There is no secret that marketers are on the forefront of change.  And we should be, but it is important for marketers to recognize this is bigger than just utilizing the next new shiny marketing channel. It means restructuring, developing new skill sets and reinventing ourselves to continue to deliver meaningful and effective work. 

I recently came across a Forbes article[i] published in February 2015 that reported 80% of marketing leaders worldwide say they need to restructure marketing, and almost one-third believe the need for change is urgent. The research report, published by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Marketo, highlights the rise of marketing as a leadership function with today’s companies.

Forbes summarized the study into six changes that marketers believe will be the catalysts for transformation.

  • Marketing will increasingly be seen less as a cost center and more as a source of revenue
  • Marketing will take the lead in the customer experience
  • Engagement is becoming paramount
  • The new marketer combines operational and data skills with a grasp of the big picture
  • Digital and data dominate investment
  • Two trends to watch: real-time personalized mobile and The Internet of Things

After reading this article, I couldn’t help but think that response marketers and CADM have been diligently pushing for this transformation for years.  Yes, we’ve introduced new channels like digital, mobile and social but the core beliefs of marketing being a revenue source, marketing leading the customer experience, personalization and data have been in response marketers’ DNA for years.

Glenda Sharp, CADM’s Executive Director, even was kind enough to go through old files dropped off from Jim Kobs at the last annual meeting to find me proof that The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same.

Past President Jerold L. Heisler stated the following at Direct marketing Day on May 8, 1975

"In an economy such as we're now experiencing, many of us long for the good old days when things were easier in the direct marketing business. But...we must learn to cope with the business world of the present.... No matter what the time may be: the good old days...[or] the tough new days ahead...Chicago direct marketing people continue to be leaders in the industry."

Change will continue and change is good, but it is important for response marketers to remember the skills and fundamentals we have worked so hard to develop empower us to lead through this world of constant change.  But, we must continue to share with each other our learnings and best practices because the future of marketing has more work than we can handle and we need each other to succeed.

Please enjoy this adMarks issue which combines basic fundamentals with new marketing trends and a little about CADM’s history.  Look for some exciting changes to membership benefits and sponsorship packages coming soon.

As always, I appreciate your support.

Brad Schwab

[i] Ellett, John. "New Study Says 6 Changes Will Transform Marketing." Forbes / CMO Network. Forbes, 4 Feb. 2015. Web. <>.