How Marketing Got Its Groove Back

How do you connect with your best stakeholders?  I recently attended an IEG Conference on sponsorships.  Wendy Clark , Senior Vice President of Integrated Marketing  for Coca-Cola, spoke about the primacy of networked consumers and the power of partnerships to reach them.  Her keynote blew me away.  I wanted to share with you some of her thinking on how things are changing in the networked world.  I know what you’re thinking, “How does this apply to my organization?  I don’t have the marketing budget of Coca Cola and certainly don’t have the time or team Wendy does.” Let me share with you several facts to consider as you plan your next marketing campaigns. There are 1.5 billion televisions in the world today.  There are 1.5 billion computers on-line, 5 billion mobile phones and 2.2 billion Smart phones. By the end 2015 it’s estimated there will be more phones than people on the planet.  Now that you I have your attention, I’d like to pass on several of the ideas that she shared that we can take advantage of to launch our organizations to the next level.

As marketing leaders, our world has become increasingly segmented. Today we can target our message to specific people who fit our ideal client or donor profile and engage them in a highly personal conversation based on what we know about them.  Our nonprofits organizations and corporate sponsors are redefining the way we work together for the benefit of our key stakeholders. The lines between organizations are becoming blurred.  To support our best stakeholders, we must continue to evolve our understanding of the possibilities provided through the different ways of connecting with a highly interactive group of stakeholders. We will no longer have complete control of our message or our market.  We will need to provide our market with many different ways of connecting and sharing our stories with others.  Many breakthrough conversations will occur outside the walls of our organizations.

The mobile revolution isn’t coming, the mobile revolution is here.  People want to connect in different ways to different people.  Your mobile device is going to provide you with incredible connectivity with your best stakeholders.  It will provide you untold opportunities to connect in way that you can’t even dream about today.   There are many challenges to this technology revolution, just as there were challenges with the Internet and Social Media, but there are even more opportunities.  We have finally reached the point that you are only limited by your creativity and ability to let go.  Yes, I said let go.  For many of my clients, they see being in control as one of their key strengths. As with any disruptive technology, the best way to ride the wave is to forget everything you already know and look with fresh eyes.  With all the changes we see coming the best way to manage change is to be the change you seek.

Wendy shared several key attributes of the new landscape and then shared how Coca Cola is riding the wave and harnessing the potential connectivity of this global environment.  Here are several key points she shared about our new networked world. She described it as open sourced, dynamic, two-way, co-created, always on, changing every second, global and local, scaled and customized, and constantly evolving.  Woo-hoo!!!  For many of us, this can seem both exciting and scary as we try to figure out our next steps to take advantage of these powerful tools.

Now what does this mean to your organization? Over the next several weeks , we will begin exploring what Coca Cola and other hip marketers are doing that is going to change the way we think about integrated marketing communications.  I wanted to get you started thinking about the possibilities. As we move into the Olympic Games in London in Summer, 2012. There will be many great marketing stories that we can learn from and execute as we watch the Olympics roll out.  Let the marketing games begin.

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