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Carroll Professor Says Marketers Must Be on ‘All Channels’

Growing complexity is the No. 1 challenge facing marketers today, according to Kay Lemon, executive director of the Marketing Science Institute and Accenture Professor at the Carroll School of Management at Boston College.

Lemon, who is also chairperson of the Marketing Department at Carroll, discussed the current landscape for marketers and how MSI — an organization “dedicated to bridging the gap between academic marketing theory and business practice” — can help them navigate those challenges, in an interview on the organization’s website. Lemon became the executive director of MSI in July.

In the interview, she explained that marketers must understand and coordinate with “aspects of (their) organization that they may not control or even influence.” Those include frontline service, information technology, operations and finance.

“Designing, understanding and managing the customer’s experience through the entire process — from before your customers even think they need the product or service all the way through consumption and usage — has gotten so complex,” she said. “It’s not even clear where you start!”

So what should marketers’ goal be?

Lemon says marketers have to be there “when customers are looking for our products or services.”

“We need to have our messages there,” she continues. “We need to be there in all channels. We need to have our information technology and our channel interactions seamlessly coordinated, so that it’s all integrated for the customer who is searching on a mobile phone, then buying in a store or contacting a sales rep, and looking for after-sales services on the website.”

MSI helps marketers address those challenges through roundtables, webinars and workshops, Lemon said.

“Making sense of the complexity—that’s something MSI does really well,” she said. “We bring the big picture capabilities that marketers need moving forward as well as the highly actionable, detailed, sometimes even technical approaches that can help them do their jobs better.”

 

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Sarah Beckham

Sarah is a staff writer, covering London-area MBA news for MetroMBA.

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