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Siesmic Shift Ahead

Make no bones about it, digital is our today and our tomorrow and marketing organisations need to be structured in a way that acknowledges this reality

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Digital is now ubiquitous in all marketing strategies, whether for brands, NGOs or for political parties. Audiences are on social, so if you want to engage consumers at scale, it’s online where you need to be. However, the age of digital is a relatively recent one in our history. In a time where everything’s changing so fast, what can you do catch up or even prepare for the future? The answer lies in artificial intelligence (AI) technology and in automating the parts of marketing prone to human error and those that require teams to execute.

Big data is the cornerstone of digital marketing today and marketers need to use the data they have at their fingertips smartly to drive impact. AI has been hailed as the future, yet it is already part of our everyday lives in the marketing world. However, still today some marketers are spending a huge amount of time aggregating social data, analyzing anomalies and using their learnings to make decisions on what actions to take next.

The dawn of AI has meant that they can chose to work with customised platforms to take care of the heavy lifting so they can focus on creating the content that will provide value to their audiences. Brands that don’t embrace marketing technology to help them manage and optimise their marketing programs at scale today will lose out tomorrow.

To get the most out of digital in the future, there are three steps that brands need to take.

First, set your goals. If you don’t know where you want to go, how will you know when you get there? It may sound obvious, but brands that are looking to implement smart AI systems to optimise their marketing activities need to look at where they are today and decide where they want to be tomorrow in order to build an agile plan for how to get there. 

Second, aggregate customer data into one place. Today so many marketers are still working with multiple data sources and pulling them together in order to measure and report results. This is time consuming and ineffective. In order to get the best result from AI-powered marketing technology, marketers need to work towards a system that unifies all data sources and uses the intelligence gleaned to make smart, data-driven predictions and recommendations. The more data they can gather the more accurate their intelligence will be.

Finally, stay agile. When it comes to making the shift towards AI-powered marketing, don’t underestimate the transition. Staying agile, and using each change as an opportunity to learn, iterate and improve will brand transition more efficiently and see impact more quickly.

In order to future-proof your business for the next decade, brands need to be building digital into every part of their business, not just marketing. It has long been used for brand building and today it is also widely used for lead generation and maximising conversions.

However, it should touch all parts of the business from customer care to human resources, from corporate communications to sales. It needs to become part of the customer experience from initial brand awareness, right through to customer retention. In many companies, this means a seismic shift in their set-up and processes, however, the ones that fail to heed the warning will be playing catch up in the longer term.

Make no bones about it, digital is our today and our tomorrow and marketing organisations need to be structured in a way that acknowledges this reality.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Charles Tidswell

The author is VP, JAPAC, Socialbakers

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