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BW Businessworld

An Exciting Year That 2017 Will Be

Technology and its impact on work, play and life will continue to be central in 2017 as well but three things that will drive change ahead will be data, doing good & creativity

Photo Credit : ShutterStock

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It is the decade of the CMOs. How do I figure this? The 80s were all about the finance officers. Everyone wanted to know how they were functioning. The 90s belonged to the sales people. The revenue officers became all important. The 2000s brought to light a new breed — the chief information officers. CIOs were the big thing — the people central to an organisation’s progress.

The 2010s belong to marketing. With the proliferation of digital media platforms, CEOs took more active interest in how marketing was embracing technology to connect with consumers. CMOs are the people who understand digital media better as they have been chasing the consumer on new platforms, so companies began asking them what their digital strategies should be. Companies’ top echelon is now interested in how marketing can align with the CIO or the chief technology officer to transform the business.

Much of the trends and areas of focus of this decade has been in line with this — the rise of digital, the power of marketing technology in understanding a consumer and tracing a consumer journey. Where marketing seems to be getting stuck now is, getting the one unified view of the consumer across all channels he/she is present on. Arguably, that is the Holy Grail. And that is where data comes in.

The significance of data practice in a company is already evident, but it is still the backdoor, labcoat team. Data is said to be sexy, but it is not there yet. The work on data combined with creativity and messaging has begun now. Leading platforms are investing on this to make data work harder for a company. People are talking small and big data for impact on economies, countries and human life. The year ahead will see more of this.

‘Doing good’ will continue to be in vogue. As companies take genuine and active interest in making a difference to the society they operate in, and in contributing to enhance and increase human life itself, more players will embrace the motto ‘doing good, is good business’.

Technology players are already ahead in that game. Whether it is the work that a whole host of companies are doing in developing nanotechnologies that bring possibilities of curing the likes of cancer or; the vision of connecting the next billion; opening opportunities for a whole new set of audiences or; a whole new smart world where connected devices ranging from homes to cars, are becoming a reality — much of it is done with the intention of increasing safety. All these moves are to improve human life quality.

But at the centre of it all is going to be creativity. The format may vary — it could be content or an ad campaign or a communication exercise or just a conversation on a direct messenger using chat bots, but the best of data and a company’s overall mission will come through when someone has spent the right time in crafting and packaging that message.

Technology has made everything else simple — it has brought out the big guns, but the ammunition is complete only when the bullets are right and make an impact on the target — creativity is that bullet. Most companies have understood this and more work on this will be witnessed in 2017. After the crazy year that 2016 has been, 2017 has every promise of being as exciting.