19/03/2019 Marketing In A Connected World Marketing In A Connected World As routine tasks are increasingly automated, the role of managerial supervision will continue to be replaced by software. The role of a Marketing Manager will get redefined from quantitative to qualitative. Marketing managers will need to inspire more, supervise less. And as the management pyramid flattens, innovation will be key parameter to measure success in marketing. From Supervisor To Thought Leader The industrial age introduced the science of managing people & their productivity, based on assembly lines, process improvement & machinery. This was the beginning of the management pyramid, based on a supervisory model.Incidentally, this was also when education was standardised, for which education institutions were created. Also for the first time, clocks were produced & sold en masse to citizens (who suddenly felt the need to slot their time between work & home!)The information age came next, bringing the first level of process automation & digital record keeping, leading to better reporting & tighter controls. The management pyramid was further reinforced with software-based reporting.The current digital age makes it easy to do things efficiently in drastically different ways. This threatens to overturn a lot of established structures. For example, new-age digital businesses are routinely based on building a huge, regular customer base — initially running at significant losses (funded by investors). Real-time behavioural data of regular customers is the base for generating substantial subsequent sales revenues, including sales of customer data — a model that was never considered feasible earlier.But more than anything else, the digital age is clearly associated with regular & large doses of innovation — which is only possible in a culture of experimentation and risk-taking. Ergo, managers & executives must behave like thought leaders, not supervisors! New Skills Sheer advances in technology is responsible for making the Marketing Manager’s role almost redundant. The traditional manager’s role was based on 2 pillars: Supervisory — this is rapidly being taken care of by new-age software which facilitates collaboration at work. Knowledge & experience — this is increasingly available online. Basic analytical capabilities are steadily being replaced with artificial intelligence and data analytics, with many routine tasks being carried out with an app This may explain why today’s employees work better in an open, connected and collaborative workplace rather than the old hierarchy / line of command. As artificial intelligence takes care of mechanical jobs, the value of experience will erode & supervisory skills will be replaced with the problem-solving skills, collaboration skills, design-thinking skills & quick learning skills. Marketing managers will have to learn the art of inspiring others around them to do the same. Marketing Activity Cycles In The Digital AgeHere’s how the marketing activities will look like in the Digital Age.We have split the activities into CXO level (affecting the company P&L) & Marketing Manager level (execution of plans). And within this, by periodicity — annual, monthly & continuous activity cycle. 1. CXO Level — Start of Year Activity (“Finalise Annual Plan”) This is when the management finalises the Annual Plan. ERP Software generates product costing based on multiple parameters. Sales/CRM Software provides projected Sales Targets based on previous periods & other parameters. Sales Head validates figures. Marketing Software refers to Projected Annual Marketing Plan of current & previous periods. Marketing Head validates figures. Marketing Software computes Target Ratio of Mktg. Investment to Sales Revenue (IRR%) by Category, Product, Markets. CMO, CFO Validate. CEO Approves. Marketing Software publishes Annual Marketing Investment Budget with Target IRR%. 2. CXO Level — Continuous Activities (“Performance Check,Budget Reallocation ”) This is a constant effort to reallocate marketing budgets based on actual performance — at a corporate level — with direct effects on the P&L. Marketing Software reports Actual IRR%, Actual Sales — overall, by products, markets. Marketing Software issues alerts in advance to CFO’s team when overall IRR% approaches / exceeds target IRR% CMO’s Team revises IRR%. CFO, CEO get alerts on revised IRR% effect on P&L. CFO, CEO approve revised IRR% (if hiked). Marketing Software publishes revised Marketing Budgets based on new IRR%. 3. CXO Level — Monthly Review Activity (“Revise Plans, Budgets”) This is a regular review of the Marketing Plan vs Actual at a corporate level. Marketing Software generates Review Report with: Sales (Budget vs Actual) — Overall, Brand-wise, Market-wise Mktg. Investments (Budget vs Actual) — Overall, Brand-wise, Market-wise. IRR% (Budget vs Actual) — Overall, Brand-wise, Market-wise. ERP Software generates P&L, Financial Reports. CEO, CFO, CMO decide on Revised Business Plans. ERP Software publishes Revised Budgets. Marketing Software publishes Revised Marketing Budgets, IRR%. 4. Marketing Manager Level — Ongoing Activities (“Execution/ Feedback”) Marketing Team kickstarts Marketing Campaigns, Activities. Marketing Software monitors KPIs, suggests Course Corrections. Marketing Software suggests revised plans. Marketing Team gets feedback Marketing Team edits, approves revised plans. No Future Without Software If you check the number of times “software” crops up in the above cycles, it will become clear that automation will play an increasing role in Marketing Cycles in the future. Indeed, with the rapid advances in AI & the Internet technology, software systems ‘talking’ to each other will be as routine as will be reduced human interaction in Marketing.And we humans may play our new roles in the future — based largely on creativity, abstract thinking & an ability to inspire others.