The trends defining digital marketing transformation in 2017
Keeping up with the latest tech tools — and finding a way to effectively add them to a marketing stack — can feel a bit like running on a steadily quickening treadmill.
The creative geniuses on your marketing team have achieved what seemed impossible a mere six months ago: They’ve developed an exciting campaign using a trendy technology — an artificially intelligent chatbot, deployed on the website and on social media — in a way that’s simultaneously on-brand, cost-conscious, and effectively drives conversions.
This would seem cause for celebration: Except for the fact that in the time it’s taken them to master this product, an entirely new technology has taken over the cultural zeitgeist — and your biggest competitor is rumoured to be ten steps ahead of the trend.
This is an all-too-common scenario in the world of the modern marketer. Keeping up with the latest tech tools — and finding a way to effectively add them to a marketing stack — can feel a bit like running on a steadily quickening treadmill.
This is why digital transformation is perhaps the most excitingly frustrating part of a marketer’s job, and why theories on how to effectively master marketing transformation are prolific among industry experts and analysts today.
In Salesforce’s State of Marketing Report released in June 2017, 57 percent of marketing leaders said AI is absolutely or very essential in helping them provide personalised experiences for their customers, and 64 percent say their company has become more focused on providing a consistent experience across every channel as a result of changing customer expectations.
Below, we’ve outlined a few key things to note about marketing transformation in 2017,
as well as a few companies mastering modern digital trends.
Businesses must adapt or die
Heritage companies struggle the most with transformation, according to Nigel Morris, chief strategy and innovation officer at Dentsu Aegis. Speaking at the dmexco conference in Cologne, Morris waxed lyrical about the need for businesses to adapt or die, which can be more of a struggle for those businesses that have been in operation for decades. How do established businesses get the energy, the leadership and the drive to compete and transform in a globalised world? The key is to keep on learning. “When we’re skiing, if we lean back, we fall down.” Morris elaborated, “We must lean into transformation, much like skiing.”
Speaking with Allen Blue, VP of product marketing and co-founder of LinkedIn, Morris discussed the importance of an “always-on” attitude to learning, even in the most well-established, successful organisations. “It’s not all about spending more in digital marketing, it’s the redevelopment of skills and relearning what’s new”, Blue lamented,
and that means embracing the latest tools and ensuring they’re used effectively
as a part of your arsenal.
Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence may sound like marketing goldmines — but successfully implementing them is a complex (read: expensive) process. More than just monetary costs, it also involves dedicating intangible resources like time, talent, and brainspace to the product’s development. And since there are many stakeholders involved in technical marketing overhauls — the CMO, clearly, but also other members of the c-suite like the CTO and the CEO, as well as third-party investors — it’s important to critically consider which technologies are worth dedicating the necessary time and effort.