Does this describe your digital life?

  • Your inbox fills with irrelevant junk every day.
  • Every week you download a dozen new apps to your smartphone or tablet.
  • You spend more time online with your friends than you do meeting them in the real world.
  • You catch up with the news via websites rather than switching on the TV.

If this is you, then congratulations, you are the modern-day consumer. You’re overwhelmed with information, have more technology at your fingertips that was even dreamt of 20 years ago and yet despite all this ‘convenience’ you have less free time than you ever had, and certainly less patience.

1. How digital revolutionized marketing

In a world where people increasingly want what they want when they want it, the traditional, brand-centered, ‘treat all consumers the same’ approach simply no longer works for companies who wish to attract customers, increase conversions and ensure a decent amount of revenue from their marketing channels.

Your average consumer is now much more technology-savvy, and is increasingly likely to use digital channels across a multitude of devices. They expect brands to yield to their needs, not the other way around. If they don’t get what they want, and when they want it, they know there’s somewhere else they can go.

CMOs who understand this shift in consumer attitudes, also understand that it means a shift in the way marketing departments are required to operate. The focus needs to move to driving relevance at scale, which sometimes get called ‘the R-Factor’. No longer are mass-marketing campaigns wholly appropriate. The drive now needs to focus on each individual consumer, with personalization the key to drive conversion rates up, to blend seamlessly across multiple digital and analogue channels – websites, social networks, search engines, traditional advertising and stores.

The changes mean that CMOs have to change as well. The implications are profound, not only for the function that CMOs have, but also how projects are managed and delivered. The demands placed upon marketing departments mean that CMOs are becoming more focused on business-driven initiatives and less focused on marketing communications.

2. The transformation of marketing

There are three key areas in which marketing has been most transformed:

  • Digital has become the channel of choice for the majority of consumers, resulting in a change to the purchasing journey and more emphasis on social channels and a personalized experience.
  • The trend towards ‘big data’ means marketers are more able to accurately track customers as they move through the purchasing journey.
  • Advances in technology means that marketers are more able to create personalized customer experiences.

3. The dominance of digital

Digital can no longer be regarded as simply one channel of communication. It’s now the dominant way that a great deal of everyday life and business is conducted. These days, nearly 25 per cent of media spend goes on digital channels, and your average adult consumer experiences more than eleven hours worth of media content every day, with around 40 percent of that coming through conventional TV and another 36 percent from digital channels. Even traditional analogue channels such as TV and print media are becoming digitized, shattering any illusion that the ‘one size fits all’ approach remains the best approach to take.

Additionally, consumers expect to be able to interact with brands whenever and wherever they want, dealing with this interaction on their own terms. Effectiveness in this arena means creating new ways to engage with customers that are tailored towards them, and at each step of the purchasing journey. Many companies have already take huge strides in merging the digital and analogue aspects of the journey as seamlessly as they can.

In my next blog post in this series we’ll look at the precise elements needed to take advantage of the digital channel for skillful and ROI driven marketing.

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