The old marketing theories are still valid online - but how to achieve the principles and goals have changed.
How do you anticipate what the customer may need or want tomorrow?
Offline you could do surveys and marketing analysis. But you would always be three steps behind the customer. The marketing campaign needs to be relatively large if corrections should be possible while the campaign is affected. In the online world everything is measurable in real time. You could correct and adjust even tiny campaigns in every aspect from creative’s, landing pages and even the order flow/action flows.
But things were not easier in the good old times. It was just different.
Tomorrow’s challenges require analytical skills and knowledge about marketing research, customer insights and retail talent in combination with a ‘nose’ for customer service excellence. The needs for different department functions to work closely together are increasing. I believe that business’ need to create ad-hoc or matrix organizations working from a customer perspective outside and in. It’s not enough anymore to by management led in how we built or organizations. When the book closes nobody doubts that the real boss is the customer. That’s why we in Bestseller are creating online organizations within every brand unified in one team with brand only people working in our function department, Bestseller Online. And the functions within every brand online team are linked with group functions where the brand organization keeps focus on the customer and the group on the supporting tools and dedicated knowledge.
Changes are not easy to fulfill. Definitely not when you’re taking already established areas and turning then upside down. When a colleague is moved from one department to another – simply because a specific area is being prioritized. But that’s a way of changing the organization from being product led and retailer dictating and leading towards real customer led internal business- and retail rules (set by the customer or customer group). If the organization and it’s structure isn’t supporting the new marketing rules – it’s indeed difficult to deliver the expected results.
A classical good marketer of the 21st century is a person with explicit knowledge about multi-channel marketing and good communication. Subsidiaries are niche functions like print specialists, PR managers, online affiliate managers, PPC specialists and many similar.
And customers of the 21st century want dialogue and control. They want to shop whenever and wherever they want. From handheld devices, catalogue businesses over traditional retail stores and eKiosks – and even combine them all if that brings more convenience and/or a richer selection of goods.