By Adam Vasquez, Founder & CEO at Merit.
I always wanted to be in the industry. I value creative. I value strategy. I value technology. And when you combine the three, something magical happens. But somewhere along the way of Super Bowl commercials, inbound campaigns, programmatic buys, shopping carts, and social media, we lost our way – and our credibility.
There’s a reason why CMOs have the shortest tenure of any C-Suite executive. The C-Suite thinks we’re superficial, nice-to-have fluff. Marketing has gone from being as important as innovation, as described by Peter Drucker, to a bunch of tactical gimmicks. Even worse, the ecosystem of agencies, consultants, and software vendors surrounding the CMO is focused on tactics, and isn’t prepared to offer strategic value.
Before purchasing Merit (formerly Sacunas) in 2015, I was one of those CMOs fighting for a strategic seat at the table. I worked with leading global agencies, and I was frustrated that no one could give me the combination of real strategy, creative, and technology. I’m not talking about consumer research to support messaging and an advertising campaign or a brand experience. I’m talking about deep market and behavioral research that changes the way I do business.
So, when I had the chance to purchase the company, I knew we had an opportunity to combine research and strategic consulting with creative and technology to move the marketing industry forward. With this intent, we began to dig deeper into what we were doing and why we were doing it. This research brought us to the next big thing.
See, while the entire industry became tacticians, we all missed a bigger trend happening around us. New market leaders such as Salesforce.com, Hubspot, GoPro, Nest, Boston Beer Company, and others found a way to infiltrate saturated and established industries and invent a new market. They placed themselves at the top, and shifted revenue to become the new industry leaders. This discovery led to the next big thing: “Market Invention.”
In analyzing what made these companies successful, we uncovered a unique formula of brand insight, purpose, position and experience that created significant value for both the customer and the company. It’s no longer enough to compete in crowded markets. Marketing leaders must create business growth through “Market Invention” and put themselves in the center of what’s next for their industry.
As a CMO, would you rather have a standard creative pitch, or work with a partner that helps you invent a new market and then uses creative and technology to place you at the top of your industry?
Market Invention is what I chose, and I can never go back.