In a recent conversation with a chief technology officer, he asserted all digital technology changes in his organisation were being led by IT and not by marketing. It made me wonder: How long a marketing function like this could survive?
Marketing is becoming dependent on customer evangelism and building ‘newsroom’ content strategies and campaign environments that can rapidly respond to changing consumer needs, according to Amaysim’s co-founder and one-time CMO, Christian Magel.
Speaking at ADMA’s Global Forum in Sydney, Magel said that while the company had a robust and competitive marketing edge in its first five years as a disruptor in the mobile services market, building its credentials as a challenger brand and customer champion against incumbent telco providers, the strategy needed to change if it is to remain successful post-startup phase.
Amaysim launched in Australia in 2010 and listed on the ASX in July this year.
“To keep on disrupting, you have to always think about the next big thing,” he said. “And in the past five years, the landscape has changed quite dramatically.”
For example, mobile savvy consumers are looking for better data deals than phone or SMS time, Magel said. Bring-your-own-device is also becoming a huge trend.
“It’s quite a competitive space and has changed so much from quite a static product that was traditionally plan-based, to media usage,” he said.
The rise of Netflix has also meant the next generation of consumers are watching less mainstream television channels and more video on their mobile devices. As well as provide the right product offerings, the challenge is how to reach this target market without traditional advertising strategies, Magel said.
“It’s this mentality of being always-on while at the same time, always expecting brands to talk to us in a relevant way, and to be up-to-date and entertaining,” he continued. “I find the ROI on classic media really decreasing, with higher prices and less people watching, and less engagement.
“Now, it is about earning customer loyalty through word-of-mouth social channels and having your own video channel that you produce, whether it is on Youtube or your Facebook site. It’s about having your own opinion as a brand and keeping content dynamic.”
To help, Magel noted more organisations are embracing Lean startup methodologies to help pivot and move faster on business ideas. Rather than having slow, six-month plans, the trend is now to have quick turnaround response campaigns to gain faster insights and engagements.
“After five years, people looked into our success and what we’ve done differently,” he said. “While you can just replicate our model, there is actually a lot of pressure to reinvent. We now have an amazing customer base that we can talk to on our own channels and build our next phase of marketing.”
Magel said this new marketing phase needs to be like a newsroom. “You need to organise yourself like a newsroom, where you sit together in different areas and in your roles, producing dynamic content, and thinking ahead to what you will do tomorrow,” he said.
“Create editors, create original and unique content daily and sometimes hourly. You will need to be able to react to what is out there. You also need to distribute like news and have a multiplying effect for your own customers and channels.”
In that way, your customers are your evangelists, because they like you, they like your content and they like your cause.
“With your own channels, you can act like your own media companies, because you have a TV station which is now Youtube and you have your own newspaper, which is Facebook,” Magel said.
Organising an editorial team that is multifunctional also includes engaging your partners, he said.
“They need to be part of that newsroom and have the ability to participate. Be agile and change according to your insights,” he said. “Create, test and pivot. It’s an ongoing process of being proactive and changing until you get the best outcome. Then your marketing team effectively becomes the media hub of your organisation to move it forward.”
As well as a new way of working, Magel said the future of marketing will also be able think mobile-only.
“Tomorrow it will be watches,” he said. “There will be smaller and smaller real estate for marketers to play with.”
In this new and dynamic landscape, data analysis and insights become even more significant. Magel pointed out real-time marketing is one effective way Buzzfeed has gained significant traction.
“Real-time marketing is everywhere and actionable,” he said. “When you gain these insights, you need to be much better than the rest and act quickly, revising your approach multiple times within a six-month time frame.
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