The Future of Marketing

28th November 2016

Posted In: WMB Careers

Competitive advantage today is not a sure thing. Blink and it’s gone. Your own unique selling point can be threatened in an instant.

Take Dollar Shave Club, a start-up selling cut-price, no frills razors. It enlisted 12,000 customers in two days when its YouTube video went viral. Recently it sold to Unilever for an estimated $1 billion. Dollar Shave took on grooming goliath Gillette and was able to carve out nearly 10% market share. This would not have been possible twenty years ago. Change is the only constant in business but change is happening faster than ever. At the heart of this change is marketing.

Words: Avril McHugh

So how can you ensure that you have competitive advantage in a career that is constantly changing?


I’ve been in marketing for 20 years and I’ve seen three major waves during that time. The first wave was traditional marketing – relationship marketing, brand positioning and strategic pricing. This is still an integral part of good marketing and something that is often overlooked by new businesses hoping to make a mark. The second wave that is still crashing is digital. This has completely transformed what it means to be a marketer.

Traditional print and TV advertising is quickly becoming less lucrative and being replaced by viral YouTube hits and Snapchat campaigns. With TV and radio it often takes various iterations and focus groups to get it right – and even then it might fall flat. With online campaigns you can judge audience engagements and optimise in real time to make the biggest impact with the most relevant people.

Going hand in hand with the digital revolution is data analytics, a third transformative arm of marketing. It’s the biggest gap in online marketing with many marketing departments crying out for talent with data analytical skill. Having all this data is one thing, but we need people to be able to do something with it.

This article was originally published in the 2016 Annual WMB Magazine and can be read in full here (pdf) >>