Newspapers were the first time marketing messages could be transmitted to the masses. Radio came along and television evolved marketing strategies again. Now well into the 2010’s technology is evolving faster than ever with mobiles and tablets taking people away from laptops yet glasses and watch devices becoming more realistic by the day.
Recently Adobe and The Guardian hosted a panel discussion to an audience of 50 marketers discussing marketing and technology going forward. Below we will dive into a few of the key questions asked and the key points to consider going forward.
“What does the merging of technology and marketing mean for marketers?”
People in the fields of technology and marketing have previously been able to work independently with each other with creativity left to the marketers and the statistics and computers being left to technology. To show these teams are now dependent on one another Mark Singleton from Paddy Power used a great example from last year. There was a head butt midway through a game of football, and the Paddy Power team reacted immediately and within 30 minutes had print ads booked with a special promotion relating to the incident ready to hit the papers the next day. Singleton said this would not have happened even four years ago, showing how fast things are now moving. They then could expand on this plot by reaching out via there other platforms such as YouTube and Facebook to create momentum for the promotion. In the bigger picture a head butt in a football match is not a major world event but they leveraged their idea and the result was a massive success.
Singleton mentioned the constant need for marketers to upskill as to understand the numbers technology provides and remain curious. Many of the tools used today will be redundant in just a few years time.
“Should the merger of buying and tech mean buyer beware?”
This question was raised due to concerns that retargeting of ads has not improved in the last three years. Lisa Bridgett of Net-a-Porter responded by stating marketers need to always refer to trust their intuition if unsure. While retargeted ads can be programmatic, ultimately computers are not perfect. These computers derive big data (a new field in itself) and there are only a few marketers who really understand the data and how to interpret this into ads.
Companies formed in the current state should be automatically integrated into the digital world from the outset. Older legacy brands however, if not, need to embrace a digital transformation. This can cause conflict if there is internal fighting as to whether the tech team or marketing team should lead the change. This is another example of the need to work together.
“Do you filter them out, grow them or hire millennials and put up with them?”
This question was in relation to choosing marketers and technologists of the future. The panel was pretty much in agreement with a hybrid staff made up of millennials and experience, which is now more complicated by the difficulty of hanging onto outstanding staff.
The experienced staff can for the most part be retrained to adapt to the current situation. Not all marketing campaigns will be a success therefore the experienced staff provide untold value having learnt from various pitfalls which can be avoided in the future. Bridgett was impressed by the millennials that are coming through the tertiary systems currently and viewed there skills as unlimited.
Bridgett summed up the system going forward as “The real stars are the ones who can balance a passion for technology, data, fashion and creativity at the same time.”
The panel members who led the discussion are highly respected marketers who did not always agree. One common theme was a marketer who does not embrace technology would be left behind. The heart of marketing creativity is still alive and kicking but the speed, relevance and reach of campaigns have changed. Attempting to understand customer’s motivations and creating campaigns to encourage them to buy remains the ultimate goal.