The chief marketing officer's job is tougher than ever, yet charming like never before. Amidst a swell of opportunities around people and places, there lies the frightful reality of change and challenges. In today's ever-evolving business and consumer landscape, marketers face challenges that their predecessors didn't have to dare. Also, there is myriad information when it comes to megatrends in marketing. However, the 'real' megatrends are a matter of one's own analysis and vision, and of course the reader's own articulation of the content. It is a subject matter of interpretation.
1. Simplicity: The complex ordeal of practising it
2. Data: Making value from volume
This may come with a quizzical expression. But, data is a vital megatrend that is becoming the core of both old and new enterprises, especially in the startup space. With a burgeoning number of brands in products and services hitting the marquee, one of the biggest tasks for an avid marketer is deciphering the data to align with marketing objectives. Consumer data, owing to the unprecedented growth in mediums, has bedazzled some of the articulate marketers too and, thus, understanding the needs, preferences and behaviour in the current era poses a big challenge. Not just that, this is growing at a brisk rate, every single day. Creating value from the volume and variety is an uphill task, gaining precedence and measuring up for a drift, worth exercising well.
3. Content: The challenge of constant creation
Content has always ruled and continues to do so. Creation of 'desirable' content across a variety of platforms, some aged, some mature and others fairly new, must receive far greater attention than it does currently. We are also living in a world of constant, continuous motion. The human being of today is reshaped and is restyling himself like never before.
Never before has there been such strong focus on technology than now. The correlation between communication and technology cannot be ignored and it is imperative for almost all brands to look into marketing technologies. For instance, direct conversions straight from the display ad without even routing the consumer to the website and all this while engaging the consumer with your communication or content! Virtual stores have replaced traditional stores in both tangible and non-tangible product markets. And, who knows, maybe marketing technology may make the web/app store redundant and, therefore, metrics like traffic, leads, app downloads etc.
4. Media: The loudspeaker to 'that' idea
The convergence of social, mobile, cloud and non-cloud technological breakthroughs along with the traditional mediums is a huge assignment; even a deft marketer perspires at it. There is a growing demand for anytime-anywhere access, across multiple geographies for communication, activation and transaction. Technology is challenged every moment. True, it presents gigantic opportunities for marketers to take advantage of, but to allow a near unified experience in a cross-connected world, across a variable diversity is a significant encounter for any marketer.
In the pursuit to reach maximum consumers and cover all geographies, often a 360-degree approach is accepted. But, with recent studies on traction and ROI, one wonders if it is an overrated concept today. While time has confirmed that TV ads and sales continue to share a true-love relationship, does marketing really have to look for another partner elsewhere? Can non-360 degree approach make a bigger impact.....?
5. Tribe: Creating a mini world of your men
Seth Godin speaks animatedly on this, receiving laurels globally. Indeed it is true that building a tribe - small, big or huge - remains a potent doctrine to lean on. Devising tactics that unite a set of people with a common belief on a common platform isn't fairly uncommon. A marketer knows this and, hence, is employing the cleverest ideas that patronise a mass audience across demographics on to a single commune. Mobile and Internet have already eliminated the barrier of geography, cost and time. The marketer has to be keener to feed and grow a multilateral audience to own unilateral goal.
In a nutshell, the world of branding doesn't cease to spew opportunities and challenges periodically. But, understanding the shift in the tectonic plates and aligning to the undercurrent of marketing megatrends can surely be a winner move!
(The author is chief marketing officer at Housing.com)