Old Marketing Poltergeists: They’re Ba-a-a-a-ack!
A couple of weeks ago we highlighted the top tier marketing research priorities identified by a select group of corporate executives who are members of the Marketing Sciences Institute, and who represent the corporate-user side of marketing research. Every two years they vote on where to direct the institute’s research funds for academic research.
Not surprisingly, the top tier priorities reflect the de rigueur issues we hear so much about these days: the customer experience and big data.
But the second and third tier priorities are just as relevant, interesting, and revealing—and well worth reviewing:
Tier 2 Priorities
- Measuring and communicating the value of marketing activities and investments
- Developing and organizing for marketing excellence
- Leveraging digital/social/mobile technology
- Creating and communicating enduring customer value
- Developing and delivering fully integrated marketing programs
Tier 3 Priorities
- Innovating products, services, and markets
- Operating in global markets
- Recognizing differences in consumers and customers
- Establishing optimal social contracts with customers
What strikes me most about this list is how enduring—even old-fashioned—these topics and questions seem to be. What is the value of marketing? What is the value of a customer? How do we successfully innovate? They’re topics and questions we’ve been asking for decades.
The list reminded me of a recent encounter with a former CEO who is now teaching marketing classes at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management here in Evanston. “What’s the latest heuristic or framework that Kellogg faculty are using to teach marketing these days,” I asked. “Well, I use the customer lifetime value approach,” he said. It struck me as oddly old-fashioned. But I also felt reassured. For those of us who love the challenge of solving puzzles and doing research, it’s good to know that the problems are never fully solved—they just keep resurfacing in new and changing forms.