Scott Davis of Prophet, author of "The Shift," covered broad concepts from his new book on the changing perspectives visionary marketers are adopting in a business environment where senior marketers get about 2 years to make a business impact. His presentation was part of the 2009 Business Marketing Association Conference.

His underlying theme is dramatic changes in business within the past five years haven't driven enough changes in marketing. The following list hits some of the significant observations from Scott's fast-paced (and too short, due to scheduling) presentation:

  • The Shift is about replacing the old marketing mindset with an influence model and a clear focus on customer acquisition, loyalty, and retention.
  • With the rapid turnover among CMOs, the easiest place to signal near-term change has been through changes in marketing communications; this has reinforced a narrow view of marketing as not understanding fundamental business issues.
  • The dialogue in marketing changes when we start talking about growth, and being able to present solid trade-off decisions that tie marketing mix decisions to underlying business strategy issues.
  • Visionary marketers are creating strategic growth, balancing short and long term issues, advancing the reality that customers own the brand, driving revenue initiatives, coming to grips with moving ahead with 60% completed initiatives (that will be tweaked based on in-market learnings), and enabling collaboration across the business.
  • Five shifts are highlighted in Scott's book:
    • Starting with business strategy (and working back to marketing strategy)
    • Galvanizing networks (with influence, pull, engagement, participation, transparency, & authenticity)
    • Driving pervasive innovation (it's about experiences & business models, not products
    • Inspiring marketing excellence
    • Cultivating a relentless customer focus across the business (done through CEO strategic directives, clarity in positioning, and building tangible business cases).
  • Marketers have to display a P&L mindset, even if they don't have direct P&L responsibility.
  • According to Scott, "A lot of great stuff happens in a downturn. Brands are getting scrappy, shifting budgets, and accepting more margin of error."

- Mike Brown, Brainzooming, June 12, 2009