Marketing 2015: a Look Ahead

NEW YORK While today’s terrain can be pretty treacherous for any marketer, a new report is encouraging them to look ahead to 2015. The “What Will the Role of Marketing Be in the Year 2015?” report was created by the American Marketing Association in conjunction with Decision Strategies International.

The 86-page study was unveiled today at the AMA’s Mplanet conference. The findings, based on interviews with more than 100 marketing professionals, present four possible scenarios that marketers will likely face in five years.

The goal of the project was to encourage “scenario planning,” said Samantha Howland of DSI. “This will help them prepare and become the leaders they need to be.”

Here are the four CMOs of the future:

1. The strategic guru (Jane): Jane works at a traditional company with a plethora of opportunities and resources with integrated distribution channels. She uses marketing to drive strategic opportunities for the company and owns customer expertise. Jane’s a trend spotter who is savvy about sifting through tons of data.

2. The value chain optimizer (Tim): Tim operates in a stalled economy. His traditional business is short-term and bottom-line focused. He takes less risk and demands accountability across all areas. Tim is a process guru who is resourceful in driving out cost and driving up efficiency.

3. The network orchestrator (Diego): Diego’s company is made up of virtual teams and workplaces. It involves a network of collaborating companies with efficient value chains and logistics. He is a master networker with an ability to spot trends ahead of the curve. He is flexible and easily changes course. Diego understands that creativity is as important as the bottom-line contribution in measuring success for marketers.

4. The sales facilitator (Xeena): Xeena is working in a time of economic stagnation, geopolitical uncertainty and with few technological breakthroughs. Customers are driving an underground economy based on barter, reciprocity and creating their own review platforms. Xeena has difficulty showing ROI, therefore her company has merged marketing and sales. It relies on the customer to be the marketing arm. Xeena works behind the scenes.

The report is “about articulating the importance of planning for the future and using scenario planning as a tool to do that,” said Dennis Dunlap, CEO of the AMA. “This is what they can expect in terms of outcomes to be better prepared for whatever scenarios will unfold in the future.”