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Insights from Michele Nichols on Bridging the Marketing Strategy-Execution Gap

In episode #44 Michele Michele Nichols, President of Launch Team Inc. is here to discuss how to bridge the gap between marketing strategy and execution and to offer her expert advice on overcoming the challenges faced by both C-suite executives and entry-level marketing coordinators.

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What are the challenges facing the C-suite in marketing?

The C-suite is grappling with strategic gaps due to centralizing global marketing teams for brand consistency and cost efficiency. The increasing complexity of Omnichannel marketing and a growing tech stack are also contributing factors. This creates a situation where marketing becomes highly specialized, leading to hiring and training entry-level staff challenges, thereby widening the gap.

With customer experience seemingly compromised for efficiency, how should this be addressed?

We're witnessing a shift in emphasis away from customer experience. Marketing must refocus on customer discovery and market research. Updating our understanding of customer personas and their evolving expectations is crucial. This reevaluation will help in realigning our strategies more effectively with customer needs.

What about challenges at the coordinator level?

Coordinators are often overwhelmed due to adding digital and Omnichannel responsibilities to traditional marketing roles. For instance, managing numerous trade shows and daily tasks like social media posts and blog writing can be taxing. We must give them the opportunity and space for strategic thinking and creative input.

How can we create this space for strategic input at the coordinator level?

It boils down to alignment and breaking out of the silo mentality. Encouraging coordinators to engage with different departments, such as sales, accounting, and customer service, can foster a more comprehensive understanding of the brand story and customer promise, leading to more effective marketing strategies.

Can you comment on the role of AI in marketing?

AI should be seen as a tool to enhance, not replace, marketing roles. While it's reshaping customer behavior and engagement metrics, marketers must maintain originality in their ideas and content. AI can be incredibly helpful in editing, proofreading, and summarizing, but the core of content creation and storytelling remains a distinctly human endeavor.

Finally, any advice for VPs and entry-level marketers to bridge the strategy-execution gap?

For VPs, involving a diverse group of people in strategy development is essential, especially after engaging in customer discovery. For entry-level marketers, I recommend building relationships across the organization to gain diverse perspectives on customer experience. Understanding different facets of the business can significantly enhance their strategic input.

Michele Nichols' insights provide a comprehensive roadmap for bridging the gap between marketing strategy and execution. Her emphasis on customer discovery, strategic alignment, and the judicious use of AI highlights the need for a balanced approach that values human creativity and technological advancements. As we navigate the complex landscape of modern marketing, these guiding principles can help marketers at all levels contribute more effectively to their organizations.

Join us again for more expert insights on the Marketing Science podcast.

Posted by Rebecca Turpin

Manchester born Rebecca has a first class B.A.(Hons) in Photography from the University of Plymouth. Rebecca began her career in 2017 working as a sales and marketing assistant for a healthcare company before moving in to an agency position in 2018. She spent two years running a small agency in Salford until 2021, gaining marketing skills and invaluable experience working with clients before coming to AZoNetwork. Outside of marketing, Rebecca loves anything outdoors, the theatre and any creative activity that lets her be covered in paint.

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