These days, whenever someone asks me what I do for a living, I always respond with a proud “marketing” and proceed to rave about why I love what I do. No, marketing is not about “fluff” (I still get that a lot). The common misconception is that all marketers do is churn out frilly, nice-to-have advertisements and fun marketing campaigns. We wish it was as simple and straightforward as that!
Markets today are already crowded with competitors trying to outdo one another. With easy accessibility to information, rapid technological changes and ever-evolving consumer wants, it is tough for brands to stand out and be relevant. To survive, marketers need to be agile, adaptable and creative. They must always stay ahead of the competitors, ensure their brand is heard, drive acquisitions and improve the customer experience and journey.
As we all know, most marketers love to challenge the norm. A modest idea can be used and reused, but it is the addition of an extra ingredient that makes the marketer a unique contender in the business arena. The question is always: How do we top that idea? What can we do to make the idea better?
In this digital era, marketers need to be tech-savvy and utilise marketing technology to grow leads, gain opportunities and revenue. They need to understand these areas affect consumer behaviour, business processes and marketing practices. Big data, for many of us, is still the buzzword in the industry, and for good reasons. Data-activated personalised marketing can transform simple customer interactions into lasting relationships. Modern day marketers need to become experts in analytics to manage, aggregate and apply it into marketing practices. Without data-driven customer insights and analytics, we will just be throwing darts in the dark and missing out on the actual needs and wants of the target audience, persona and key prospects
And while we all know the power of digital, it is also important that sometimes, even with all the technological advancements taking place, we take a step back and remember that human emotions and values still play a big role in decision-making
As marketers, we have to make sure tradition and values are brought to life to take marketing messages to a deeper and more emotional level. When you have a great branding strategy, most marketers can agree that having a great customer experience is also paramount. After all, the customer is still the king.
Modern day marketers have to take a step back and take a holistic approach to the customer experience. We need to realise that customers who want to spend their money with us are no longer swayed by brand messages, but rather by the experience they receive from brands.
So clearly, a career in the marketing industry can be many things, but as the saying goes, there is never a dull moment! And just like cooking, there is always room for improvements, and as marketers, we should not stop searching for the right ingredient, the right formula, and the right tools until we achieve the right recipe.
The writer is Patricia Chooi, head of marketing, YTL Communications.