Marketing beyond digital … How can brands and marketers succeed in the 4th industrial revolution?

May 7, 2018

We are in the midst of a new revolution. The internet, social media, and mobile technologies have transformed how customers interact with brands and how companies market their products and services. It has transformed products themselves, customer experiences, business models, and organisation structures. It has transformed markets, customer aspirations and how value is created.

Most significantly it is a mental shift. From marketing organisations built around brand managers, campaign schedules, paid-for advertising and distribution channels – to a world where the only limit is imagination and time – tweets are unlimited, Facebook pages are free, social influence is done by customers. Whilst the technologies are fascinating – VR helmets and data analytics – it is the mindset that makes the difference.

Consider the journey of marketing from a world before digital (the old paradigm of product-push, advertising enabled, mass-marketing) to a world where digital came to the for (today’s world of websites and mobile apps, social and interactive, more connected, more customer-centric). Now consider what the next phase looks like, going above and beyond digital (to embrace intelligence, fuelled and inspired by the new generation of technologies, but only limited by our imagination).

Digital has transformed every market, as well as the very essence of marketing. Marketing beyond digital takes your brand further and faster:

  • Bigger ideas … Marketing is about big ideas, that connect with people in more relevant and realtime ways. Ideas about their lives, enabling them to achieve more. These ideas come from deep insight, building brands with more meaning, and then solving real problems for mutual benefit. Ideas spread through word of mouth, or tweets and likes, accelerated by social influencers and shared passions.
  • Smarter innovation … Marketing is been shaken up in a digital world, no longer centred around products and campaigns, advertising and selling … it is about engaging people in new ways, with new channels, and new incentives, creating business models that generate revenues in new ways. All marketing is digital, it is how it harnesses the power of data and technology to succeed more creatively.
  • Personal identity … Marketing gives people a richer identity, about who they are, what they believe and aspire to be. Brands are a reflection of customers not companies, communities and causes. Markets are increasingly fragmented, tribal and turbulent. Millennials add a new wave expectation and desire.  Customer-centric marketing is all about you – on your terms, what and how, when and where you want it.
  • Radical imagination … Marketing brings new solutions to life through new technologies, co-created or customised with customers, brought to life through virtual and augmented reality, delivered in anticipation of needs by using big data to surprise and inspire people. Marketing can sometimes be accused of selling you what you don’t need, but it is also the platform for exploring possibilities, and a better life.
  • Business impact … Marketing is the driving force of profitable growth, turning ideas into innovation, solutions into sales, futures into financial success. In a world where customers trust each other more than companies, it is networks that drive success – networks of partners, networks of customers, networks of participants. Time to market is accelerated, old decision processes are disrupted, impact can be instant.
  • Unleashing technology … Marketing is digital in everything it does. Digital is more than an app, a website, a fan page or a headset. Digital is about harnessing the power of data and networks to transform markets, and the relationship with and between customers. Whilst routine activities are automated and accelerated, technology gives marketers the opportunity to dream, to dare and to of further than ever before.

Digital is transforming every market, as well as the very essence of marketing. But marketing is now more than digital, it moves to the next generation of technologies, but also to realise its humanity, and potential to transform business and beyond.

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