The modern customer demands authenticity in a brand relationship. Yoplait learned this the hard way after trying for years to launch a successful Greek product to rival upstart Chobani’s massive success. Now, the New York Times reports, Yoplait has stopped trying to compete with industry trends and shrewdly looked within to its own French roots. Yoplait’s upcoming launch of Oui, a specialty product crafted using an old French method, is an example of when a brand cuts through industry noise to reclaim its own power.
Yoplait’s adaptation reminds us that in today’s consumer-centric world, the brand is the business. What consumers don’t see is the legwork behind brand authenticity. Faced with an onslaught of data points, channels, and campaigns, marketers must combine artistry and analytics to present trustworthy, engaging brands. Kathleen Hall, Microsoft’s corporate vice-president of the brand, advertising, and research, had it right when she recently told Marketing Week that “fundamentally, marketing is about simplification and distillation.”
That can be a daunting task considering the tsunami of martech point solutions that have flooded today’s market. To marry marketing efforts with authenticity in today’s ever-changing consumer-driven world, today’s marketers must operate like tomorrow’s tech masters and industry leaders, overcoming three crucial challenges their forebearers never saw coming.
Mastering the Customer Relationship
Raised on the likes of Amazon and Zappos, customers expect a consistent, almost instantaneous experience across all online and offline channels and points of engagement. A recent Econsultancy survey found that “digital-native” cultures today can only thrive in customer-centric models, meaning all other models are moot. A marketing team must find a way to recognize and predict customers needs so intimately that the brand organically connects across an always evolving range of channels. Data used effectively positions the customer first, thereby satisfying increasingly complex expectations and securing brand loyalty.
Owning Strategic Vision
The CMO plays a larger-than-ever part in owning the company’s go-to-market strategy. This revolves around customer acquisition, retention, and repeat business. It’s a growing role for an executive traditionally focused only on product commercialization. In fact, the job description is expanding so quickly that there is no “clear, widely accepted answer on what a CMO actually does,” according to the Harvard Business Review. Now one of the most diverse, multifaceted roles in business, the CMO must master the orchestration of many moving parts — both in terms of traditional marketing and customer success — in order to create lasting business outcomes.
Adopting Technology Built by Marketers, for Marketers
Most marketers today use solutions that are pieces of a patchwork of larger clouds designed for sales, operations, and other non-marketing functions. The side effect of trying to force such clouds to work for marketing purposes is that departments end up with Frankenstack infrastructures that aren’t innovating around the marketer’s needs. Using a unified, purpose-built marketing platform will save uncountable hours of time and headache, and allow marketers to integrate best-of-breed applications that will work for their unique needs. A platform built from the ground up by marketers, for marketers will adapt to the growing role, and set up marketers for success.
To forge profitable relationships well into the future, marketers must take a bird’s-eye view of the three aspects above and iterate accordingly. The challenges ahead are real, but not insurmountable. Marketers who learn to balance complexity with consumer demands will lead intelligently, efficiently and with authenticity … and win more often.