Experiences:The 7 th Era of Marketing

Perhaps you have read the latest marketing book, Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing? If not, it’s time to hop online and get your copy today. The book, written by Carla Johnson and Robert Rose, provides insight into what marketers need to focus on today and it has nothing to do reach or campaigns. Experiences is based on five years of research and shares new ideas on what determines marketing success including putting strategy before structure and how to create content-driven experiences. Thanks to Robert and Carla for sharing their thoughts via the ANNUITAS blog and writing this book – we needed it.

Q: What prompted you and Robert to write your book, Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing?

This book is truly five years in the making and a year in the writing. Robert and I recognized that there is both an evolution of marketing as a practice, as well as a pattern in the challenges that many companies face. Because of the disruption of digital, and the multiple channels through which customers now expect to interact, marketing is becoming both much more strategic and powered by valuable content-driven experiences. However, content – as a function of the business – isn’t well understood in most businesses. If companies are truly going to evolve into this new era, they have to become much more skilled at creating and managing these experiences.

Q: Can you explain what CCM means and why it is so important in today’s marketing?

Content Creation Management (CCM) is a framework for marketers to develop, manage and lead the creation of valuable experiences in their organizations. It’s crucial for today’s marketers because brands have so many channels across which they’re trying to publish content, i.e. blogs, websites, print magazines, etc. They’re doing this yet they don’t have a process to create, manage and measure these properties. That’s where CCM comes in.

Image 014-12 Step CCM Framework Carla blog post

Q: In the book you talk about being a “big kid” and taking a seat at the strategy table. We know this is so important- how can marketers start to do this today? What do they need to make this happen and take and then establish their seat at the table?

The biggest thing that marketers need to do is to start thinking more like business people. They need to understand that the ultimate goal of their work is to solve customer problems, and drive growth and innovation for their company. When they look at it in this perspective, it puts into context why they shouldn’t lead conversations about product features.

Earning a seat at the table means being able to have a business conversation with the company executives. That’s a new vocabulary and outlook for most marketers and few are equipped to have them.

Q: Can you share your thoughts on marketers as innovators?

The marketing environment has changed so dramatically in just the last few years that many people are fearful. That fear leads them to taking the safe route with their careers and corporate initiatives. The result is uninspired work by professionals who struggle to function in a new, changed environment.

For marketers to become innovators, we have to reconsider how we can serve as a seamless conduit through all parts of the organization to set the strategic direction required to free our companies from the practices that hold them back.

As marketers, it’s our responsibility to see where the world is going and to help our companies get there before the world does. We have to look for opportunities to incubate ideas in small ways and then nurture them. Once we understand where our world is headed, then we can translate what we know into practical direction, inspiration and executable actions.

Q: What is unique about the book? Why should marketers, sales and business leaders make this a must-read?

Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing covers both they why marketing needs to become more strategic and lead business into this new era, as well as how it can actually be approached. “How” to approach it is what we call Content Creation Management, which is a methodology designed to help marketing evolve into an organization that can not only describe value, but create it as well.

Author: Erika Goldwater CIPP/US @erikawg Vice President, Marketing, ANNUITAS