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Over the last few years, a technological evolution has taken the marketing world by storm. With the onset of new information collection channels, growing numbers of automated business solutions, and the increased value businesses and customers place on transparent business practices, marketing professionals have more to consider now than ever before. To prepare for the future of marketing, it’s important to think through the technological changes we’ve experienced, what new challenges they present, and how we can ride the wave of change without drowning in a sea of data.
Changing landscape takes a team approach
One of the challenges being faced in the industry is the changing landscape across digital platforms and the trends that affect them. According to Statista, video advertisement spending is expected to show an annual growth rate of 4.9 percent between 2020 and 2024. The rules and algorithms across partners and customer’s digital platforms also change frequently, so ensuring our teams are aware and can adapt rapidly is crucial to remaining relevant in digital spaces. We can now measure all forms of our marketing efforts, including all pieces of content, copy and imagery. We must be able to take this learning and apply it in an agile work environment to pivot quickly while also ensuring social relevancy to the environment.
Understanding data privacy
It’s essential for teams to understand and anticipate the changing landscape around customer data and privacy laws. While new information capturing systems can capture customer data for you, it’s up to you to understand what data is being captured, how you can best use it, and what laws surround its usage. To stay ahead and be able to overcome the challenges these changes often bring, teams must collaborate with their organization’s Legal, IT and Marketing departments to ensure they have a robust knowledge of this changing landscape of standards, how it impacts business practices and protects people’s privacy.
Turning data into insights
The rise in automated solutions has also brought about a unique challenge. We now have a mass amount of data at our fingertips that can be from anywhere along our customer’s user journey– from awareness to consideration to purchase and everywhere in between. The advantages of automated solutions can mean a decrease in resources and expenses, and more streamlined results that can be used for reporting on financial considerations across businesses. The challenge is that while they may all work well, they may not all align with your business needs. It’s vital to understand which data points are the most important to your efforts so you can develop plans to shift from the current path.
Knowing your audience is key
Now and in the future, knowing your audience is key. New information capturing systems collect mass amounts of audience information; However, despite the way that capturing information changed, seasoned marketing professionals still must grow accustomed to it. Staff needs to be trained on what data can be captured and when, and what tools should be used to accomplish each business goal. For example, now we can gather insights from customers via streamlined digital in-home ethnographies. Seeking to give your audience what they want when they want it will help you determine what automation solutions work for your business, which are necessary, and if your teams are trained to use these tools to their optimal advantage.
Understanding where your audience is and what their current needs are is essential to the success of future marketing initiatives. The onset of new information capturing systems also begs you to ask if you are utilizing your current customers enough and focusing on Lifetime Value. The cost of capturing information differs greatly between new and existing customers. It’s up to marketing professionals to determine which kind of customer is more valuable to your business at a certain time and use data to pivot quickly, should you need to take a different course.
Staying human in a world of big data
Whether you are a B2B or a B2C business, it’s important to remember that there are humans behind the decision of whether to engage with you, and to purchase your products or services. Consumers are holding brands highly accountable; According to the brand trust report by Edelman, 71 percent of people agree that businesses perceived as putting profit over people will lose their trust permanently. Marketing professionals should seek to understand decisionmakers better, including what they value, what information they need and how they want to obtain it. Refining what you say and how you say it shows that people are valued above profit and builds trust between the organization and the business or customers.
All in all, whether you sink or swim as a marketing professional in the current evolution of marketing technology depends on you. Are you willing to dive in, develop new skillsets and explore changing digital landscapes, automation services and information capturing systems for your business? If you are, the world is your oyster, and it’s ready for you to emerge as a modern marketing professional