A transformation of marketing is underway as we spend more time on our mobiles, tablets and laptops. The challenge for brands is to connect with customers through all these devices in real time and create campaigns that work across social media, display advertising and e-commerce.
The real-time conversations brands have with people as they interact with websites and mobile apps has changed the nature of marketing. The modern-day marketing department needs to combine the creative side of the discipline – using powerful narratives to tap into people’s wishes and aspirations – with the technical side of data, digital engineering and analytics. The two areas do not always sit easily together. ...view middle of the document...
Three areas of marketing which have been transformed by digital are the speed, relevance and reach of campaigns. Mark Singleton, head of sportsbook marketing at betting brand Paddy Power, recalled an incident in the Premiership last March when Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew headbutted Hull City midfielder David Meyler in a touchline clash. Within half an hour, Paddy Power had reacted to the incident with wit and speed by booking print ads referring to the incident for the next morning’s press. The bookie offered a money-back guarantee on bets for Newcastle’s following fixture should one of its team score a header.
“To be able to turn around a press ad at half past four in the afternoon and for it to be in the papers the next morning is fantastic, it wouldn’t have happened four or five years ago,” said Singleton. “The rise of digital means you can be incredibly fast,” he added.
Digital marketing has also greatly increased relevancy. Messages can be targeted with a laser focus to very specific groups offering them relevant content.
Meanwhile, the reach of campaigns has also increased greatly. With so many different ways that customers access media, whether through Facebook, YouTube, news websites, via mobile or tablet apps, a strong idea can quickly gain huge scale. “If you come up with that nugget of an idea, you’ve now got such reach that you can expand that and get tremendous coverage just from a little niche idea,” said Singleton.
Marketers need to update their skills in order to make the most of these fast-moving, and highly relevant campaigns through digital. They need to work closely with data specialists, web developers and social media professionals. Charles Wells, chief marketing officer at charity fundraising service JustGiving, told the panel that the marketer of the future needs to combine marketing and creative skills with an understanding of real-time technology. He said his marketing team has data scientists, engineers, developers and user experience experts, who work together in small project teams to try and create growth. This is a radical change from the way traditional marketing departments work, he said.
He thought the big task for people in marketing would be to find their own niche: “The biggest challenge for the marketer of the future isn’t how do I get skilled up, but how do I get to fit into this machine and which cog am I going to try and be?”
Just as marketers need to become more savvy about technology, data and analytics, so the technically minded staff on the digital side have to get more creative. They are rising to this challenge, said Wells. A fifth of staff at JustGiving are data strategists whose sole job is to identify patterns from the data the service gathers from millions of charity fundraisers. “They are probably some of the most creative people in the building, they are looking for fascinating things and they are building amazing engines,” said Wells. “Some of the algorithm...