Chapter 1Why Marketing Needs to Adapt

Why do marketers need a new approach?

With the rise of social media, marketers entered an era of heightened exposure in which any kind of product or brand failure has the potential to echo virally and at lightning speed through the marketplace. This vulnerability has intensified the pressure on companies to treat customers better and to share information with them in a more transparent manner. And the information sharing has evolved to include the active solicitation of feedback to incorporate at increasingly earlier stages of the product cycle. Many refer to this period as the “age of the empowered customer.” In this book I'll explain how it's also poised to be an “age of the marketer.”

This heightened exposure has certainly benefited the customer, but it has also benefited those companies that have organized themselves to harness customer feedback to quickly improve their products and services. Those companies that can meet and exceed customer expectations (that is, create a great customer experience) have a competitive advantage. Because marketers play a critical role as a conduit between the customer and the company, they are positioned to have a greater role in the business than ever before. In fact, if they get it right, they have an opportunity to serve as the steward of the overall customer experience.

Many marketers are starting to recognize this possibility. But few would claim to be close to achieving this stewardship role. The ...

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