Today I had the pleasure of speaking to a room full of game-changing senior marketers in San Francisco. The conference was organised by Integrate who have developed a top-of-funnel marketing orchestration platform and their CEO, Jeremy Bloom, heralded the era of Marketing Orchestration.
I charged this room marketers with training their teams to orchestrate demand gen campaigns like musicians. And to think of demand gen as an important part of the wider brand song, not a separate discipline.
I’m ostensibly hired as a brand marketing consultant as I help service businesses write and orchestrate their value propositions and marketing plans. But I learned how to do that in a fiercely demand-gen industry. That meant I was constantly trying to create an aligned and orchestrated customer experience with an aggressively short-term targeted salesforce. It wasn’t easy and I learned the hard way how disconnected brand and demand-gen teams can become.
Over the years, across multiple industries, I’ve also seen demand-gen activities left un-orchestrated. Each individual campaign may be planned, tested and fine-tuned to perfection. Yet if you consider the whole performance – which is what the customer hears from their seat in the auditorium – it’s often hard to connect the dots.
I believe a CMO is a Chief Marketing Orchestrator. At the core, their job is to orchestrate the story and help employees connect the dots back to it – to make it easy for customers to buy and use your service. There are five essential parts to this, common to both brand and demand-gen teams:
- Know the real problem your performance is supposed to fix. The emotional one, not just the rational one.
- Sing one song and make sure it’s the song your audience really want to hear. A good value proposition can help you focus outside-in and can also bridge the gap between brand, demand-gen and sales.
- Orchestrate it like Beethoven did his Symphonies. Your marketing plan is the equivalent of a musical score and composers take the time to orchestrate their most famous melodies across all the instruments. You need to do the same and it’s not just the marketing team you’re orchestrating – it’s organisation wide.
- All of those players need to Rehearse. It’s not fair to expect them to do that without first hearing what the whole performance should sound like. They need to know where they’re supposed to fit and learn the cues between teams.
- Perform consistently. Stories and songs are passed down through generations because they are performed regularly. Your demand gen campaigns can be a powerful enabler for your brand, if they are the frequent and consistent drumbeat of the overall brand symphony.
In my experience, many marketing issues are about mis-alignment. Perhaps that’s why we’re now in the era of marketing orchestration…which is music to my ears.
An orchestrated story can drive brand and demand. They’re all part of the same Brand Symphony.