How the Connectivity Revolution is Transforming Marketing

We are living in an exciting time in history, where digital technologies are reshaping the world and transforming all aspects of business. Marketing and CMOs are leading this transformation, evolving faster than any other business function. Although the core mission of marketers has remained relatively unchanged, the way they are engaging customers, communicating and measuring results has drastically changed from what it was ten, five, or even two years ago.

The rapid increase in connected devices and digital consumption has led to a revolution. This revolution has changed the way we approach traditional marketing methods. With an increased emphasis on engagement, particularly bi-directional engagement rather than linear communication, we’ve now entered a new period in time, the Connectivity Revolution.

In simpler times, CMOs were effective by utilizing the tried-and-true four Ps of marketing — product, price, place and promotion. As digital technologies have reshaped society and business, marketing has evolved. CMOs must now challenge themselves to adopt new mindsets and collaborate with their CIO or IT counterparts. Fueled by data and analytics, the era of dimensional marketing is here, with the Connectivity Revolution at the forefront.

Renewed Focus on the Individual

Marketing to the masses, once the backbone of marketing methodology, has now become a distant memory, at least for forward-thinking organizations. Consumers have shown a clear preference. They tune out the mind numbing generic content manufactured for the masses and they engage with content that has personal context. Digital technologies, fueled by analytics and predictive intelligence, have finally enabled marketers to realize the one-to-one personalization we’ve been talking about for more than fifteen years. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, consumers will continue to expect higher levels of personalization and predictive experiences. Long gone are the days of a “one-stop shop” approach to marketing.

Shift From Omnichannel to Omnidirectional

In the last ten years, traditional channels — like print, TV and radio — gave way to omnichannel strategies that aligned web, retail stores and call centers into seamless brand and marketing experiences. The connectivity revolution, driven by device proliferation and the internet of things, is now forcing brands to evolve their omnichannel strategies in a dozen new directions. Marketing and customer engagement is now being extended into cars, watches, home appliances, gaming consoles, airplanes, kiosks, movie theaters, and into the products themselves. Digital devices are multiplying like rabbits and the leading marketers are staying one step ahead to capitalize on the customer opportunities.

Examples of this shift can be found across all industries, but retail stands out as a leader in innovative thinking. A large department store, and client, comes to mind. Their digital strategy included a seamless customer experience using beacons, digital end caps, social promotions, eCommerce, digital payments, geo-fencing, kiosks, wearables and more. It sounds like a lot of technology, but when integrated correctly the experience will delight the consumer. It is these types of opportunities that allow organizations to create new levels of engagement that reach far beyond the surface level.

Increased Emphasis on Meaningful Relationship Development

Omnidirectional engagement is now enabling marketers to understand their customers and create relationships like never before. Marketers are combining the data from these channels with analytics, social media, loyalty programs and personalization to create meaningful and sustained connections. They have more tools to build customer communities and engage in conversations. The improved relationships also provide deeper insights into product, service or brand development. It is through this depth-driven engagement that true business growth will occur.

As marketing technologies expand and consumer preferences evolve, organizations must be proactive. A consumer’s last great digital experience is always their baseline expectation for every future experience, so CMOs and CIOs need to continuously refresh their strategy and evolve their capabilities. While this is an exciting time, the next ten years will be even more exciting — bringing exponential evolution to marketing.