Marketing, long held to be an art, is starting to seem much more like a hard science. More and more marketing departments are using metadata, statistical models, and predictive algorithms to reach specific target markets. A new report from Kahuna and The Ascendant Network shows that personalization is likely to be the future of marketing, and an increasing number of firms are preparing for that outcome. That's good, but as it stands now, very few firms are actively ready for such a future.
Every marketer surveyed, 100 percent of respondents, are committed to making more omnichannel experiences with customers. Despite this commitment, only 6 percent of respondents were actually putting omnichannel tools to work right now, and fewer than 10 percent have the tools in place to start building those personalized marketing experiences that are so soon approaching. That may be a major blunder. According to the study, Omnichannel marketing strategies yield impressive results, including better revenue and customer retention, as well as better engagement from those customers.
That's reason enough to start running with omnichannel, but there are some hurdles in the way. 78 percent cited inadequate time and resources, and 72 percent pointed out inconsistent data. 57 percent blamed a lack of appropriate technology. Increasingly, companies are turning to mobile for advertising needs, with 87 percent calling mobile the center of marketing investments over the next three years. Just 37 percent, however, noted that mobile was “fully integrated” with the other channels involved.
The days of broadcast being the primary impetus of marketing communications are coming to an end. While broadcast advertising won't be dead for quite some time—as long as there's media to consume, there will be advertising supporting it—increasingly, users are savvy to this advertising and working to block it via time-skipping tools or ad-blocker software. The personal touch is increasingly prized, and people want information about products that's relevant, not from some “market flack” who's been paid to say something great about a product. The use of mobile, meanwhile, really reflects the changing makeup of how people shop, work, and interact with data whether for personal use or professional. Marketing's primary goal is to go where the customers are; whether billboards, television, radio or online, the largest numbers of users command the largest respect from advertisers.
We know the impact omnichannel is having. We know the imperative that marketing is most effective where there are the largest numbers of users. These two concepts are coming together and showing us that the best marketing is personal marketing, delivering the most relevant and most useful information about products and services to consumers. That means a lot more advertising going to mobile, and less going toward wider-range broadcast tools. The future of marketing looks much different from today, and though many businesses aren't ready for it yet, it's clear what needs to be done to get ready.