Marketing has hit Ludicrous Speed

July 23rd, 2015

Topics: Marketing / Sales Social

Please do forgive the Space Balls reference and nod to Elon’s Musk’s recent announcement about the speed of his new Model S, but the very nature of marketing truly has accelerated. What many companies have not fully grasped, however, is the time, talent and training necessary for marketing to succeed at the new speed of business.
The one thing I’ve loved most about my career path has always been marketing’s rate of change. Just when you’ve mastered a new technique that targets and delivers value to your audience – a brand new platform, technology or strategy blossoms and must be learned and accessed for possible business leverage and relevance. According to Scott Brinker, author of the Chief Marketing Technologist Blog: “The nature of marketing has exploded from an ancillary communications function to the Grand Central Station of customer experience.” I couldn’t agree more, (though I never saw it as ancillary to the essential business operations in the first place.) But the last 3 years have taken us to a new and exhilarating breakneck speed.
Some people believe that the combination of factors below have killed the corporate website (and this controversial article advises web designers to now become “customer experience designers” instead.) I agree, and believe many of the same forces aid in this marketing explosion:

  • A mature internet: best practices, shopping carts, forms and functionality have become standard.
  • Powerful, simple website builders that deliver highly usable, customizable and affordable sites, (dare I call websites a commodity now? Yes I do.) Add to that the fact that many SMB and non-profits use Facebook as their primary website today and you begin to see the digital marketing shift.
  • Outbound is Out, Inbound is In: I (do not)  love how my industry just adores putting funky titles on simple concepts just so anyone outside the field can turn their head, quizzically. The simple fact is, customer behavior has shifted – most people are only receptive to content that finds them in the right context, at the right time and on the right device. No longer are outbound techniques (traditional marketing – TV, print, broadcast) cutting through the noise or reaching their intended audiences as effectively or efficiently as they once did. Inbound marketing seeks to deliver on the promise of bringing customers in (through content, influence and engagement) rather than marketers having to go out and find customers.
  • Digital: the fact that this year our center is looking at the digital business model transformation taking place in multiple industries underscores the fact that digital technology has fueled the marketing explosion. New applications of digital technology are changing the way business operate and marketing is not immune.
  • Digital continued: “Social media marketing,” which has become exactly what I predicted it would be in 2011 when we dug into the topic; that is –  simply another powerful channel in the overall marketing mix. But the growth is astounding. You know these stats but I have to record them today so I can look back in 6 months and chuckle: Twitter with 284 million monthly actives, Instagram with 300 million and of course, Facebook with 1.35 BILLION! Top those facts off with PewReaserch‘s findings that 74% of online adults use social networks regularly and it’s imperative for marketing to excel in these spaces.
  • More digital: Just as powerfully as social, mobile too has fueled this explosion and completely changed the digital marketing landscape. We heard rumors for years that “mobile would forever change our lives as we know them” – and when the iPhone arrived, it finally did.

 

With all this digital, how can the study below find that 30% of companies either don’t know where their digital activities live or they are kept separate from their organization’s marketing activities? I have to wonder, where will those 30% be in two years?
Digital Marketing and the Enterprise
Source: Econsultancy Digital Trends 2015, in association with Adobe
So what’s next for us marketers (okay, besides native advertising, personalization, automation and wearables?) Virtual reality eruption possibly or new frontiers in gesture-based computing? Please, share your predictions in the comment field below! (And check out some predictions and actuals from last year in the chart.)
Personally, I think the value and vast applications of video are yet to be fully realized and I predict that traditional marketing departments will shift to include an increased amount of contract work, wherein companies hire platform/strategy experts on project-based needs. Time will tell!

Content Marketing and Customer Experience
Source: Econsultancy Digital Trends 2015, in association with Adobe

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