Booze, Birds, Fast Cars—and New Priorities for Marketing

A new generation of marketers is emerging that puts more funding into technology and people development, rather than doing more of the "old stuff." 

I was intrigued if not slightly jealous about the results of a survey of the 3,000 new millionaires from the UK Lottery, and how they spent their money. Among other things, they spent £463 million ($740 million) on new cars, which equates to £155,000  ($249,000) a person. That’s a lot of new metal. I do hope they bought insurance, as well.

Receiving unexpected money can be a pleasurable challenge, and a similar question was asked of UK marketing professionals. According to a recent survey into marketing confidence, conducted by the Chartered Institute of Marketing in the UK, most marketers would use additional funding like this:

  • 19% -- Run a new campaign or idea
  • 18% -- Invest in brand building 
  • 17% -- Increase headcount
  • 13% -- Investment in research and insight
  • 12% -- Invest in analytics
  • 10% -- Develop skills
  • 10% -- Top up existing campaigns
  • 1% -- Other stuff

I wondered if the questionnaire could have been worded differently. Had it provided the option to "invest in your technology and people, so you have a deeper insight into your customers," the results (from the same data, just regrouping three of the categories) might have been:

  • 35% -- Invest in your technology and people to gain deeper customer insight
  • 19% -- Run a new campaign
  • 18% -- Invest in brand building
  • 17% -- Increase headcount
  • 10% -- Top up existing campaigns
  • 1% -- Other stuff

Would better customer insight influence the decision for a new campaign or topping up of existing ones, or provide better insight into consumer sentiment? Certainly the evidence is that effective use of analytics optimizes the marketing process, and an ROI isn’t difficult to find. 

All this seems to point to a new generation of marketers that is emerging – marketing professionals who are customer-, segment-, channel- and technology-savvy. These marketing professionals embrace technology as the key enabler, rather than feel threatened by it, and are the ones most likely to put more funding into technology and people development, rather than doing more of the "old stuff."    

In the current economic climate, where cost-cutting is prevalent and having additional budget is a rarity, it’s critical that current funds are used effectively. How insurance marketing organizations prioritize their spending is increasingly a critical success factor.

Establishing the right priority is always a challenge, especially where there are multiple stakeholders.

Jerry McGuire simply said, "Show me the money," reminding us all of the need for a solid benefit case. 

George Best, Manchester United and Irish international soccer player, had his own particular view on life and priorities: 

"I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered."

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