonly looked at tactical metrics, these professionals must deploy data collection and analysis tools that emphasize metrics that highlight how an organization can accomplish its goals.
“We have to move away from tactical metrics and move toward business outcomes,” Zilli indicated. “If we can pull ourselves out of the world of clicks and impressions and instead look at business outcomes, we can measure our marketing efforts against critical outcomes for the business.”
Lastly, how a marketing team is constructed may have far-flung effects on an organization and its customers.
Zilli pointed out a successful marketing team should include a mix of feelers, thinkers and doers. With this combination in place, a marketing team can brainstorm ideas, gain deep insights into all aspects of the customer journey and uncover innovative ways to help an organization stand out from the competition.
“When we look at most marketing organizations, we see that the highest-performing ones have a mix of these people,” Zilli stated. “If you look across your organization or team, see if you are represented with thinkers, feelers and doers.”
Matt has been with Marketo for four years, building the Product, Solution & Content Marketing functions to fuel growth. Before Marketo, Matt spent four years at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, as well as time in Sales, Business Development and Product roles. He lives in the Bay Area where he enjoys cooking with his wife and learning how to golf from his 2-year-old son.