Are You Ready For Some Hard Marketing Truths?

There’s a great article by Janet Balis in the 3/10/21 edition of the Harvard Business Review titled 10 Truths About Marketing After the Pandemic.

Item #2 really caught my attention:

Old truth: “You are competing with your competitors.”
New truth: “You are competing with the last best experience your customer had.”

Balis examines some strategies organizations should consider meeting this expectation. The standout here to me was “Build the right data and technology foundation to support important use cases throughout the customer journey.”

For example, Balis quotes a practical example of this strategy that came from Carla Hassan, chief marketing officer of Citi.”

“Now that companies have their personal data, they want anticipatory, personalized experiences across the entire customer journey.

Most nonprofit performing arts orgs still look at personalized experiences inside their technology platforms as adding merge tags for first or last names. We’ve had this conversation before. I hit it on the nose pretty hard back in 2015 and all of the basic arguments there remain unchanged. Arts and culture orgs need to put more pressure on their technology providers to provide features and functionality that let them remain competitive.

Do take the time to read Balis’ entire article. Strategy #1 is another good one:

Old truth: “Marketing begins with knowing your customer.”
New truth: “Marketing begins with knowing your customer segment.”

I’ve heard @CeciDadisman say exactly this to arts orgs for years now. Anyone listening and internalizing that strategy may actually be ahead of the curve!

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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