Marketing is Dead? Really?

Mainframes are dead. Software is dead. And now marketing is dead — at least according to the Harvard Business Review article by Bill Lee .

Of course I appreciate the desire for a good headline, and a lot of important business elements have changed over the years. But even today the mainframe is not dead as proclaimed in the 1980s.  The mainframe has changed and looks and runs differently.  So of course that’s what Bill Lee’s important article is about — marketing is changing. And it’s becoming more digital.  With the customer journey becoming more digital, marketing is more measurable.  As it becomes more measurable, then we can use hard results to direct our marketing spend.  That makes a lot of sense — especially to CEOs.

Like a proclamation of death, have you noticed the rash of percentages in our news headlines these days?  The 1%.  The 99%. The 47%. Here’s a percentage to remember for marketers — the 67%.  According to John Neeson’s presentation at a recent SiriusDecisions event near San Francisco, 67% of the B2B customer journey is through digital marketing.

67% is a big number and is a signal that Bill Lee’s death to marketing article is on track.  Yes, marketers are still going to advertise and still going to make announcements. The marketing functions are still important; they are just going more and more digital.  That’s of course why we built our Marketing Performance Management solution for salesforce.com marketing users.

So while I agree with the article content, it would have been wonderful for Mr. Lee to come up with a little more innovative headline.

Bonnie Crater

About Bonnie Crater

Bonnie is a 5-time VP of Marketing at Genesys, Netscape, Oracle (Network Computer Inc.), Stratify, and VoiceObjects. While valuing the creative side of marketing, Bonnie's real love is marketing operations -- measuring marketing investments and determining investment optimization. Now as CEO of Full Circle Insights, Bonnie is working to help fellow marketers get the data needed to succeed. In 2000, Bonnie was named one of the “Top 20 Female Executives in Silicon Valley” by San Jose Magazine. Bonnie holds a B.A. in biology from Princeton University.