Jonathan Martin shares his thoughts on the incredible change in marketing, the complex buyer’s journey, impact of social media, how to wrap it all up in data and metrics and on re-invigorate direct mail to deliver new and unique customer experiences
At the moment we’re in a time of incredible change in marketing. The first one is that people simply aren’t listening the way they used to anymore. Interrupt based techniques are being screened out by the brain and people are just no longer paying attention.
The second one is that the buyer’s journey has become so complex these days so that it looks sort of like a game of snakes and ladders. So being able to model the buyer’s journey is something that is not humanly possible and something we need to leave to machines.
And the third one is obviously you can’t get beyond the impact of social media on the way people are engaging with organisations.
So a big question is, is marketing moving fast enough? I think a lot in marketing is fundamentally changing now, everything from how you engage your audiences, to how you’re able to drive demand, through how you’re able to drive loyalty and advocacy and then use those advocates to go and generate the next wave of awareness and demand.
The next thing is how do you wrap everything that you do in data and metrics?
I think that organisations that really want to understand customer buying behaviour have to get their arms around data. The data that they own, their support data, things like their click-stream metrics, things like their historical sales data and for predictive reasons, getting their arms around social media data. What’s happening in their community, what’s happening on Twitter, Wechat, Webo and Faceook. Only organisations that are able to gather that information together, and then run analytics on it, are able to predict the future. The organisations that can predict the future, and do that in the context of where someone is in their customer journey, are able to deliver dedicated offers to their buyers.
On B2B: People’s expectations are set based on the experiences they have as a consumer. They just happened to go to work and work for a company. Thus B2B organisations are looking to be engaged the same way as they would be by B2C. There are lots of new ways of doing that, probably one of the most exciting ways this year is through virtual reality and also Google Cardboard.
We can also go back to some old techniques such as direct mail and re-engineer and re-invigorate them. So one of the things we’ve done recently is taking Google Cardboard which is a $3 worth of cardboard, brand it the way you want it, send it out to your customers, they fold it up and it turns into a set of virtual reality goggles. If you drop your phone into it, and download an app and you can deliver an experience to them which is completely new and unique.