We live in a world where media is increasingly fragmented and brands have to fight harder and harder to attract attention, and it has taken marketers a long time to come to terms with this.
People talk, share and collaborate more than ever before. Spending their time amongst 1bn Facebook users, watching 4bn videos on YouTube every day and actively tweeting with 200m people.
In the UK, we now divide our time across 11 media devices per household and choose to research products across 22 websites before making a purchase.
So, in this infinitely complex world where every consumer is a digitally-led consumer, how can a marketing team predict success?
The short answer is: we can’t. But what we can do is adhere to a set of principles that gives us the very best chance of success.
1. Be Integrated
Today it’s about recognising and understanding the digital consumer, and putting them at the heart of everything we do.
We know that successful marketing initiatives in today’s world rely on integration. This means integrating the marketing and communications that we send out with the multiple consumer touch points that feed in. This means building and integrating the IT systems that collect and share the data. This means adopting a single customer view wedded to a consistent and relevant brand experience.
Achieving this demands impartiality, appropriate utilisation of technology, a thirst for knowledge and a long-term partnership with brand marketing teams and their end customers.
2. Be Independent
Successful marketing demands an integrated marketing team who are connected by more than just a floor plan. They’re a team of independent thinkers who share an understanding of the consumer, who make a deliberate attempt to pool their different skills to create the most compelling experiences that lead to engagement, provoke action, drive loyalty and deliver sales.
Independence is key. Integrated teams work best when they’re free from the complexities of marketing, not hamstrung by cost centres, processes or conforming to industry trends. Independence means media impartiality, free thinking and a single-minded objective to only work in the best interests of brands and their customers. Independence is the bed where creativity can flourish.
3. Be Commercially Creative
The rapid expansion of technology into our lives has focused marketers away from ideas and towards infinite measurability.
The onset of Big Data means that we’re getting better at predicting the things that motivate buyers, and the marketing automation tools that exist allow us to test, learn and time our communications to perfection.
But it’s not the sophisticated CRM systems, technologies or mobile applications that make marketing efforts a success.
It’s standing ahead of the competition and being noticed for the things brands do best, and in a media-saturated world, creativity is the key to achieving engagement with the digital consumer.
The most successful organisations apply their ideas and creativity to every consumer touch-point. Initiating a clear set of principles that help them shape their brands and remain focused on their commercial performance.
So being commercially creative in an increasingly automated world means two things: Firstly you need to be able to have great ideas that sell products. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, you need to apply great ideas that enhance and protect brand image – because if you damage that, the digital consumers voice has never been so powerful, and it can be a long hard road to recovery.