What is our job as a Marketer? I always like to start with this question. It is to understand and connect with our customers, to interact with them in a way that leaves them better than we found them.
The next question is how do we deliver on this super critical job?
Data, Technology and Innovation lay the foundation of a world class customer experience which is the key to a successful business.
Data because Marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed (By Dan Zarrella). Data is not a new thing. It has been around on paper, in excel sheets, in data warehouses and multiple other data sources. But it is not how much data is there, it is what we do with the data that counts. Using data to identify how the customer moves across different stages of the Buyer’s Journey is much more powerful that relying on instincts (No offense there!). As a marketer, any recommendation backed by data is easier to sell and align stakeholders on. Still not convinced? This might help. According to International Data Corp (IDC), data creation will reach a total of 163 zettabytes (1021Bytes) by the year 2025.
Here is the gist – To become the versatile marketer of the future, think, breathe and live data.
Technology because holding back technology to preserve broken business models in this age of digitization, is like allowing blacksmiths to veto the internal combustion engine in order to protect their horseshoes (By Don Tapscott). Consumers have a lot of choices and options today. There are billions of devices, channels and touchpoints that means not only proliferation of data but also wonderful opportunities to mine insights that help us understand and serve our customers better. Traditional ways cannot manage this magnitude of data.
*Drum Roll* Enter Technology.
You love it, you hate it but you cannot live without it! With the growth in data availability and accessibility comes an explosion in the technology options available to marketers. Marketing Technology Landscape currently has 6,829 solutions from 6,242 unique vendors. Technology can be a boon if chosen, implemented and maintained strategically. If approached with a “New and Shiny Thing” syndrome, reactively and as an afterthought, it turns out to be a bane. More on how to choose the right technology for your business later.
Innovation because lets accept it, Business has only 2 functions – Innovation and Marketing 🙂 I am kidding but we all know that we need to think of creative ways to be relevant and connected with our consumers. Combined with a low attention span, high expectations and plethora of players trying to gain their share of mind, consumers need to be wowed. Just meeting their expectations is not enough, we need to be relevant, personalized and consistent with our marketing approach. Innovation is now a must in every layer of our mix – how we reach out to them, interact with them, messages that we share, how we hear their needs and feedback (and act on it), manage their privacy and data and more. Lifecycle Management, Customer Experience Design and Management, Customer Obsession, Ecosystem marketing are examples of some key innovations in marketing.
Embracing these three pillars will enable a marketing organization to create a world class infrastructure that delivers impactful and holistic customer experiences, fueled and optimized by data. As long as customers are happy, Marketing becomes instrumental in driving growth and financial success for a business.