Gone are the days when developing your brand fit into neat (and sometimes) measurable boxes. You remember: Marketing Communications was responsible for ‘articulating the promise’; Corporate Communications managed your company’s reputation and Customer Services handled enquiries and complaints.

If you’re a ‘typical’ brand manager, you’ve been hired for your skills at strategy and planning and the ability to manage large budgets and people.

You will have noticed then, that your landscape has changed. In fact, for many of you, the economic crisis alone has taken the rug right out from under your feet, never mind the mind-boggling changes in marketing, including the relentless and ever-changing social media space.

Communities of enthusiasts who derive emotional value from connecting with one another are dramatically expanding the perimeters of marketing and changing the face of what we know and of what we believe. Although it would be tempting to talk about ‘Wikileaks’ at this point, we will leave that for another blog!

Consider ‘Fiestamovement.com. They have facilitated a ‘content creation factory’, in the words of Jim Farley, Ford’s CMO. The site encourages enthusiasts to share blogs, videos and other original material that then attracts new members to the community. An investment of around £3M in Fiestamovement has achieved the same level of awareness that would be generated by a traditional media strategy for an auto launch, which typically can cost up to tens of millions of pounds. Result!

The lesson for today’s marketer is that traditional expertise at strategy, planning, budget and people management is not enough – your role is now about sourcing and capitalising on value-creating opportunities.

As a Brand Manager, you’ll need to add some new skills to remain fresh in your market place. Along with your existing pedigree in marketing and corporate communications, an overview of customer services, new product development and promoting internal collaboration, it’s time to get serious about exploiting social technologies. You’ll need to become a catalyst for change and you’ll certainly need to re-think the best way to allocate your marketing investments across new touch points too.

(marketingmoves is a specialist IT recruitment company that recruits Only the best marketers.Only for IT and Telecoms.)

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