The Bright Road Ahead for Marketing

lake-tahoe-roadEvery once in a while I come across a goldmine of marketing content. In an age of content overload, it generally takes me a while to sift through a lot of junk until I actually come across any true nuggets of wisdom, articles that accurately illuminate the path ahead of us, or specifically help shape big picture thinking in any meaningful way.

Therefore, I wanted to share a great publication I came across recently, which was McKinsey Quarterly’s 2015 Issue 1, Volume 1 about marketing and sales topics (click here to download the 112 page PDF).

In this issue, there are dozens of fabulous articles. However, here I will highlight three of my favorites, and why I think every marketing professional needs to bookmark these immediately:

  1. “The Dawn of Marketing’s New Golden Age” – I loved reading this article because it refers to marketing’s first Golden Age (think “Mad Men“), addresses where we’ve been since then, and talks about where we are headed. The authors write: “Until recently, marketers could be forgiven for looking back wistfully at this golden age as new forces reshaped their world into something completely different.” Instead of focusing too much on where we’ve been, the authors discuss the exciting times ahead and how we must specifically consider the implications of science, substance, story, speed, and simplicity for our organizations in order to be the most effective at marketing in the coming years.
  2. “Do You Really Understand How Your Customers Buy?” – This article talks about how the dynamics of the digital marketplace are quickly undermining the traditional sales approach of pushing products to customers along a linear funnel comprising lead generation, lead qualification, proposal, negotiation, and close. However, it mentions that this is also new and promising territory for organizations that embrace data, reallocate budgets, and do the hard work of bringing more collaboration to sales and marketing.
  3. “Perspectives on the Long Term” – I enjoyed this article because it’s purpose is to address the issue of short-term thinking, which acts as a barrier to achieving depth and solving complex problems at all levels. With thoughtful responses from a variety of top-tier thinkers, the discussion begins at first with an overview of both the psychological and technological obstacles to short-term thinking, and offers solutions for what we can do to mitigate this. “Over the past 30 years there has been a fundamental shift in macroeconomic value. More than 80 percent of market value of companies now lies in intangible assets. Yet many accounting practices and processes do not reflect this shift. This new set of circumstances urgently requires a change in behavior to focus on more long-term value creation.”

In short, by the time you’re done reading through this McKinsey issue I assure you that will you will not only have a very clear understanding of what’s changed most recently in the marketing industry and what issues lie ahead of us, but a solid understanding of the business and economic functions underlying these changes, as well as why there’s such great excitement for the future. Would love to hear your comments!

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