Brands and companies are facing a major technological challenge these days in relation to the various ways they can reach their audiences. The lines that used to separate the desktop and mobile experiences are becoming increasingly blurred; all the same, legacy marketing vehicles such as billboards and radio advertising are still resonating among certain segments.
Marketing professionals must embrace technology without letting go of their creative edge. Thanks to big data and marketing intelligence, there is less guesswork involved these days; however, the processes of understanding what motivates audiences and eliciting specific reactions continue to be very challenging. If anything, audiences are more sophisticated and receptive, but technology has also made them more discriminant.
Technology offers substantial opportunities to the marketing profession; here are three of them:
1 - Speed and Clever Pertinence
We live in a world where information moves very rapidly, particularly if it is newsworthy. Take, for example, the mid-March Congressional hearings about the alleged involvement of the Russian government to influence the 2016 American elections. The hearings were viewed via live television and internet broadcasts; technology made possible live commentary by means of social media and webcasting. In other words, the speedy broadcast and analysis was simultaneous.
Not long after the hearings wrapped up for the day, clever commentators were busy creating humorous political memes and distributing them on social networks. This is an example of clever pertinence, and this is something that marketers have been taking advantage of in recent years.
Who can forget the clever 'Dunk in the Dark' Twitter moment posted by Oreo's during the 2013 blackout during the Super Bowl? Smart social media marketers saw the opportunity to promote the Oreo's brand with a relevant Twitter update that became a marketing legend. Likewise, email marketing agencies have the ability to quickly create clever and relevant campaigns that are geared toward your target audience. Contacting your customers at exactly the right time is so important to your ROI.
2 - Combining Big Data With Marketing Intuition
Big data analytics and marketing automation are two major developments in the world of advertising and brand promotion; notwithstanding the convenience of these technologies, the best approach still involves reviewing data sets and trusting the intuition of marketing professionals.
A couple of years ago, programmatic ad buying was a hot trend in the marketing world. The essence of this marketing automation strategy is to write scripts that react to real-time analytics for the purpose of purchasing online ads and placing them in relevant spaces. The analytical portion of this strategy may involve code routines created with Apache Kafka, a platform that handles real-time data feeds; the actual purchasing of ads can be handled via APIs offered by Google AdWords.
The problem with programmatic ad buying is that this technology is still being augmented by machine learning and artificial intelligence; thus far, many chief marketing officers have not fully grasped the potential of this strategy, which is why intuition still rules this sector.
3 - Legacy Marketing
Some businesses, particularly small companies, are still taking advantage of traditional advertising methods such as newspapers, magazines, television commercials, and radio spots. These legacy methods have also been enhanced by marketing technology such as talk radio programs that feature native advertising; this consists of weaving a story in a way that does not blatantly promote products or services.
An example of a radio spot that takes advantage of native advertising would be to invite a pizzeria owner to a program that deals with topics related to culinary arts. Instead of promoting the restaurant, the owner can mention that she produces a podcast about Italian cuisine.
In the end, the impact of technology on the marketing profession can be very positive for those who are willing to embrace data analysis, creativity, and intuition.