Letter from the incoming BMA Chairman: A new cycle of innovation
By Eduardo Conrado
It is an exciting time to be a marketer. In so many ways — whether it is measuring click-through rates in web advertising or engaging a global audience on Twitter — we can tangibly demonstrate the value of what we do in real time. But beyond traditional tactics, marketers today are playing a much bigger role in the development of company strategy. Consistent success requires that we see ourselves as stewards of a new cycle of innovation, both in marketing and across our organizations and industries.
An important place to start is developing a purpose for your company. Organizational purpose enables a strong foundation for all departments and informs strategic decision-making across the company.
Then innovation builds on certain fundamental changes in customer expectations. Customers in every category are technology savvy today and are interested in an ongoing conversation rather than transactional advertising. We must evolve traditional marketing platforms to make them specific for B2B. One way to do that is moving away from the 4Ps to a more customer-centric approach.
Instead of focusing on a Product, focus on a Solution — connecting a combination of products, software, services and domain expertise to address a specific customer opportunity or pain point
Instead of Promotion, focus on Education — helping customers understand how your solutions solve their problems
Instead of Price, focus on Value — connecting customer insights to focus on the issue being solved
Instead of Place, focus on Access — delivering the right information at the right time across multiple high-touch and digital communication channels
As we embrace our role of driving this new innovation cycle across the enterprises we serve, it is important to remember that marketing doesn’t live alone.
We work closely with strategy, product design, sales, IT and HR. And armed with the voice of the customer, marketing’s job is to be the conduit that ties a whole organization together, channeling ideas and driving the cycle of innovation everywhere.
Lastly, we should understand just what it means to part of this new cycle of innovation. None of us has all the answers in a fast-changing environment. That’s part of what makes our world so exciting. By constantly learning and adapting, marketing can drive major changes in our organizations and evolve our profession.
And that’s how the cycle continues. We are the stewards of this new cycle of innovation. Embrace it. Live it. Hold on and have fun.
Eduardo Conrado is SVP and CMO of Motorola Solutions and the 2012-2013 Chairman of the BMA.