A Modern Marketer Stuck with a Traditional Marketing and Sales Team
Today, we’re in the middle of the most important communications revolution in human history. It started with commercialization of the Internet in the 90s, gathered steam with Web 2.0 & the social media era of the 00s, and has gone mainstream today with the ubiquity of mobile devices and real-time communication.
Communication has changed. Marketing and sales approaches have changed.
Yet some companies haven’t yet changed and are still clinging to their traditional marketing and sales approaches.
Change is difficult for most people, especially those who have had previous successes. But what worked yesterday doesn’t always work today. And even greater change is coming in the very near future. (Here’s a review of Gartner’s top 10 strategic predictions for 2017 and beyond.) Think about life five years from now:
- Artificial intelligence will allow computers to learn, recommend and predict. Computers and machines will replace many manufacturing jobs, service jobs and software development jobs
- Most devices will be “smart” and always connected to the cloud
- Your voice commands will allow you to order products and services, share content and perform research, eliminating your need to interact with your computer or mobile device
- Blockchain technology will allow us to bypass intermediaries such as banks, insurance companies and websites and allow us to perform secure transactions in real time with people anywhere in the world, completely transforming numerous billion-dollar industries
That’s a lot to consider, but it’s coming. The rate of technological change has been increasing dramatically over the past few decades. Our world in 20 years will look very different than it did in 1997. Remember when you used to read physical magazines and newspapers? When AT&T charged $3.00 per minute to make a long-distance call? When you went to Blockbuster to rent a VHS or DVD movie? When you had to go to the record store to purchase your favorite CD? When you used to get together face-to-face to catch up with friends?
The business analogy could be remembering when:
- Sales reps made their quotas by cold calling
- Your entire team attended the annual trade show and it led to 6 months’ worth of business
- Your traditional interruption media, such as direct mail and TV ads, were the only way to reach your mass audience
- You could control how the market perceived your brand by your advertising creative
If you’re stuck in a job where your executive team and marketing and sales leaders still focus on the above (and it’s not working), still clinging to the past and failing to embrace the modern marketing approaches that have become mainstream today, you’re facing an important decision.
In my recent interview with David Meerman Scott, he outlines three choices for a modern marketer who knows that she has to get with today’s program but has pushback within the organization. Here are your options:
- Become an agent of change. Focus on educating your organization and being the person who can affect change and modernize your marketing approach.
- Bide time and stay the course. While it might be difficult to do something that you know in your heart is wrong, there is nothing wrong with drawing a salary and feeding your family.
- Quit your job and find a company that gets it. Marketing tomorrow will be very different from marketing today, and if you don’t modernize now, you’ll be left behind tomorrow.
For some marketers, this can be an agonizing decision. If you choose #1, here’s how to become an agent of change for modern marketing and sales.