For the past twenty years, the explosion of new technologies has caused a real tidal wave in the fields of marketing and advertising. The tools, platforms, and data to be processed are constantly increasing. If the profession remains unchanged, digital technology has considerably changed the way of exercising it.
It’s no secret that in many companies, it is often marketing that has triggered major digital transformation projects. Since marketing is the link between the company and the customer, its practitioners had no other choice but to update their tools to be able to respond to new purchasing behaviors and new customer expectations.
From there, three challenges arose for marketers: fragmentation, sophistication, and reinvention of their profession.
First challenge: fragmentation
What characterizes today’s ecosystem is the multiplication of points of contact with customers. In addition to traditional media such as newspapers, radio, television, display and of course point of sale, storefront and transactional websites, social networks, and smartphone applications. So many platforms and channels not only evolve from year to year but which generate strategic data on new purchasing behaviors.
Never has the brand experience had so many consumer touchpoints and so much data to help marketers enrich it. Except that this fragmentation poses a major problem: how to transform these tools and these data into winning strategies, given the unprecedented scale of the task to be tackled… and continuously?
The two strategies are industrialization and the prioritization .
In the first case, it is a question of increasing the investments and the competent resources to try to occupy all the ground. We are launching in all directions and we produce content and services in … industrial quantities. The opportunities offered by digital technology are infinite and evolving, the risk of scattering and running out of steam is very great. For example, a leading fashion distributor has deployed 3 e-commerce sites in 30 countries in 2 years, while developing its digital marketing, influence strategy, and CRM, all supported by a team of 5 people. None of these projects could be executed correctly due to a lack of resources and availability of the teams.
In the second case, it is a question of concentrating its capacities on the most promising projects for the company. This is the strategy of prioritization: budgets and competent resources are concentrated on the larger occupation of a smaller piece of land. Without being everywhere, we control what we undertake. For example, a fast-food restaurant company decided to freeze its investments in digital advertising and content production to accelerate and complete the development of an online ordering offer and a digital loyalty program.
Second challenge: sophistication
What fragmentation has also changed, in the wake of the multiplication of platforms and data, is that it is more and more complicated for the marketer to weave the link between the brand and the customer. As the platforms are more numerous, the points of contact are more numerous. As the data has multiplied, the possibilities for segmentation, targeting, and personalization of the offer are also multiplied. What path should be taken to create a bond of trust between the brand and the consumer? The answer is not obvious because the technological paths are numerous, tortuous, labyrinthine… and even changing. Defining, orchestrating, and optimizing these different levers turns out to be real gymnastics.
However, contrary to what one might think, the difficulty posed by this sophistication is less technological than strategic and organizational. The choice to explore one marketing path rather than another, the way to follow this lead, the management of the required resources and talents… all this is not a matter of technology, but strategy. For example, an energy drink brand has focused all of its marketing efforts on the production of content and the visibility of its sports promotion and visibility operations. When the right strategy is identified, the next step is to put in place the organization, processes, and resources required to build the route that will go most directly from the brand to the consumer. While not insignificant, technology is therefore only part of the solution.
Third challenge: reivention
As we’ve said many times, the technological and digital revolution has changed consumer behaviors and expectations so much that businesses simply can’t just change. They must also reinvent themselves.
Here again, technology is only one instrument of this reinvention. Reinvention is going back to the very essence of who we are and what we know how to do to be able to recreate something new. To change in-depth, to the point of reinventing oneself, is therefore to communicate, perform and work differently.
Communicating differently means, on the one hand, being able to drastically increase the production of content for your brand, with a necessary move to industrialization, to meet the need of the many platforms to adopt production models. content that takes into account the increase in interactions with consumers. To optimize this content, two rules: rely on the expertise of the platforms (they know the audiences better than anyone) and not be afraid to call on automation.
To execute differently is to put aside the reflexes which consist in getting lost in endless reflections, in experimenting, in doing a series of tests to validate your hypotheses before taking action. The best way to learn is to do ( Forget test & learn! ), The right reflex today will be to forge ahead from a good strategy and optimal execution. And learn as you go.
Working differently means changing your governance methods by implementing appropriate, more agile, more collaborative, and more transparent management. It is working by developing the knowledge and skills of teams continuously, through training and experimentation.