The short answer is yes, but with a big caveat: Marketing won’t do it alone.
The entire world is undergoing a digital transformation. New companies are springing up daily that are dramatically changing how buyers, sellers, and customers engage.
Need examples? How’s this morning routine to paint a picture:
A man rolls out of bed and off his Purple® Mattress that he learned about from an ad on Facebook and bought online after checking some of the 15,000 reviews, watching some entertaining videos, and soaking in their value prop on their website while interacting with a chatbot to answer his questions. He then walks to the bathroom and shaves with his Dollar Shave Club shaver and cream he has delivered via subscription that he also discovered and purchased online. Afterall, the 4.7 review rating on their home page based on 32k reviews told him a lot about why to ditch the trip to the market and buy expensive blades. Sorry, Bic. You’re on the outs. Then he gets dressed, pulling out his outfit from his Trunk Club that arrived last night, powered by Nordstrom. Learned about it on LinkedIn, subscribed online.
Total gasoline used to acquire these items? Zero gallons.
Total time with a sales rep? Zero.
Team responsible for him becoming a customer so far? Marketing.
His morning continues…
He goes downstairs and whips up his breakfast that was delivered by Hello Fresh, then gets in his Uber that he secured through his mobile phone while walking the dog, and as he arrives at his office, he pitstops at the Starbucks in the lobby of his building to pick up his coffee which he pre-ordered on his mobile en route. Ahhhh, he thinks, it’s a great day.
Now before I go on any further, what I want to make sure I underscore is the lack of sales in these purchases and experiences. That’s the first point I am trying to make. While none of these consumer purchases involved a salesperson, they used to in some capacity. The cost savings to these companies enables them to increase profits and reduce people costs.
Will sales become extinct? No, I’m not suggesting that. I am just calling attention to the digital transformation and the critical role marketing plays in it.
Now, the most important point. What I’m defining as marketing is the total experience the buyer has pre-purchase, discovery, purchase, and post-purchase. It’s your job to attract, engage, delight, and retain, and to do it better than the competition.
And the way to do that is by having a customer-first mindset and removing all friction from the process. The sales experience should be integrated into the marketing experience. The customer service experience should be integrated into the marketing experience. The product usability, packaging, warranty, and support should all be part of the marketing experience.
The Experience is what matters most. The Product, second.
Have great marketing, a frictionless sales experience, a solid product, and excellent 24/7 service, and you will rule the world — or at least the competition.
For more than 20 years, David Lewis has been a pioneering innovator in digital marketing and has overseen marketing for some of Silicon Valley’s leading technology firms. He founded DemandGen in 2007 to build the worlds’ first marketing technology agency.
For the past decade, David and his team at DemandGen have been at the forefront of the transformation taking place in marketing by helping hundreds of the top sales and marketing teams around the world incorporate sales and marketing technology to drive growth. David is an accomplished industry speaker, thought leader, author, and host the of DemandGen Radio, a bi-weekly podcast devoted to educating marketing professionals on the best technologies and methods for driving growth. His ground-breaking work on the transformation of marketing and sales is at the heart of his #1 book on Lead Management, Manufacturing Demand: The Principles of Successful Lead Management.