Looking behind the scenes of the brands that achieve the greatest success on the internet, it becomes apparent that many of them share something in common: they treat marketing as a service.
The next step in marketing
Marketing has historically been about communicating messages and ensuring it goes to the right person – framing a product and its brand; then deciding what to tell that target market. But the next phase that takes personalisation into account is marketing as a service – not only targeting your audience but taking the right next step for them.
The marketing ecosystem
It’s all about the marketing ecosystem you’re creating. The marketer’s job is to create inner-operability between your product and other products so the experience is seamless. Historically, it’s only been about the brand and its product. For airlines, their “product” is when a consumer steps on the plane, when they sit down and when they land. Once the consumer is off the plane, the airline is done. That method used to work but now it’s not enough.
It’s all about connecting the dots for your consumers
The airline needs to move beyond just the initial product. Marketing as a service is about the entire customer journey – the reminder to tell someone to leave for the airport because they’re going to be late, the Uber that’s ordered to get to the airport, the food they get in the terminal and when they’re on the plane. Does the consumer care that you don’t own those experiences? No. They’d rather you partner with other companies to make those experiences seamless for them – that’s exactly why Delta partnered with Lyft. There’s so much opportunity to do more with a consumer’s experience so they feel like you truly know them and have their back, it’s all about connecting the dots for them.
Create things of value
Rather than pumping out endless corporate propaganda and advertising, these brands use their marketing budgets to create things of value for their audiences. Whether it’s something as simple as a valuable how-to video on YouTube, or a large scale event that puts the audience at the heart of the action, this ‘marketing as a service’ is the only antidote to ongoing media inflation and the audience shift from newsfeeds to stories.
The MaaS model in practice
In a MaaS model, marketing functions are not equal. How you rank them — and then allocate resources against this ranking — will determine how well you use the advantages of MaaS. Categories (and answers) may vary, but here are the basics:
Strategic functions that are core to the business and that shouldn’t be outsourced: e.g. positioning, channel partner programs, presentation design.
Strategic functions that are core to the business but are so highly specialised that they almost always require an outside expert: e.g. brand design, public relations, demand generation programs) that are core to the business but are so highly specialised that they almost always require an outside expert.
Non-strategic functions that are typically outsourced (and sometimes crowdsourced) although they have not yet been commoditised: e.g. photography, marketing automation systems, and email marketing).
The key advantages of MaaS?
Stronger company positioning, messaging, and competitive advantage
A powerful launch that generates powerful market interest (analysts, press, and customers)
MaaS, implemented correctly, is the future of marketing.
A low burn rate
Flexibility in hiring to respond to early market reaction
A “virtual marketing department” that knows your company, speaks with your voice and is indistinguishable from full-time staff that can eat away your budget and limit flexibility.
The ability to then hire a CMO with strong product and market expertise and set them up for early success rather than likely fail.
Do you see the possibilities of the MaaS approach in a B2B context?
Get in touch.