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Digital Marketing

By: Andrew Videira, Adrienne Davis, Ashley Boyce, Alison Cifrese, Amanda Kahn, Janet Kim and Andrea Reichert
Posted: June 10, 2013

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As a first step for today’s marketers, there are several new key performance indicators (KPIs) associated with ROL that need to be included in their success measurement pans. These include:

  • Depth of understanding
  • Continuous improvement
  • Speed of implementation

These new ROL metrics should be monitored in real time, on an ongoing basis. Through specific data analytics programs, brands will be able to determine how these KPIs translate into retail sales (Blur Group). In the end, the ROL model is still focused on increasing sales, yet does so in a manner that is closer to the consumer than the traditional ROI model and therefore results in greater lifetime value—a more important KPI.

Evolution of Management

To maximize the execution of the m^3 framework, organizations must develop three capabilities within their management and human resources structure to ensure success:

  • Talent
  • Marketing culture
  • New business units

Talent—First and foremost, organizations must hire the right talent. As Kevin Kells of Google states, in Marketing 1.0 and 2.0, marketers were hired based on their capability to be “both good general managers and good brand builders.” At that point in history, the capabilities required to do both jobs were relatively similar. The standard marketer was a businessperson with a "jack of all trades" mentality and an eye for creativity. This is no longer enough in the era of human-centric marketing. For marketers to embrace micro-Marketing and Return on Learnings, they need to evolve as well. Furthermore, it is increasingly unlikely that the capabilities required of a good brand builder would be found in one individual alone ( Rather, these capabilities are found in multiple individuals who have specialized areas of expertise. As a result, the new model recommends organizations create m^3 marketing teams comprised of individuals with the following capabilities:

  • Communications Experts—Brand marketers who own the essence of the brand and help drive brand strategy via smart channel marketing and execution choices.
  • Content Craftsmen—Individuals with backgrounds in content publishing that have experience in community management and journalism.
  • Data Analytics—These are professionals who aid in mining insights via micro-Targeting tools and analysis (Godin, S.).

Currently, many brands already have experts with these capabilities on their teams; however, it is very likely that these individuals are employed by partner organizations, such as PR agencies, social listening partners, and creative agencies, and are not on the internal brand team. It is recommended that beauty marketing organizations bring these capabilities in-house. This also requires beauty organizations to update their traditional marketing job descriptions and rethink the skills required of a marketing professional compared with those of an effective businessperson/qualified general manager—individuals still critical to business success.

Marketing Culture—For this new talent pool to successfully execute the m^3 framework, organizations need to embrace a new marketing mindset. Given the nature of the beauty business, the cultural mentality can sometimes be risk averse, with a focus on ensuring perfection across all areas of the business. The risk of a mistake in the production of beauty products has grave consequences in the context of a consumer’s health and well-being. If this culture permeates the m^3 function, m^3 marketers will not be able to do their jobs effectively. m^3 marketing requires that organizations embrace a new set of values to cultivate a functioning m^3 hub. These include:

  • Speed of reactivity to consumers—With constant feedback and monitoring in the m^3 framework, the level of consumer understanding a brand will have for their consumer will be significantly deeper than today. This level of understanding minimizes the risk in executing new ideas with speed and increases the likelihood of success.
  • Learnings—High value must be placed in improving communication via learnings through ideation, iteration, and optimization.
  • Experimentation—Organizations must be comfortable with experimenting in new media, new channels, and new ideas.
  • Decision Making Culture—A shift from a “burden of approval” to a “burden of rejection culture” must be embraced.

This last criteria, the decision making culture, requires each team member to understand their individual role and responsibility. In the m^3 model, marketers move forward with decisions quickly unless they hear a rejection from a key decision maker, instead of waiting for approval. This is a significant step-change, but will result in far more successful marketing given today’s fast-paced world. By embracing these values, the organization will be prepared to embrace the m^3 model internally.

Organizational Structure—To ensure that m^3 marketers are able to effectively do their jobs in this new mindset without impacting other functions, such as product development or operations, which require a more risk averse culture, organizations may need to consider some internal restructuring. Given the risks associated with a rapid-response model in the health and beauty category, it is recommended to separate product development and business management—two critical functions—from the new m^3 marketing group. Organizations should create separate “hubs” of expertise, each with a clear specialty. As long as each hub adheres to the values and standards set forth by management for their hub in this m^3 model each group will be working towards the same goal (Google Research Studies). Communication should flow freely between the m^3 marketing group and these other hubs (product development, operations, etc.) to facilitate learning and to maximize the success of each hub of expertise. In this new structure, the integrity of the business comes first; once the m^3 model and mindset are embraced by the organization, anything is possible.


In the era of Marketing 3.0, marketers must continue to act as constant storytellers across the never-ending number of touch points that exist between brands and their consumers. They must tell these stories seamlessly, across multiple platforms. Using the new m^3 framework, brand marketers can micro-Target, micro-Engage, and micro-Market to the consumer to more effectively communicate with her and redefine the meaning of success. To ensure the optimal level of success, marketers must make changes on all fronts of their business. Media must evolve from a “one to many” press conference style to a “one to one” friendly conversation where advertising has the illusion of personalization. Measurement KPIs must move into the world of Marketing 3.0 and shift from the traditional ROI (return on investment) to the more modern and flexible ROL (return on learnings). And management must also make changes—developing their talent, marketing culture, and organizational structure to successfully fit within the m^3 framework. With the m^3 framework in mind, marketers can approach the era of Marketing 3.0 with their eyes wide open and the knowledge that they are moving their business towards the future, and doing so with a model that will set them up for success.


Interviews/Personal Discussions

  • Yahel Carmon, Blue State Digital, Deputy Director of Analytics
  • Sarah Cooper, Coty Prestige, Manager, Global Media
  • Danielle DeMarco, Chanel, Director, e-commerce marketing
  • Andrea DiPasquale, Coty Prestige, Director, ck one color global marketing
  • Kevin Kells, Google, National Industry Director, Consumer Packaged Goods
  • Tim Leake, Hyper Island, Global Creative Innovation & Partnership Director
  • David Rubin, Unilever, Vice President, US Hair
  • Emmie Salaj, Bvlgari, Vice President, US Sales