Hunter Hastings on new marketing standards

The author and Director of the EMM Group Hunter Hastings, presented at the conference, ad:tech, held in Chicago, a new vision of the meaning of marketing in relation to metrics, the process and involvement. Article about his presentation published on iMedia Connection, the transfer goes through

Being presented as “the man who can give you not just the idea of measuring engagement in the brand, but to show how it really happens,” hunter Hastings, Director, Enterprise Marketing Management Group and author of “The New Marketing Mission”, made a great presentation of the new marketing standards and outlined what will be needed for prosperity in the new consumer-centric world.

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Hastings began with a short definition of marketing: “to understand the needs of people and to meet them”. Then he named three main areas that change the marketing landscape, from “addressable consumer”: a newly emerging opportunity to identify and follow a particular person – online or offline – require to apply new ways of customization of marketing messages and track their impact. The second is a new level of consumer control over content that totally changes the old marketing model of type “break and navais” (interrupt and annoy). These two phenomena, coupled with the need for brands in the shortened marketing cycle, push the course of events to the new metrics and practices to achieve the Holy Grail of marketing: best involvement in the brand.

Needed: new metrics

As soon as simple to attract attention ceased to be valued and brands have become to demand a deeper engagement from consumers, the old metric-type price-per-click, is becoming less and less relevant. Hastings described the new measurement standards, which he described as “units of customer engagement” (customer engagement points), which is similar to traditional pieces of media rating. He said that there are three reasons why only system that uses units of engagement can be applied in marketing of the future: it is comprehensive, it uses a single global currency that works for different media and different geographical areas and can adapt to a fickle, fast-changing market conditions.

Under this system, each customer contact is assigned a certain value based on the reports of consumers about which of your contacts was most important to their purchasing decisions. Unit of involvement can be expressed in absolute numbers – for example, the effectiveness of this contact and also in relative numbers, such as the proportion of involvement in the brand compared to competitors. The value can change in time, in space (geography) and depending on the target group – to name only a few key variables. For example, if marketing a car, Hasting notes that “a lot of contacts can have a value of zero involvement, if the client is not in a cycle of buying cars.” At the same time, these same contacts can a year later be of great cognitive, emotional or behavioural value for the same client.

So the audience wasn’t looking at the principles of engagement, as pure theory, Hastings drew attention to research undertaken by his company, demonstrating a “very high correlation” – about 80 percent – between the share of the brand in customer engagement and its share in the market, thus proving that involvement actually translates into sales.

Keyword: process

So, once marketers know what constitutes a successful engagement, the main question is “How do we change our approach to engagement? We need what the developers call a model of congruence” – something that is more in line with the new challenges of the companies associated with consumer involvement.

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Modern culture has a “hierarchical (siloed) marketing structures” and “managerialism” prevent many companies to pay attention to these ideas, said Hastings. He pointed to the need for more horizontal organization, as opposed to the existing vertical model of command-and-control. In the new marketing process, the incoming data – client details – will be the material that will be transformed into the “who, what, where and how” for marketing campaign. The returns from such systems will be measured client involvement.

As soon as the industry approach to such models, marketing organizations will need what Hastings called “the champion of engagement” that would conduct research, as well as media and communication expertise, which allows to control the process. In addition, they will need new tools, including software that allows you right on your desktop to create instant reports. They will reflect the efficiency of inclusion and effectiveness, as well as the ability to model small changes in strategy (scenario “what-if”) and their possible effect on engagement.

Winners and losers

Any change always brings one players better than another and marketing in its transformation from an unpredictable, immeasurable and long-cyclical “today” in an effective, from the point of view of the process, “tomorrow” is no exception. Among those who remain behind, will be, according to Hastings, “advertising-centric or marketing-communication-centric” organization, because they are too tight hold on the familiar tools and does not pay sufficient attention to engagement. But smaller marketers and nimble customer-centric companies will thrive as they no longer need huge budgets and huge advertising agencies to compete.

Lastly, the entire industry will become less noticeable in itself. Says Hastings: “We will no longer be called by marketers, but will become employees involvement (engagement workers)”