It is possible to do good marketing, great marketing, but for your expertise, effort, and investment to go to waste. Why? Because as commerce evolves, so does the function of marketing. Fail to adapt, and you can have the best marketing in the world, but you’re buying a first class ticket to Siberia. Is it time to consider transforming your marketing function for the better, to be fit for the future?
Not too long ago marketers began a race to digital. As the world went from Nokia to Blackberry to iPhone, and time spent online skyrocketed, and eventually time spent on mobile is identified as unhealthy, a brave new world of digital marketing began. Analytics, adwords, and automated mailing are now part of the furniture, but they are already falling apart. Not because of changing technology, but because technology has enabled a fundamental change in our relationship with brands. The four Ps, seven Ps, (or nine Ps depending on where you went to school) of marketing that once endured are now chaffing at the edges.
Customers have a new relationship with the product. We want (and buy) access rather than ownership. As Jeremy Rifkin prophetically noted in 2001“In a world where everything is continuously updated, where new product lines flood the market and disappear in a second, why would anyone want to possess anything?” Most people say they could live happily with less ownership, and even more think that that society would be better off with more shared ownership. The overwhelming extent to which contemporary disruptors exploit this, as proven by the recent launch of nuTonomy (the MIT spinout for driverless taxi’s) in Singapore. After having only received first round funding in January.. THIS YEAR.. this company is now on the road in a beta testing environment. This is testament to Rifkin’s foresight in 2001.
Mobile at the core, marketing needs to arrive to the palm of the hand with relevant content delivered in the right context for maximum effect. As Daniel Newman states in his Forbes article mobility is increasingly the centre of marketing. Along with an increased demand for transparency in the way businesses manage their affairs. For example, consumers are now increasingly putting their wallets where their mouths are and demanding that brands take responsibility for the less glamourous elements such as their supply chains and employee welfare. By leading on these issues and elevating progress as a good news story, consumers can feel proud in their purchase and drive positive brand sentiment. This is a lesson that Apple and Amazon have experienced recently.
The only constant is change, but how quickly is the constant changing? Adobe found that 76% believe that marketing is accelerating in its evolution, changing more in the past 2 years than the past 50. Correlate this to the increase in data transfer speeds, democratisation of communication, rise of the platform, and Moore’s law and it’s a fairly obvious that this ship is not slowing down.
I remember when Google acquired YouTube, and it wasn’t long after when the first ads started appearing. Shock and outrage, how dare they. Load a youtube video now and take a look. In addition to the ads on the right hand column, there is an add before the video, pop up banners during, and now product suggestions appear as related to the content (why yes, I DO need to buy a Gordon Ramsey frypan). The current trajectory takes us to the point of eyeball overload; pretty soon we’ll begin to see declining returns as “abuse the customer with as many messages as possible” turns out not to be a meaningful way of engaging while audiences are consuming content online.
New ways of connecting to achieve meaningful customer experiences are required.
Adobe again states that marketers top priority in 2015 was customer experience. Well, they must have forgotten to ask those marketers responsible for drowning my Saturday morning cooking shows with enough advertising interjections to put me off my breakfast.
Don’t rely on piling on more to cut through the noise. It’s time to understand new ways of connecting with your audience. Give your digital marketing strategy the insight and challenge it needs to overcome the short term approach of more is more.
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