What is Modern Marketing?

At Olive, we are, by definition, Modern Marketers. But what does that mean? It’s not about eschewing print for digital. It’s more than embracing new technologies. It’s not even solely centered around espousing the latest trends. It’s a holistic philosophy that connects brands with their real-world customers. We could sum it all up in a Don Draper-style existential speech, but straightforward explanations backed by real numbers are more reflective of the Modern Marketing flavor. So, put aside that Macallan neat, and let’s dive in.

Modern Marketing is a holistic, adaptive methodology that connects brands with real customers and drives business results by blending strategy, creative, technology, and analysis.

Modern Marketing…

1. Elevates customers’ brand experiences at every touchpoint

Modern customers of both the B2B and B2C variety are a sophisticated animal. They have high expectations when it comes to brand experience. (We can thank Apple for that.) These elevated expectations impact more than the technical user experience of interactive exchanges like websites and applications. Yes, users expect to be able to switch effortlessly between desktop and mobile when interacting with your site, but every touchpoint should also speak to the value of your brand, establish trust, and tell a cohesive story.

We do mean every touchpoint. Salesforce estimates that an individual will encounter 6-8 touches before converting to a qualified lead. That includes websites, social media, emails, presentations, brochures, ads, and everything in between. Your customers expect seamless transitions between every last one of them. In fact, 60 percent of Millennial customers—the ones who will shape the marketing landscape for the next 20 to 40 years—expect a consistent brand experience across all channels.

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2. Builds personalized connections with individuals

The sophisticated expectations of the modern customer don’t end with a consistent brand experience. That experience must also be tailored to them. Not as a vague demographic group, but as individuals. To achieve that level of personalization, you must develop a deep understanding of your customer. What are their desires, challenges, pain points, hopes, dreams, favorite colors? The deeper you get, the better you can shape their brand experience.

This rounding out of your customer takes effort, but 94 percent of marketers know it’s worth it. To the tune of a 19 percent average boost in sales.

3. Integrates omnichannel strategy and tactics

There’s a reason we don’t call ourselves a “digital” marketing agency. Modern Marketing doesn’t equate to a digital-only approach. Nearly everything we do incorporates a digital component, but Modern Marketing is channel agnostic. The average person spends 8 hours a day consuming media, a figure that includes online, outdoor, radio, magazines, and newspapers. If your marketing is going to meet customers where they’re at, you’ll most likely have to execute it across multiple channels. It’s a strategy that has increased sales for 78 percent of companies that employ it.

When it comes to our clients, we get to know the ins and outs of each channel, employing those that make sense for their business and customers. And, because results are the only thing that matter in Modern Marketing, we ensure our omnichannel approach seamlessly integrates with a comprehensive marketing strategy. A campaign that begins with a direct mail promotion leads to a landing page. A website lead that originated through social media receives a printed brochure. A pay per click campaign drives to an event page that promotes a trade show. It’s all tied together in the name of optimal results.

4. Adapts to the evolution of the marketing landscape

Modern Marketers are, by nature, agile, adapting to changing technology and capitalizing on the benefits it offers. Still, Modern Marketing is more than the technology that facilitates it. We don’t let trends in innovation rule our strategies. We find ways to make technology work for our strategies.

Though we take pride in our ability to keep up with the latest iPhone release and the greatest IoT trends (that may fall more in the Postmodern Marketing realm), it’s more than that. It’s about reaching audiences where they’re most comfortable. Not every potential customer is going to fall on the same end of the technology spectrum. So, for instance, while we leverage responsive design to reach the 99.5 percent of individuals who consume content on their mobile phones, we also have to allow for the fact that only 15 percent will make a purchase from that same device. Finding that tech balance among our target audiences is a hugely important feat for the Modern Marketer.

5. Maximizes efficiencies through technology and automation

We don’t simply rely on technology to improve the way we reach our audiences. We also turn to advancements in marketing technology and automation to become more efficient marketers. By eliminating repetitive manual tasks, establishing communication workflows, managing social, publishing content, centralizing data reports, tracking lead activities, facilitating events, testing campaigns (and much, much more), these tools maximize the efficiency of your marketing resources and dollar. To the potential tune of a 451 percent increase in qualified leads.

Every company—no matter how large or small—would move mountains to see this kind of improvement. The good news is this technology is widely available, expanding and advancing at a rapid-fire pace. In the past year alone, marketing tech offerings have nearly doubled. With 1,876 companies vying for a spot in your marketing stack, brands simply need to determine which one is the right fit for their end game. Once they do, the toughest decision will be which marketing initiatives should take priority when reallocating the newly freed budgets and resources.

6. Combines inbound education with outbound promotion

We’re well settled into the information age, which means potential customers are conducting more research than they ever have before making purchasing decisions. Between 2012 and 2013 alone, the number of individuals who turned to online research before making a buying decision jumped 20 percent. It doesn’t matter if your customer is a new homeowner comparing mattress reviews or a corporate decision maker searching for the best travel management solution, they won’t make a move before conducting a significant amount of research.

Inbound marketing allows brands to aid in this search—while building trust and loyalty—at every step of the customer journey, but it’s not simply a benevolent act. Inbound leads cost 61 percent less than outbound leads. Despite its cost-effective benefits, Modern Marketers know that inbound can’t replace outbound entirely. For inbound to work, companies need to commit 6-12 months to each campaign. Outbound augments these efforts building brand awareness and, often, driving faster results. As with all things Modern Marketing, the key is finding the balance that works best for your brand, your customers, and of course, your budget.

7. Measures and analyzes performance

Marketing is an investment and investments are measured by returns. A fact the big data movement has solidified. Ninety-three percent of CMOs report feeling pressure to prove ROI. Still, no matter how advanced data analytics tools become, certain pockets of marketing will always defy easy measurement. Sure, the rise of the Google Gods and endless analytics tools have made it much easier to track digital marketing, but other initiatives—like brand development—can be tricker to evaluate, especially in the short term. It’s not an uncommon plight. Only 21 percent of marketers say they are successful at tracking ROI.

But the Modern Marketer doesn’t give up. We work hard to build processes and tools to measure the measurable and understand how the rest relates to those data points in order to effectively analyze performance, identify what is (or is not) working, and change course based on the insights.

8. Leverages iterative execution and optimization

A Modern Marketing strategy never truly crosses the finish line. We’re constantly exploring new channels, adopting innovative tools and technology, adapting to market shifts, outpacing the competition, and improving upon creative strategies and solutions that could be just a little more perfect. This constant state of motion has led 78 percent of CMOs to embrace agile marketing, a decision 86.9 percent of practitioners say has increased profits.

Brands that fall in line with an agile approach that includes iterative execution and optimization are able to quickly respond to new threats while taking advantage of fresh opportunities. The agile approach could manifest itself as something as minor as small tweaks to an existing campaign based on data analysis. Or, it may involve replacing a planned campaign to capitalize on a newfound opportunity. No matter how consequential the execution, this iterative cycle allows brands to maximize their marketing performance.

Though there are many elements that make up a Modern Marketer, the carrot we all drive toward is building a brand experience that engages and influences customers in the real world. Keep this in mind, and you’ll be steps ahead of the dusty Madmen of yore. Go so far as to adopt the eight points of the Modern Marketing philosophy and the steps will become miles.