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The Critical Wider Issues Marketing Faces in 2024


While marketers wrestle with everything from AI to budget cuts, we spoke to David Parker, who has been leading from the frontline of marketing technology for more than 25 years about the wider - and the deeper issues - which face anyone creating or commissioning content, and why we still need to go back to basics.

The biggest challenge we have as marketers is “effectiveness” no other “strategic + execution” value has so much bearing on achieving your brand's ambitions. These are really bound around content | Data |Channel |Performance. Therefore it is fundamental to get back to some very simplistic concepts to manage your performance marketing.

Primarily it’s essential to simplify the complexity before we start throwing technology at it. The challenge is complexity appears to most people more important than simplicity. It's probably the most difficult thing for any one person to achieve because it breaks down all of the natural barriers of authority.

So think of your consumer journey, map critical data points, look at your content over time, and focus on frequency and recency, this is what consumer brand health is all about.

We've got to stick to the concept of content + data <=> consumer experience.  We have to stop the narrative of computing effectiveness against efficiency. We have to understand what working dollars and non-working dollars actually mean. At a board level people must understand what this means. Then we must understand what “nudge-marketing” actually is: a real-time change of your brand around consumer events that matter to help them make a transaction, because, ultimately, everything is about a transaction.

There's not enough of what I consider a small unit team with full accountability for control. Looking at things in terms of marketing and performance in real-time and identifying what works and more importantly, knowing what is “not working” because we're tracking it in real-time. There’s more value in understanding what doesn’t work and why, rather than developing more strategic PowerPoint presentations. Strategy in reality only gets measured in execution!

A lot of the time the brand marketing team spends far too much time looking inside, not what's going on outside their office. The battle is not in your organization. There's no point in telling your senior leader or shareholders about help within your brand if on the outside it's dying on the vine because you do not spend enough time with consumers.

We assume we understand the insights data is telling us, but actually, the consumer is giving us information in a roundabout way, which we need to extrapolate from the data and then produce insights from. We can look at spreadsheets after spreadsheets of data. If we've achieved a 3% increase, but we don't know why we've done it or how we could make that into a 6% increase, because we're not talking to our consumers, then it becomes incestuous. It becomes us talking to ourselves, rather than consumers.

I am still amazed even today, with the poor quality of content marketing, it’s still so brand-centric, almost patronizing! We go to these concepts to delivery without ever going out and asking the customer or the consumer any question, never mind listening to the answers. It is remarkable that we still push brand perception to the consumer when the consumer is just not listening.

David Parker is a seasoned marketing and digital leader with roots in digital business, omnichannel marketing, and technology. David’s 25+ year international career and skills have been developed at the transformational point of leveraging consumer data + content. David has been Vice-President of digital at PMI, the Global Content Marketing Strategy & Technology at Kimberly-Clark, and the SVP Global Director of Digital at McCann.

Have a chat with the team at Medialake to learn how we can help you manage your content in 2024.

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