By Jennifer Marley

A truly “Bionic” Marketer is an individual who possesses the skill sets of 4 types of marketing:

  1. CPG Marketing – The power of words and the power of strategic frameworks.
  2. Retail Marketing – The ability to execute with pride, passion and attention to detail…everyday is show time.
  3. Technology Marketing – The ability to truly innovate based on deep consumer understanding. Consumers in this space don’t know what they want until they see it.
  4. B2B Marketing – No puffery allowed. You must save your customer’s money or time or get out of the way.

The following questions are ones that SW&A has heard from our marketing clients, and are a typical representation of the marketing challenges broadly seen since the start of the recession. Following each question is our point of view on how our ‘Bionic’ marketer might respond. ‘Bionic’ is a dated word, but you get the idea…

  1. “Are my TV ads being seen? Am I really a luddite because I’m not twittering my customers?” Maybe…but commit to being smarter in 12 months than you are today. And have an understanding of ‘On the way to what…’ for each initiative.
  2. “It’s not all science, there is still art.” Without an understanding of how your brand is meaningfully different, all the science in the world is a waste of money. True and meaningful differentiation has been created by Stephen Jobs, Mickey Drexler (J. Crew), Howard Schultz, Sam Walton.
  3. “Go over every program, every line item one more time.” Can’t argue. Just Do It.
  4. “When do I have time to think strategy?” You need to be a overzealous planner…focus on the next 3 months with a view to where you want to be in the next 3 years.
  5. “You can’t really expect a forecast in this market.” No denials based on the recession. Time for scenario planning, but you own your brand’s future.
  6. “Why can’t sales sell?” Marketers must lead sales, but sales must think that they are leading.
  7. “My innovation pipeline is dry!” True innovation isn’t just about focusing on new products. Focus on new channels, new processes, new customers etc..
  8. Why can’t I move faster?” Upfront alignment in an organization builds speed.
  9. “Well, these results are ‘less bad’.” Manage expectations and over-communicate.
  10. “How do I demonstrate Return on Marketing Investment?” That’s a whole other meeting…perhaps a future blog post.
  11. “Too much information, not enough insights.” Quit complaining and clarify. Many insights are a stunning glimpse of the obvious. It is less about the ‘insight’ but what you do with it to create meaningful differentiation that matters.
  12. “Wal-Mart!” Respect them. Learn from them. Help your other customers to differentiate from them.