Customer And Content Are King In The Future of Marketing

Michael Brenner on Feb 7, 2013 in Content Marketing

If you think that title is blatantly obvious, just look around!

Whether you’re in the consumer of business marketing world, most of the marketing messages, platforms and ideas do not put the customer first or drive any relevant value for your buyers.

That’s why in this Future of Marketing series, we are looking for the guidance and advice from the best minds in our industry.  I started with my own prediction that the future of marketing lies in our ability to transform the entire enterprise into a truly social business. Mark Schaefer discussed culture and the future of search. Marcus Starke predicted the rise of the science of marketing and Ann Handley called for more brands to become Content Brands.

In this interview, I am honored to present the view of Alan See. Alan is the Chief Marketing Officer of CMO Temps. You can find Alan on Linkedin and Twitter @AlanSee.

 Tell us about yourself?

I’m currently a featured blogger for AT&T and a top-ranked blogger for I am also ranked as the #3 most followed CMO on Twitter by Social Media Marketing Magazine and #4 most followed Marketing Professor on Twitter. I was also a LinkedIn early adopter: One of the first 100,000 people (#74,136) to join the network.

I also have a personal mission statement that reads: To develop, grow and leverage superior business acumen in order to maximize value for my network, and to provide a life for my family that is filled with spiritual growth and Christian leadership, financially secure, learning, loving and fun.

OK, you probably didn’t see that coming did you?!  So, on a more pragmatic note I’ve recently established my own firm that provides interim or part-time CMO services.  After 30 years in the profession, I’ve learned a few things or two about marketing and sales.

Tell us about some tough marketing challenges?

This would be a good time to point out that it’s too late to qualify as an early social media adopter.  If your company is not already testing some social media pathways you are officially behind right now.  Social media is much more than a new approach to marketing; it’s something that often cuts across the entire enterprise.

For that reason, what you’re ultimately looking for is seamless interaction between Strategy, Technology and Processes across all functional areas, including; sales, marketing, HR, IT, finance and legal.  So, get started by focusing on your strategy first.  Make sure your social media marketing strategy integrates and supports your strategic business plan.

What’s your prediction on the future of marketing?

Let me answer that question this way.  Ted Turners old success advice; “Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise” is not something marketing can bet their career on anymore.  In today’s relationship-based economy, the consumer and relevant content is king.  The consumer is looking for transparency, trust, relevance and engagement.  You are going to need a social media strategy to deliver on those expectations.


Is the customer and your content King? Let us know what you think in the comments below. And follow the conversation on Twitter (@BrennerMichael or @AlanSee),  LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+.

Michael Brenner
Michael Brenner
Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of The Content Formula and the CEO of Marketing Insider Group. He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael shares his passion on leadership and marketing strategies that deliver customer value and business impact. He is recognized by the Huffington Post as a Top Business Keynote Speaker and a top CMO influencer by Forbes. Please follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook and Subscribe here for regular updates.
Showing 5 comments
  • Thomas Barth

    Hi Michael: I’ll throw my hat in the ring as devil’s advocate with the following opener: am I the only one who’s read Game of Thrones? Having a king – or even worse, multiple kings? Blech. It’s an outdated, divisive construct that puts almost everyone in the role of peasant/subservient. If you haven’t been there – trust me, it stinks.
    I like where Alan is going with “transparency, trust, relevance and engagement.” I don’t predict any kings showing up at that party – and that’s fine with me. :))

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks Thomas, I’m a big fan of constructive devil’s advocacy. It’s a good point but I think Alan’s main point was that customer-focused content would separate winners from losers in the future of marketing. Whether either or both is “king” was probably a matter of using the conventional semantic. I understand words matter and agree with you, there will probably not be any kings at the party!

      • Chuck Kent

        I think the model has to be reimagined as content as servant king, perhaps tying in with the leadership model indicated in Alan’s mission statement. “Content is King” is tired and misleading – effective content serves customers and successful marketers in the future will be those who help first rather than sell first… content will be key in making that happen.

  • Rick Alden

    I think you are close, Mike…

    I like the idea of “context” rather than “content”. It’s a subtle difference, but context implies a deeper understanding of the customer. Where does context come from? Not only from understanding Persona, buying process, etc., but also from real, hard data. Marketing’s future, IMHO, will be rooted in 1) Analytics and 2) Context.

    • Michael Brenner

      Thanks Rick, I think you’re right and they’re both important.