December 16, 2011: During the 1980’s, almost all of the college students who weren’t computer experts wanted to be a marketer. The main objective was to satisfy the needs and wants of the customers. The top shots in an organization those days were the Chief Executive officer, Chief Finance Officer and the Chief Marketing Officer.
Back in 1980’s the task of the Chief Marketing Officer was to understand the strategy of the organization and possess in depth knowledge of the value of the products and services, while communicating that value to the customers. In addition to this the CMO had to have detailed knowledge about who their prospective customers were and find out how to reach them, while assuring the audience that they have a better offering than their competitor. In simple terms CMO’s were the strategists, the analysts, the market experts; an all in one executive.
Later the CMO’s lost their strategic importance and was messed up with processes, data and workflows; and become a tactical executive with the function of feeding the sales force. The current economic condition has made the role of CMO’s more important and difficult. The increasing pressure on the profits of the organizations has forced them to renew focus on matters such as pricing strategies, consumer behavior, campaign management, and customer engagement. The major challenges that the marketers face today are information overloading, social media, the increase of channels and devices and shifting customer demographics.
Organizations should be able to get in touch with the customers through different channels that will help personalized communications so that customers will feel special. This will help marketers to understand the customers, their buying behavior and the market. Marketers should put effort in building long term relations with the customer through online and offline community building to manage the customer lifecycle better.
Across the world outsourcing has picked up momentum and organizations outsource functions such as finance and accounting, HR, IT, and customer services, and this has been the case of the past decade. In fact marketing departments has been outsourcing some of their functions such as advertising, promotional activities and event management. But the outsourcing of marketing function as a horizontal service is in the infant sage in India. With the mounting pressure on the Chief Marketing Officers’ the scope for outsourcing marketing function has increased exponentially.
Various marketing services that are outsourced include shared services, integrated sales and marketing, interactive marketing support services. Shared services consist of sales support, design and content services, and campaigns. Integrated sales and marketing solutions include market research, go-to-market strategy, and sales and marketing analytics. Different functions that are outsourced in interactive marketing are search marketing, website, blog and application development, social media marketing and online support. Support services consist of demand generation and customer support.
A recent study observes that 25 per cent of the organizations presently outsource or plans to outsource marketing services within the next year. The major service providers start with crucial areas such as technical support, customer support and Finance and accounting before considering marketing services. Marketing services are outsourced only after trust has been built up between the clients and the service providers.