Benjamin Pring (pictured below) is the director, centre for the future of work at Cognizant. In this guest post, Pring takes a look at what the modern marketer will look like in the future given the abundance of tools now at their disposal…
The role of the marketer was initially so simple: acquire people’s attention, and shout the loudest. This approach worked at a time when we didn’t have today’s more than 100 channels to operate with and attention spans were much longer. This method is ineffective in today’s world where consumers are assailed with hundreds, if not thousands, of messages daily.
The business of marketing has shifted to cutting through the noise with technology and insights. For example, Quantcast forecasts more than half (59 per cent) of marketers plan on increasing their investment in machine learning in 2019. It’s a profession that has become fiendishly complex to master; not as simple as those swaggering, sharp suits of “Mad Men” striding across Madison Avenue would have us believe. For example, algorithms are now used to predict precisely what to serve up to customers and prospects, where and when. Digitally-powered connectivity and data intelligence now define the brand experience of the future.
At its core, a successful marketer has an agile mind-set and an ability to adapt to consumer dynamics that can switch at warp speed. The only thing that’s changed between then and now is the availability of tools they can use to be smarter, faster and better than their competition. Technology is opening up a world of possibilities for CMOs and their teams, and it’s calling for new tasks and activities ― in effect, new jobs ― to be created. So what’s the new mandate for marketers to ensure that their roles are future-proofed, but still anchored in the responsibility of connecting people to stories, brands and experiences?
The new CMO mandate: Make the moment last
In a world of hyper-connectivity, the CMO mandate for the next 10 years pivots on resonance: making meaning for the consumer and building brand experiences that last. The point for marketers is not about getting people to find a suitable product, service or brand, but getting them to stick around. Capturing mindshare used to be the thing, but making it linger is the new trick.
Marketers are good at describing value: creating headlines, features and benefits. The next step is creating separate and discrete value bundles, where content and interactions accrue, creating stickiness, regardless of whether a customer buys the product or service. Get it right, and your brand captures unassailable mindshare; customers will return time and again, in turn building trust and interest with each expanding interaction.
The future jobs in marketing
In light of this shift, we’ve conducted in-depth research on the roles that are likely to emerge over the next decade and become cornerstones of this new CMO mandate. Some major on technology, while others require an extra dose of empathy and emotional intelligence that only humans can provide.
These jobs are not science fiction ― they’re jobs CMOs will ask their HR departments to fill and their CFOs to fund before too long. From “Purpose Planner” to “Master Storyteller”, to “Sixth Sense Analyst” and “Object Persuasion Manager”, these highly diverse roles are also geared towards tapping into the consumer of the future at every touch point.
For example, as artificial intelligence (AI) rises fast, the role of an “Algorithm Bias Auditor” will be needed to ensure algorithms are fair, legal and representative of the values of the organisation. The algorithms that drive the messages to customers and prospects are key to a business’ competitive advantage. Therefore, they need to be 100% ethical. If they aren’t robust and inclusive, there can be negative consequences, such as a leading technology and ecommerce company’s AI recruiting tool. Ensuring customer trust, inclusiveness and championing diversity through AI technologies can only be achieved by human verification.
Another role that marketing functions will probably seek is that of a “Loyalty Engineer”. These people will listen to and identify the needs of customers and partners, and translate these findings into value-building online tutorials, events and exclusive-access opportunities, as well as adaptations to traditional loyalty programs. Loyalty engineering is a new set of skills that matches the entrepreneurial expectations of consumers with the brands that could use them to generate revenue.
Marketers can only deliver authentic messages that resonate for longer if they harness the interplay between technology, and the human element of understanding the emotions of the consumer. This is why marketing jobs of the future will involve technology mastery, while also requiring a certain level of empathy. There is new work for people to do to ensure that key moments for consumers last. Thanks to technology, new jobs have been created ― and will continue to be created ― to help marketing thrive in the future.