Experts Share Their View On The Current Meaning Of “Modern Marketing”

Published: April 26, 2016


As I made my plans for Oracle’s Modern Marketing Experience event in Las Vegas this week, it dawned on me that it has been about five years since Eloqua started using the term to describe the transformation of marketing practices in the digital era. Over the years, other companies have picked up on the adjective to capture the transformation marketing teams have had to make to keep up with today’s digital buyers.

Since the phrase itself is kind of vague in meaning, I decided to take the pulse of some of the experts who will be taking part in next week’s Oracle event to see how “modern marketing” really applies to strategy. We asked a group of authors, bloggers and speakers for their definition of the term, how the interpretation has changed over the years and how technology is shaping modern marketing. Here is what they had to say:

Lee Odden, CEO, TopRank Online Marketing


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Modern Marketing has to be data-informed, customer centric and optimized for experience and performance. Technologies will change and so will buyer preferences for information discovery, consumption and interaction. However, the need for brands to stay on top of those preferences and the technologies that will help deliver the best possible experience across the customer lifecycle is timeless.

The overwhelming amount of data being produced, along with changing buyer tech savvy and expectations for content experiences, requires brands to partner with solutions that will help them stay on top.

Elle Woulfe, VP Marketing, LookBookHQ


I don’t think the definition has changed much. It’s about having a customer-centric approach to your marketing that assumes a very integrated and personalized approach for everyone you touch, and a focus on making the most of all the great technology and data available to achieve that.

It’s the expectations that have changed the most. As more marketing departments embrace a modern approach, it has put more pressure on marketers to live up to those expectations. There’s a sense of urgency for all marketers to demonstrate just how smart, data-driven and technologically minded they are, and those skills are now “need to have,” not “nice to have.”

While it’s not the only thing, the use of technology is pretty critical. But anyone can adopt a new piece of software; it’s how we put technology to use that really matters. It’s amazing what a small company with a relatively small tech stack can accomplish when they get creative. At the end of the day, people matter the most. When you combine great people with great technology, it can be really powerful.

Ardath Albee, CEO, Marketing Interactions

Modern marketing puts customers at the core and looks at the longer-term commitment of building profitable relationships. It positions companies as mentors sharing expertise their customers need to solve their problems and achieve their goals…It’s measurable, aligned to business objectives and substantiates the brand as truly relevant and a “must-have” in the minds of its audiences.

Buying processes become more complex as new channels emerge, more people are involved in the decision, and relevance is an imperative. Modern marketers need to be able to execute flawlessly and with continuous improvement, but that requires the visibility made available through technology, as well as the insights available from behavioral data that allow us to refine our content and programs on the fly in response.

Yoav Schwartz, CEO, Uberflip

Today’s advanced marketer, more than ever before, uses data and insights to drive decisions on what to design and create.

The more data that becomes available, the more modern marketers are expected to leverage it for decision-making. The days of simply collecting data are over. Now marketers are expected to put that data to good use and prove ROI.

Technology is the enabler of modern marketing. Building an effective stack, and ensuring the tools within that stack are tightly knit, are absolutely paramount to achieving a successful feedback loop.

Ray Kemper, CMO, Televerde

I consider modern marketing to be creative storytelling with data that shows impact. The innovation around marketing technology is that it drives a blending of the creativity that marketing is founded upon with a strong lens toward effectiveness. Modern marketing has a respect for testing and learning because every word and layout can drive a better response.

Today, I consider modern marketing to be much closer to tying marketing activities beyond engagement and actually back to revenue. We no longer live in a world where a marketer or CMO is only as good as his or her last campaign. There has been a real shift to a series of targeted campaigns with creativity required to get the right response from a specific audience.

David Honig, VP Strategy, Dynamic Signal

Modern marketing is a science. Long gone are the days where campaigns and spend were driven by gut and anecdotes, where results couldn’t be measured accurately or only in long-term retrospect. Marketers are data-driven and highly analytical, but maintain a strong sense of creative intelligence.

The other key component of this is that modern marketers are keenly focused on the role of content and how it connects with their audiences. Modern marketers realize they need to communicate with customers and prospects the same way people communicate in real life, which is now dominated by social and messaging. We’ve finally come around to learn that our customers, prospects and targeted leads are real people. The way the world has shifted to bring our lives online has continued to blur the line around what is personal and what is professional.

On top of this, the channels in which we share our messages are ever changing, ensuring that the modern marketer is not only a decisive, metrics-driven thought leader, but a technologist who is willing to experiment and learn as the rules of what works in what format are consistently shifting.

Brian Geise, CEO, True Influence

Modern marketing is trending towards “outside-in” rather than “inside out.” In the past,“inside-out” marketers focused on the CRM database for leads. Now, “outside-in” activates the web to harness intent buying signals to inform the CRM.

Being a modern marketer means being an early adopter. So much of what we do is based on what data and technology allow, and most of us have now embraced this and committed ourselves to incorporating the most useful new capabilities as quickly as we can.

Utilizing technology and innovation not only improves results; it also helps us avoid disaster. The expectations of our prospects rise as they are exposed to cutting-edge marketing both by our competitors and by vendors in other sectors (B2B and B2C). Failure to keep pace with modern marketing trends can very quickly damage how our prospects perceive us.

Jeff Pedowitz, CEO, The Pedowitz Group

Modern Marketing in 2016 consists of three things:

Developing organizational capabilities around strategy, people, process, technology, customer and results;
Designing, implementing and managing an optimal technology ecosystem that scales the ability to achieve results; and
Designing, running and optimizing effective programs and campaigns that deliver qualified leads and revenue contribution.

You can’t be a Modern Marketer without successfully adopting technology. This goes way beyond Marketing Automation. It means identifying the proper ecosystem components that will drive the revenue engine and engage across the customer lifecycle for a company. Modern marketers truly commit to the customer experience, and maximum customer engagement, and they use technology to innovate and scale.

Seth Lieberman, CEO, SnapApp


Being a modern marketer is less about doing certain activities or managing marketing in a certain way, and more about maintaining a progressive, agile and results-driven mindset.

Modern marketers also increasingly care a lot about connecting with their buyers and producing marketing that resonates to drive action/results.

Modern marketers think about the problems they want to solve (almost always driving revenue-creating events) and from that they assemble the right strategies and technology toolsets so that they can be innovative to drive results/outcomes/progress.


Thanks to all of these thought leaders for sharing their interpretations and insights into what it means to be a modern marketer. If you are heading to Vegas this week for the Modern Marketing Experience event, track down some of these folks in their booths or during their speaking session.


Hopefully, all of these insights will help keep you from becoming antiquated, ancient or obsolete, and instead staying one step ahead of the competition.

Posted in: Blog

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