A Q&A with Mike Gospe (Part 1): on the dangers of being seduced by new marketing tools

Recently, I was interviewed by the editors of DemandGen Report. Here’s part 1 of 5.
  • In The Marketing High Ground, you include a chapter on “Marketing Lessons for the 21st Century” where you advise that successful marketing is not about technology, rather it’s about understanding the target customer. Can you expand?

Technological advancements will continue to offer new and innovative ways for people to communicate with each other and for marketers to streamline the business of marketing. However, if we aren’t careful, these innovations can become a distraction, causing us to take our eyes off of the customer. For example, consider the early days of marketing automation where many marketers considered this technology as the silver bullet that would automatically improve their ROI. The lesson we learned here was “garbage in, garbage out.”  Automating action without regard to an aligned and integrated marketing-sales strategy only led to frustration and miss-set expectations regarding the (larger) quantity and (lower) quality of leads that flowed through the pipeline.  Marketing automation is not a replacement for having a clear and focused strategy. A customer-focused strategy must always come first.

Successful marketing in the 21st century will not be because of any single tool (like marketing automation) or communication vehicle (like social media). It remains about the customer, the type of information and content they are looking for, and which venues and media they prefer to use to collect, store, forward, and consume this information during their buying process. The customer will define what our integrated marketing strategy should be, not the technology.

*** Read part 2 on why market success requires having a focused positioning statement

*** Read part 3 on a tip for discovering your competitive differentiation

*** Read part 4 on mapping messages to the customer’s buying process

*** Read part 5 on tips for communicating your marketing plan internally

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