The future of marketing – Intelligent, engaging, relevant, hyper-personalised.
Ok so it might be a bit clichéd, but it is in fact the reality. Today’s technology can target and customise ads, content and offers with unparalleled precision. At the same time, busy consumers expect ads to be compelling and highly relevant, and thus meaningful to them at that moment.
In order to engage with and convert todays customer; we need to change the traditional way of reaching audiences. It’s not so much about the medium, device or beautiful pictures. It’s about being useful and providing a service that is relevant to people. We need to develop creative solutions that are engaging, relevant, measurable and scalable – in a word, intelligent.
Welcome to the world of “intelligent” advertising.
Making it happen
Capabilities that were once distinct and separate processes now have to link up. Most notably to create meaningful, relevant, valuable and engaging content, data, technology and creativity have to be tightly tied together:
- Data is the ability to listen and understand the needs, desires and mind-sets of customers, based on their actual behaviour and customer journeys.
- Creativity is the ability to make the engagement and relationship interesting and desirable, not just practical and economical.
- Technology is the ability to develop a rewarding user experience, being agile and responsive at an individual level, always on, millions of engagements at a time.
To unlock the true potential of this, data and creative need to be in sync and part of the same conversation from the get-go and begin talking much earlier in the game so that each element of the campaign is built with data fuelling the creative, not bolted on as an afterthought.
What’s holding you back?
There are lots of different barriers that often stop organisations from being able to harness the power of their data and turn this into something relevant and engaging creatively. At a very top-level, we often come across three different types of issues:
1. Cultural barriers
For data-driven marketing to become a reality, different business units and departments must be able to collaborate and share data – it needs to be a business wide strategy, not just a marketing function.
2. Data barriers
Often one of the biggest challenges is bringing together the many disparate sources of marketing and customer data – for example bridging the gap between online and offline data.
3. Resource barriers
Data on its own isn’t valuable. The real value is on actionable insights gleaned from the data. Even when all the data is in one place and the organisation has brought into a data driven strategy – we often find that few have the necessary resources, processes or simply willpower to wade through and generate insight and value from their data.
For success to be had, businesses need to ensure that they are investing in people (training, skills and development), planning (strategy, comms and brand), and that the processes required to apply this to the marketing programme are in place to drive value across the entire organisation.
A perfect unison
Insight can tell us who customers are, what they like, when they like it and how they like it. But it is only when insight, technology and creativity are fully aligned that true personalisation can occur.
1. Without data, marketers will second-guess their customers and struggle to cater to their wants and needs.
2. Without creativity, brands will become commodities in product experience.
3. Without the technology, brands won’t be able to keep up with their customers and will fade away.
The world is full of opportunities for brands and direct response marketers. Those that succeed in creating deep customer engagement will reap the benefits.