As we are in the process of building our 2015 FutureM schedule we wanted to start giving you some insight into exactly what you will be seeing at this year's event. FutureM session moderator, Anita Brearton, CEO and Co-founder of CabinetM, explores the future of marketing and learning from the competition in this new blog post. Don't miss Anita's session, "Managing the Complexity of Today’s Digital Marketing Mix" at FutureM 2015. Register today!
Anita Brearton is an experienced high technology start-up executive, skilled at addressing the strategic operational and marketing challenges faced by high growth, early stage businesses. She is the co-founder and CEO of CabinetM, a discovery platform for the marketing industry that is changing how marketers and marketing technology companies connect. Anita is a member of Golden Seeds and Launchpad Venture Group, and serves as the Vice Chair of Mass Ventures.
The future of marketing is being shaped by a new breed of marketer, who is modernizing traditional acquisition tactics by adopting purpose-built technologies to keep up with increasingly tech-savvy consumers. Marketing technology is moving fast to keep pace in a mobile-first digital world where people live, work, play, shop, learn and socialize online. These technologies integrate, automate, test, measure and optimize, helping identify and reach highly targeted, qualified consumers for products and services, strengthen brand awareness, and boost revenue. There are thousands of tools out there competing for marketing dollars, with new ones coming out every week.
The technologies entering this vast marketing ecosystem enable marketers to gain deep insights about customer buying behavior and competitor-marketing tactics -- plugins, extensions, apps and platforms allow marketers to derive deep insights about each other.
Today’s marketing teams have access to a stunning range of competitive intelligence metrics revealing where and how brands, advertisers and agencies are distributing content, engaging new consumers, recruiting brand advocates and sustaining customer loyalty. You can learn what’s working in which segments. You can analyze keywords, rank and compare website traffic, and measure social network reach. You can learn about market trends, benchmark performance, and discover who is using what tools for SEO.
But competitive intelligence doesn’t have to be about spying on competitors' consumer acquisition tactics. You don’t want to copy ideas anyway, because originality carries a much higher value. Your ideas are your intellectual property. And your competition isn’t necessarily your enemy. In fact, many times your “competition” can be your friend.
Rather than taking a contentious stance against your competition, think about what you can learn from them. Explore your differences, and then seek to forge mutually beneficial relationships with those competitors that are targeting the same customers, but not offering exactly the same product as you.
Be advisors to each other. Maybe your product or service offerings align in some lucrative way, maybe there’s a collaboration opportunity. Reach out in person to chat about emerging technologies, and share ideas about how they’re being used. And don’t forget the power of lunch! Many fruitful alliances have been forged over a turkey club, leading to enriched opportunities for all parties, including the consumer.
Today’s consumers live their lives online and on the move. As a result, we’re living in a time when marketers need to constantly stay in front of emerging technology and trends to reach the right consumer, in a relevant way, on the right screen, at the right time and place. Everything is moving so fast that those who aren’t paying attention, or are unwilling to share ideas, will get left behind. So reshape your competition into a cabinet of advisors, and think of your mutually beneficial marketing alliance as something of a modern day ideological barn-raising, where building up relationships is a guaranteed way to build up the industry for everyone.