Monday, January 30, 2006

Marketing & Technology

Most marketers think about technology only in one context: How does technology changes a consumer’s interaction and consumption of marketing. It’s all about how the web has changed a consumer’s purchase behavior, how more interactive and involved a consumer wants to be, and how much more multi-channel or multi-layered a consumer interacts with any product or service. It’s always so interesting and easy to talk about newest consumer trends, like blogging, pod-casting, etc.

BUT, most marketers do not contemplate about the other side of the coin: How does technology change the creation of marketing? Creation of marketing includes everything from building the data driven insights, the qualitative strategic consumer’s insights, the writing of the creative brief, the creative work itself, etc. It seems to be much easier for today’s marketer to talk about the consumer world instead its own world. Successful marketers should equally focus on how technology will change every singly value step of marketing creation.

I am seeing 3 key trends of how technology will change the creation of marketing:

- Shorter Production Process: What took 4 weeks in the old world, has to be done in a few days now. And this pertains to everything from doing the research, producing the creative end product, building the marketing plan, optimizing the channel mix, etc.

- Relevant Consumer Feedback throughout the creation process: Why do we wait to hear the consumer’s voice after we launched something expensively in the real world? Why don’t we have 24 hour feedback loops with smart consumers throughout the process from Insights to Brief to Creative Concepts to Creative End Product? It’s not about lengthy focus groups but quick interactive Online Tools that enable the consumer to provide his/her POV on iterative steps throughout the marketing creation

- Constant immediate Optimization: Companies still wait for quarterly or annual review to find out what works or not. Why don’t we know this in 24 hours or latest in a week? We predict that everything that can not be measured successfully within latest one month will disappear as an effective marketing tool. It’s not necessarily about immediate sales but about understanding and measuring the right metrics that can be measured without too much delay (e.g. Opening rates, Engagement rates, Attitude changes, Hits)

Pixar’s success resides fundamentally in the successful marriage of technology and creative (and Disney’s failure in doing so). The same truth exists in the marketing services industry. Who is the first to not only talking about how the consumers is changing due to the latest technology but how an agency embraces technology to move to the next level of marketing creation.