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16 June 2014

How today’s Information Marketer is well placed to lead in business.

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Dee Dutta, CEO Veritas Marketing, explains why today’s Information Marketer is best-placed to lead in business, and explains the four key aptitudes that are required.

Marketing has been transformed by digital. That much we all know. However, the impact of digital marketing has also made profound changes to the relationship between the consumer/customer and the business. This information led age has created demand for a new type of marketer around the world, a marketer that can and will take the lead in business. I have called this the age of the “Information marketer”. The information marketer needs to demonstrate four key aptitudes:

  • Information has empowered customers to the extent that marketers now need a holistic understanding of the 4Ps in order to deliver a 5th P – the Proposition. This is defined as the essence of the covenant with the consumer/customer and is encapsulated in the brand promise.
    Many modern businesses fail to create an understanding of what it is they offer. Name-checks on billboards or Facebook campaigns just won’t do if the consumer is unaware of how the business will meet his or her needs. Often, marketers believe that the proposition and the resulting campaign ideas sound great; they bask in the warm adulation of the creative director, who says the idea is not testable because its profundity is so great it will be timeless! Sometimes it is but often it is not. The information age has enabled marketers to test, to measure and to refine. Digital campaigns give real time consumer response like never before.
  • People who come into marketing thinking it is all about grand ad campaigns and winning Cannes Lions need to rethink why they came into marketing. The information age has given power to the consumer, like never before. This means that marketing is not just about campaigns but about developing a partnership with the consumer. Brands and marketers who partner a consumer throughout the customer journey will achieve longevity in the market.
  • Information age has created a vast array of data. Marketers need to be analytical and numerate in order to use the multiplicity of data to create insights. A marketer who is analytical can have additional creative flair but the ability to analyse and make sense of the data is first and foremost.
  • Information empowerment means that access to information is from all touch points within the business. A marketer must therefore have a cross-functional mind-set. The marketer’s best friend is no longer his or her advertising agency but the chief information officer.
    Information multiplicity requires a marketer to understand different types of information and how they can be harvested. It also requires working with the chief information officer to understand the back-end technology that delivers the information in a timely fashion. This will, of course, require business investment in hardware, software and people so marketers need to have a full understanding of the financials within a business.
    The ability to read a balance sheet and an understanding of the profit motive (the 6th P) will enable the modern marketer to engage the CFO and CEO in an effective dialogue. Marketers need to create a fertile environment and a reason for other business functions to engage with them fully. It requires not just a common purpose towards external goals but leadership from marketers.

Information age has given the marketer his or her biggest ever chance of leadership within business. ‘Knowledge is power’ is not just an idle aphorism. If marketers can understand and digest information to create business insights for growth then they will get the chance to provide intellectual and practical leadership in the business. Other aspects of leadership behaviour need to be there, too – authenticity, courage, inventiveness and perspicacity, for example. But the biggest boon of the information age to marketers in the 21st century is the opportunity to lead. The ones that seize it will become the leaders of the information age.

Dee Duttta founded his business value creation company, Veritas marketing in 2011. Before this he was Visa’s Regional General Manager for Asia Pacific, launching e payment and digital solutions in Australia, South Korea, Japan and Singapore. Prior to this he was the Global CMO for Sony Ericsson. He was part of the team that achieved a business turnaround to take Sony Ericsson to profitability in 2004, and was responsible for leading the launch of some of the most innovative products into the market including Walkman, camera phones etc. Dee was trained at Procter and Gamble. He has an MBA, is currently completing a Masters in International Relations, and has commenced a PhD on political and business leadership and values. He is regular commentator on ROI and the need for marketing to be financially aware and engage the business overall.