Revolution In Marketing: Who in the 2.0 world dictates the conditions – us or the machines? Are futuristic visions straight from the Matrix becoming a reality? Do new technologies force us to make concessions, share our lives with them, and change our daily habits? Or is it perhaps marketers who observe our behavior and try to meet the needs of consumers while enjoying the latest spy gadgets?
This may be like asking what came first – Egg or chicken? But doesn’t it cause consternation and hesitation? Marketers have done their homework and make excellent use of new technologies and the mobile world to communicate with clients. Okay, but where is this crazy progress leading us – or is the (sheep’s) momentum? – and what are the consequences for business?
I usually approach the revolutions, or historical breakthroughs announced every now and then with a distance. It doesn’t matter if they refer to politics, customs, artistic events, historical or technical discoveries. In order not to look too conservative and skeptical, I agree that we live in an amazing time where a lot of important events – shaping the future – are taking place right now. In addition, we have gained the technical ability to participate in real-time in socially significant events on a different scale and in a different context. It is true that almost half a century ago, the world could watch the Apollo 11 landing on the moon live, but from 1969 we are separated not only by a few decades but also by a technological gap.
What was first?
Consequently, our lives are harnessed in automated, networked, and interaction-based tools and procedures. This leads to the question: What factors influence change, and what is more affected by this evolution? We can consider two models.
- The first direction would mean ever faster technological progress, which directly (according to our choice or regardless of our will) influences everyday decisions, behaviors, and life activities. One of the characteristic features will be blurring the boundaries between the sphere of work and private life ( work-life balance ) or practices such as BYOD ( Bring Your Device ). So technology would be driving changes in the way we live.
- The second direction is based on behavior changes that are observed and closely analyzed by sociologists. The map of our habits, ways of spending time, trends in the social dimension is extremely interesting for marketers, business strategists, advertising, and PR agencies. All these organizations willingly use the resources and knowledge of sociologists and research companies. Consequently, this means that service providers, producers, and traders follow trends in human behavior (those dominant or characteristic of the target group of their interest). They are, in fact, constant strivings to satisfy the most diverse needs (including, however, generating some of the needs to satisfy them then; I mean by promoting behavior and fashions.
Online around the clock
Regardless of which of the directions of changes we consider to be consistent with reality or dominant – the effect will be similar. New technologies surround every space in which we are currently located (how often have we got angry that the favorite coffee shop does not work Wi-Fi or – that at some point of the train journey, the smartphone or tablet loses its 3G signal?). As a result, we are almost constantly online. For sales, marketing, and advertising, virtual space has become a natural and equally important environment as the offline world, and therefore the real one (sometimes online is more important!). It also seems that e-commerce will soon become an unattractive concept.
Business in the digital world
What can we not buy online yet? Teradata has recently researched * companies operating in nineteen markets in Europe. These data show that most organizations declare an increase in spending (over the next 12 months) on investments in electronic marketing channels. This applies to social networks (79%), modern mobile marketing (79%), and internet advertising (70%). Moreover, the first seven marketing channels targeted by the planned investments are digital channels, and call centers were ranked eighth.
What does this mean for business?
The dominant role of IT and mobile has, of course, opened up new distribution channels for services and trade, and also – the ability to respond to market changes in real-time (e.g., you can almost immediately adjust advertising budgets in response to changing sales indicators, but also get instant feedback about a new product or service, and thanks to Big Data – to analyze the demand even more precisely on a global and local scale). So let’s say that new technologies increase sales power, and at the same time – expand marketing communication, making it more precise and effective.
Teradata data shows that more than half of the companies conduct marketing activities in seven or more channels. The problem is that few organizations today can coordinate communication in so many media simultaneously (which can significantly disturb the coherence of the campaign, lead to distortion of the perception of the marketing message, and inconsistency in relations with the client). According to the same research, only every third marketer (33%) has campaign management solutions that monitor the course of activities. Only 17% of marketing specialists use tools supporting the management of marketing resources, and both of these solutions are available to only one in ten respondents.
So we have a smooth entry of new technologies into everyday life. The activity of marketers in the mobile and online world is also becoming the norm. However, the IT industry faces another challenge: making all new tools and numerous reach channels constitute a common and controllable platform for communication and sales? How to efficiently manage such key areas of the organization as sales, distribution, and marketing in the world of multi-channel communication? The biggest ones are already working on it.
A revolution in marketing? Take it easy, and it’s just progress.