Some of you have been asking about the status of my book project, and so I wanted to provide a quick update.
I announced a little over a year ago that I had begun working on a book project – tentatively titled Connected Marketing – “… that covers the topic of marketing technology and that is meant to help marketers deploy and use technology in a substantially-different way than they do today,” per my last update.
What’s the status of this project today?
First, let me explain that this is a project that I’ve always been pursuing on my own time – i.e., writing early in the morning, late at night or on the weekends. And that is something that’s been challenging to do, given my active role at Silverpop as director of field marketing and as the company’s ‘B2B Marketing Evangelist.’ Many of you know I’ve spent the greater part of the last 13+ months on the road throughout North America and Europe, speaking, meeting with customers, launching new events (such as B2B Marketing University) and educating the marketing community about how to strategically leverage marketing automation technology.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome work — it really is — and it’s a mission I’m passionate about, so no complaints here! It’s just hard – as I’m sure you can appreciate – to both be a dedicated, on-the-road evangelist/marketer and also spend focused time on a personal book project at once. As a result, the book project has had to take a back seat many weeks.
Second, this is a project that – as many projects do – has matured over time as I’ve continued to research and write about the topic. Let me be clear that I’m absolutely continuing to work on this project, but its focus has shifted and has moved in what is at once both an adjacent and evolutionary new direction.
How marketers can better leverage marketing technology to be a more ‘connected’ marketer remains a critical element of the book, but I increasingly recognize two fundamental realities that also are critical to cover in the book.
- As many of you probably will concur, technology adoption alone will not help marketers be more connected, nor is it necessarily the right first step; strategy and process change is the first step.
- Much of the need for new technology – and new strategy and process – is the result of a fundamentally-changing modern marketing environment.
So I’ve shifted the focus of my book in response to these realities.
Strategy and Process First
The first step towards more connected marketing requires a fundamental change in how we approach marketing – moving away from decades of post-World War Two era marketing malpractice around interruptive, corporate/brand/product-centric, mass marketing techniques via legacy media channels; embracing our loss of control around channels and dialogue; and shifting towards a new buyer-centric model that embraces a new ‘mass one-to-one’ style of communication and rationalizes tactics against information consumption within the buying process.
This strategy and process change must come before marketers can find greater success with new technology, such as marketing automation, CRM and inbound platforms.
Marketing technology remains a key aspect of my book project – and is critical to executing buyer-centric campaigns – but I’ve shifted the outline to first talk about the changing marketing environment and then mirror it with recommendations for changing strategy and process. This is then followed by recommendations for building out a new technology infrastructure and for developing new skills, roles and organization for the ‘connected’ marketing department of the future.
It is important to address the technology infrastructure discussion in the right sequence.
A Changing Modern Marketing Environment
This shift in focus for my book project – as I said above – also very much reflects the recognition of a sea change in our modern marketing environment – which I’ve been blogging about here on Propelling Brands and as a guest blogger for MarketingProfs over the last year.
We’ve seen a fundamental shift in power from seller to buyer and the emergence of ‘buyer 2.0’:
- “Nailing Down Evidence That the Nature of the B2B Buyer Has Changed” – Propelling Brands blog | 24 September 2009
- “Understanding How and Why B2B ‘Buyers Are Liars’ … and What This Means for Demand Generation” – MarketingProfs Daily Fix blog | 27 April 2010
We’ve also talked about how this maps to fundamental change in how we market to this buyer:
- “Why ‘Personas’ Are the Secret Sauce for Effective Marketing Automation Campaigns and the Key to Achieving a ‘Mass One-to-one’ Strategy” – Propelling Brands blog | 30 October 2009
- “What’s Behind the Rise of Content Marketing?” – Propelling Brands blog | 27 January 2010
And so I’ll dedicate about 1/3 of the beginning of the book towards making the case for the nature of this new environment and for understanding the new buyer we are targeting in the modern marketing environment.
Embracing B2B Marketing’s Leadership
One final note, and this is borne out of both my experiences as a B2B marketing leader over the last 13 years, as well as my realization that substance requires focus.
I have come to believe that the greatest sea change in the modern marketing environment – and most of the current leadership that is reshaping the face of marketing today – is emerging from within the B2B marketing world. So rather than covering all of marketing in my book project, I’ve chosen instead to focus on the evolution in buyer-centric marketing as it pertains primarily to B2B marketing (and perhaps B2C will give me an excuse for a sequel).
So when the book eventually is published, you’ll notice it will be a book about innovating our approach to B2B marketing — a narrowing of the original scope of the project.
That’s the update.
Still moving this project forward – really! (And – in fact – I’ve had a little bit less travel over the last few weeks, and so I’m using the time to move this project closer to completion. Hoping to have more to say over the next few months … )
Also, next time I post an update, I’ll have more information on the new working title. The working title is no longer Connected Marketing, but I’m not yet ready to share a new draft title. So if you thought that after wading through this post I’d end with a zinger-of-a-title … well then you’d be wrong.
Seriously, though, thanks for everyone’s support, and I look forward to sharing my work with you at some point in the near future.