It takes time for a big idea to make its way into business practice. Six years ago, Harvard’s Michael Porter and FSG’s Mark Kramer made the bold statement that shared value — the idea that the purpose of a company is to achieve both shareholder profit and social purpose — would “reinvent capitalism.” They encouraged companies to go beyond CSR (corporate social responsibility) and integrate social impact into companies’ competitive strategy.
The word crisis suggests something that happens infrequently. But these days, crises have become a regular state of affairs. Brands that you’d think would be fairly immune to scandal have found themselves embroiled in controversy. And those that deal with public relations challenges regularly have still been caught off guard by a customer insurgency.
What makes marketing creative? Is it more imagination or innovation? Is a creative marketer more artist or entrepreneur? Historically, the term “marketing creative” has been associated with the words and pictures that go into ad campaigns. But marketing, like other corporate functions, has become more complex and rigorous.
The way we think about brands need to change. In the past, they were objects or concepts. You had a relationship with a brand. But in this social age, brands are the relationships.
It has become an axiom that “strategy is about making hard choices,” as we have been advised for over 20 years by leading thinkers including Michael Porter and Roger Martin. But our work with a community of senior executives in the Bay Area suggests that today’s market leaders are following the advice of Yogi Berra: “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
Customer engagement has never been more urgent or more elusive. Real engagement – the kind that goes beyond a momentary impression to a meaningful interaction – isn’t happening on traditional channels. It’s happening today on digital platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, SnapChat, and Instagram.
Today’s most competitive marketplace isn’t technology but talent. The challenge of attracting and retaining talent is particularly acute for marketers. Their function has been turned upside down and inside out as a result of digital technology, empowered employees, and connected customers.
One of the central concepts of marketing and sales is the funnel — through which companies are supposed to systematically move prospects from awareness through consideration to purchase.
Customers are more connected and empowered than ever before. If you want to win their hearts and minds, you have to master the latest technology, assimilate vast quantities of data, engage and delight your customers, and deliver products and services that surpass expectations. Plus you have to attract the best talent to your own organization and align your team around a shared purpose.
In the past, channels delivered messages to audiences. You either owned the pipe or paid to use someone else’s. You controlled the message all the way through that pipe.
Kara Swisher, Co-Executive Editor at Re/code moderates a panel with Laura Alber, the CEO of Williams-Sonoma; Dave Burwick, the CEO of Peet’s Coffee & Tea; and Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb about marketing that matters.