There is significant talk nowadays of marketing being first and foremost a science and that the CMOs of the future will be data scientists. In fact some editorials and opinions go so far as to say that unless you have a background in data and analytics you will not have a future in marketing.
The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) defines marketing as: “The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably”, but does this really catch it all? Yes, it is extremely important to create satisfied customers but does this in itself evoke brand loyalty?
Take the example of an individual coming to the end of their mobile contract. They may well have been satisfied with the product and service but perhaps they are looking for a change, to try something new. On the other hand there might be an individual who is also coming to the end of their mobile contract and has suffered some issues but remains fiercely loyal due to the emotional connection they have established with the brand. Satisfaction does not necessarily infer loyalty.
I see customer satisfaction as the outcome of applying the science of marketing. It is the ability to understand the customer, to recognize their needs and wants and to provide them with the right offer or response depending how the interaction took place. This is almost becoming a given, an expectation of every consumer interaction. However, customer loyalty is dependent on the art of marketing, creating an experience that forms an emotional connection, where empathy is established by reflecting the values, thoughts and aspirations of the individual. This takes creativity and innovation.
Jonathan Mildenhall, the creative genius at Coca-Cola best sums it up when he says, “Creativity is behind every leap in science and marketing”.
Finally, here is a link to a performance on Britain’s Got Talent. It is clever, great science at work but how do you feel when you watch it? Does it light up your life, pull your heart strings and create a lasting memory? For me, this is creative genius, it is art at its very best and why great marketing will always require both art and science in equal measure.