How has brand management changed over the last 10 years?
Charley Stoney Marketing, Career Advice
The 4 key skill sets for top brand managers in 2016 and beyond…
Brand management has witnessed some major changes over the past 10 years; refocusing from a creative communications and campaign management role into a key commercial role within a business.
Employers are now looking for someone who can manage more than just TTL campaigns. They want candidates who can stay ahead of the game, know their customer, can identify opportunities in the market and who are digitally savvy. They also expect each brand manager to view the brand as their own mini-business, developing business cases for all activity and always focusing on ROI.
Four key changes in brand management
- Customer Centricity – There has been a major shift from product-led marketing to customer-led marketing. This has been achieved by focusing on in-depth insights and analysis of customer behaviour, needs and lifecycles. Therefore brand managers must have the ability to understand these insights and continuously engage with their customers with a highly targeted approach.
- Geographic & Category Expansion – Organisations are now looking not only to grow within the Irish market or within a specific category but to expand across global markets and categories. We find that more and more employers are looking for talent with exposure to global brand management or co-branding experience who understand the level of complexity managing a brand across different countries and possibly across different categories.
- Digital Immersion – Like any marketing role it is now essential for brand managers to be digitally savvy and to embrace new technologies as a way to engage with their customers. The digital face of a brand is becoming more and more important and user experience is key. Digital techniques have ensured that organisations are engaging with consumers’ on a daily basis, whether this is through social media channels or interactive billboards. Therefore it is essential that the brand is consistent across all channels, that websites are mobile friendly, that content is constantly updated and that the brand is keeping up with social media trends. For this reason it is critical that brand managers can add value when it comes to digital marketing.
- P&L Responsibility – Top organisations are looking for commercially charged marketers who can identify opportunities and see the commercial benefit for the organisation. Most companies are looking for a brand manager who treats the brand as though it was their own mini-company. Therefore they are always looking at how marketing activity can in turn positively impact ROI. A good brand manager knows and embraces the numbers. You must have strong commercial acumen and articulate brand success through commercial results.
If you are confident in all the areas highlighted above you are certainly ahead of the game and are adding value to your team. If not, I recommend that you look at ways of upskilling by either volunteering to work on projects that will gain you experience in these areas or looking for additional responsibilities. In addition, undertaking an external digital marketing or a marketing analytics and insights course will help to future proof your career in brand management.