Sales and marketing in the digital age

The world of marketing has fundamentally changed. The development of digital technologies and the Internet, online commerce, mobile applications and social networks has led to the emergence of fundamentally new sales and interaction channels with buyers, as well as the creation of arrays of data on consumer behavior and market situation that were not previously available. On the other hand, consumers are now much more informed about quality, consumer properties and, most importantly, price. As a result, marketing costs are steadily growing (already now companies spend about $1 trillion a year on this area), but along with the costs, the complexity of the tasks solved by marketing also increases.

For business leaders, marketing is the most important tool for increasing sales. At the same time, companies often underestimate the importance of understanding the market and consumers and see marketing only as an opportunity to save costs. This becomes especially true when growth slows and there is a need to cut costs.

Today, more than ever, it is important for marketers to understand who their customers are, what they buy and why, where they shop, who influences them, and under what conditions marketing impact on them will be most effective. The job of the CMO today is not only to offer consumers new products and opportunities that consumers will appreciate, but also to identify additional opportunities to improve sales channels, optimize pricing, or even simply help the sales team work faster by identifying attractive market niches.

In every industry, market changes occur differently, and companies have different approaches to redefining the role and tasks of their marketing departments. In interviews with the heads of marketing and sales departments of companies such as VTB 24, Severstal, TechnoNIKOL – Building Systems and the Shokoladnitsa chain of coffee houses, we discuss how to combine creative ideas with a rigorous analytical approach and organize the coordinated work of the entire organization in digital age.

New advances in data processing, modeling and forecasting allow you to work more accurately with the target audience and measure the return on marketing spend, understand what affects consumer behavior. Once upon a time, funds for marketing programs were allocated based on intuition, at best, on results. Today, companies are examining at what point in the consumer decision-making process their investment in marketing has the greatest impact, and are targeting that data.

Sales and distribution are also put on a scientific basis. IT solutions help sales professionals streamline work and manage sales channels more effectively. But buying behavior is becoming much less predictable, and there is room for improvement in many areas, from customer research to collaboration between sales and marketing.

CMOs and other senior executives today need advanced analytical skills. Marketing today is more than advertising. This is, first of all, a detailed analysis of all aspects of the profitability of each unit sold, understanding exactly how the client thinks, and actively managing his expectations and impressions. It depends on marketers whether the company will meet the growing expectations of customers.

Digital technologies and scientific approaches not only increase the value of the marketing service, but also enable it to respond to market changes in real time.

And today it is indispensable: consumer preferences, market dynamics and product life cycles change at an astounding rate. If it used to be considered that a good marketer is a creative, today a good marketer is primarily a mathematician.

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