1,000 Blogs in 7 Years: Marketo Takes a Look Back - and Ahead

Every now and then in the race to keep up with the breathtaking pace of change in social media - marketing's Usain Bolt - it's good to step off the track, catch your breath, and try to grab not only a little oxygen, but a bigger perspective. That's what Marketo's Jon Miller has done in his blog examining what has changed - and what hasn't - since August 8, 2006, 1,000 blogs later. The entire blog is long, so we've presented edited excerpts. For the full blog, click here.

This is the 1,000th post to Marketo's blog. It seems fitting to commemorate the occasion by revisiting our very first post, "Modern B2B Marketing Defined."

What Hasn't Changed

The three core principles I outlined then are just as true today - in fact, even more so.

1) Customers don't want to be interrupted (and they're more empowered than ever)

We live in a word of information abundance and attention scarcity - and the pace of information creation is accelerating. According to IBM, we now create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day - so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone.

Because of this, traditional marketing tactics based on "renting" attention that others have built -- and interrupting the buyer in the process -- are becoming less and less effective.

Buyers today are more empowered. The web provides them with instant information gratification. They can access detailed specs, pricing, and reviews about goods and services 24/7 with a few flicks of their thumbs. Meanwhile, social media encourages them to share and compare, while devices add a wherever/whenever dimension to every aspect of the experience.

It's our job as marketers to adapt. The only sure way to break through is to become more engaging.  As McKinsey wrote in The Coming Era of On-Demand Marketing,  "Building on the vast increase in consumer power brought on by the digital age, marketing is headed toward being on-demand --not just always 'on,' but also always relevant, responsive to the consumer's desire for marketing that cuts through the noise with pinpoint delivery."

2) There are no more mass channels (consumers expect personalized conversations)

Buyers are harder than ever to reach using traditional channels and media outlets. They will quickly tune out any mass message that's not immediately relevant to them. They expect companies to keep seamless track of their purchasing history, communication preferences, and desires... and they demand that companies use that information to create individual, personalized conversations. Whether they're in front of their computer at work or in line at the post office on their mobile device, they expect an experience that's streamlined and consistent -- and most importantly, relevant to them as individuals.

3) Marketing can't get away with not being accountable (fortunately CMOs can prove impact)

The 2008 recession permanently altered how companies think about measurement. Budget cuts made it more important than ever to measure the effectiveness of marketing investments, even as highly measurable digital channels raised the expectation for measurement across all channels. Fortunately, many marketers are rising to the challenge - and this newfound ability to measure and prove impact on revenue is dramatically elevating marketing's strategic role in the organization. Many marketing departments (and CMOs) are now seen as a core part of the revenue team, not the "arts and crafts" center.

What Has Changed

While the core principles remain true, here are some of the most important factors that have redefined modern marketing over the last seven years.

  1. The rise of content marketing
  2. The social media revolution
  3. The explosion in mobile
  4. Innovation in cloud-based marketing solutions
    • A marketing system of record
    • A cross-channel workflow and interaction engine
    • Marketing management capabilities
    • A powerful analytics engine

Editor's note: The four factors listed above are only a list of what Miller sees as having changed since 2006. For the full text on these categories (about 1,600 words), click here.

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