Having marched through the Industrial Age and blown through the so-called Information Age, this new millennium presents an even more daunting age of opportunity. This could be referred to as the Creative Age. The Creative Age will be characterized by its reliance on small groups of social influencers, who have broad access to consumer information and generate creative and innovative thinking, both building the brand and sales.
Key Points For Market Leadership
- Leadership - Leaders, who have a strong vision of what the brand is and where it’s going, are in place. This is a conscious strategic decision to reinvest and reposition staff with their brand and the new tools in mind.
- Philosophy - Proactive marketers understand the power of this new media and the expanding need for information and speed. They realize that technology is a hidden force that enables empowerment and freedom.
- Roles & Responsibilities – Marketers must have the right personnel to determine if ideas, conversations, streams of data flow and information are useful or useless at all levels of the organization. Understanding of the brand AND having the freedom to act is key.
It Starts with Leadership
The new trend in American management is to talk about bottom-up managing, using the power of employees to help move an organization forward. What is often missing in those discussions is the need for top-down leadership that defines boundaries. Marketers need leaders to define the brand vision in order to free up the organization, ensuring high-performance, speed, and results.
An operations strategy defines your firm’s structure, processes, information needs, and staff skill levels in terms of your vision. It also focuses on the expense/capital investment side of the financial statement – getting operational costs under control. In this new age the roles and responsibilities of the organization need to be rethought and brought into alignment with the overall brand vision.
New Roles & Responsibilities
The changes sweeping the market require that marketing structures change as well. Simply adding a “social media” director isn’t enough anymore. Just as the advent of television created the need for whole new structures, the Creative Age will drive change throughout the traditional marketing arena, including traditional roles and responsibilities.
- Market Research: Focus on listening to the steady-stream of conversations, track reciprocity and trends while providing information that builds the brand in an open format.
- Brand Strategy: Shape the message, and push out information to maintain brand personality, voice, style, and image. Create conversation starters, generate business building ideas. Push responsibility for communication to the lowest level.
- Advertising: Develop brand awareness tactics that stand out in innovative ways. Ensure the brand stays relevant and visible. Open new avenues for consumers to both discover and engage the brand.
- Public Relations: Engage influencers and advocates, support the brand personality, and develop a steady stream of ideas to build reputation and trust.
- Sales: Communicate directly with prospects and consumers, market research and brand strategist. Listen and respond quickly. Feed information top to bottom. Represent the active voice of the brand through engaging customers.