Accelerating Change and The Big Fight to Stay Relevant in Marketing & Technology

With the constant exponential evolution of technology, media and consumer behavior, the marketing landscape has kept progressively advancing.

A recent piece on the future of marketing on Think with Google got me thinking about the future applications of marketing technology and the ever-increasing spread of innovation.

At Key Medium, we craft beautiful and high-converting websites with an accompanying, integrated marketing strategy. The integrated strategy for brands we work with are partially based on the SMART marketing framework, with an additional component that is used to evaluate and reevaluate (SMARTER) the efficacy and efficiency of the marketing program based on data.

Take Coca-Cola’s Content 2020 Initiative for example – it was created in 2011 and embodies elements of an integrated brand and content strategy – with the idea and strategy of ‘liquid content’. This same principle, which will still be relevant in 2020 and beyond.

Why 2020? 

We think this is just an arbitrary, placeholder year which marks our internal calendars for an elevated level of innovation. It’s noteworthy to mention that it’s far enough into the future for current marketing innovations and programs to have been executed and implemented – with real, measurable results. Results which can be improved by many multiples with the right insights derived from data. 2020 is also when we anticipate the widespread adoption of next-generation technologies like machine learning, assistive voice technology.

As 50% of all searches will be done via voice searches by 20207, optimizing for voice search, should be done today and not 2020.

Data-Driven Marketing Insights

Accelerating change & the spread of innovation

In his seminal work, Diffusion of Innovations, eminent American sociologist and research pioneer, Everett Rogers, identified the potential barriers to the adoption of innovation as “…relative advantage, complexity, compatibility, trial-ability and observability.”

Furthermore, Rogers states that these five attributes account for most of the variance (49-87%) in the rate of adoption of innovations. In the research, he explains the significance of relative advantage and compatibility, establishing them as being particularly important in explaining rates of adoption.

A relative advantage refers to what your product does better than another product, in other words, the unique benefit to be derived from using your product. Compatibility on the other hand describes how an innovation fits into the values, past experiences, and needs of potential adopters. Therefore, identifying aspects of compatibility and relative advantage can help teams identify their proposed solution’s feature gap and lead to more concrete thinking about feasibility in the long run, so their product can leap past any incumbent solution in the market. These perceived attributes become critical benchmarks that your product needs to achieve to be worth building and selling.

5 Key Perceived Attributes of Innovations

Everett Rogers, a research pionneer in his diffusion of innovation piece Diffusion of Innovations has said that:

“…potential barriers to adoption: relative advantage, complexity, compatibility, trial-ability and observability. He says that these five attributes account for most of the variance (49-87%) in the rate of adoption of innovations. ”6

In the research, he also explains that “relative advantage and compatibility are particularly important in explaining rates of adoption. A relative advantage refers to what your product does better than another product. Compatibility describes how an innovation fits into the values, past experiences, and needs of potential adopters. Identifying aspects of compatibility and relative advantage can help teams identify their proposed solution’s feature gap and lead to more concrete thinking about feasibility in the long run, so their product can leap past any incumbent solution on the market. These perceived attributes become critical benchmarks that your product needs to achieve to be worth building and selling.”6

We are in the “Digitorial Era”

The accelerating pace of innovation – in our view – certainly ushers in a new era of communication and marketing. In his book, Winning the Story Wars, Jonah Sachs calls this era the “Digitorial Era”. Watch the short animated video above! ^

Also check out Adidas’ 75X improvement in the effectiveness of their conversion rates with digital over television. They, too, are planning to be relevant not just today – but beyond 2020.

Are you ready for change?

Change readiness describes how ready companies are for all sorts of disruption within their industries and organizations. How can some companies thrive, taking advantage of what the market brings while others often struggle? Now, that’s a great question.

According to the Harvard Business Review 5, four ways to determine your organization’s change readiness involves:

  1. Change awareness
  2. Change agility
  3. Change reaction
  4. Change mechanisms

Stay relevant by delivering the best brand experiences

So how can your organization deliver the best brand experiences? The simple answer to this is – with data.

Use data to get to know your customers. Then use technology to deliver relevant and personalized messaging and creative content across online and offline touchpoints.

This matters because “organizations with integrated marketing and advertising stacks are 47% more likely to be using audience-level data to personalize customer experience compared with marketers without fully integrated technologies.” 1

How else can you stay relevant? Deliver the best brand experiences and you are sure to stay relevant, weather, and even take advantage of change and disruptions in the industry.

Learn from leading organizations and use data as a competitive advantage

Another question I found to be incredibly relevant to my day-to-day goals of growing my business was how to align my values of speed and precision using a data-based, consumer-centric approach.

So, how do leading organizations do it to achieve competitive edge?

Successful organizations start with a business objective that’s supported with a robust data strategy. We’re seeing some of the best organizations groom data science teams who can apply big data, including machine learning, to business problems. In fact, Bain research shows that leading companies are 3.2X more likely to have the right analytics talent embedded in marketing. 3

Always propel forward. With data.

There’s so much more we can do with data – which certainly is important for the future of marketing. From making smarter business decisions, improved processes, and understanding our customers, one thing is certain – the singular goal of propelling forward.

Here we come 2020: the precipice of the next mindstep

As technology is accelerating at unprecedented levels, we are nearing what Dr. Gerald Hawkins termed as the next ‘mindstep’ at 2021. Prior mindsteps involved mathematics, writing, radio and television.

We are at the fifth mindstep which he described in his book, ‘Mindsteps to the Cosmos’

The mindsteps… appear to have certain things in common – a new and unfolding human perspective, related inventions in the area of memes and communications, and a long formulative waiting period before the next mindstep comes along. None of the mindsteps can be said to have been truly anticipated, and most were resisted at the early stages. In looking to the future, we may equally be caught unawares. We may have to grapple with the presently inconceivable, with mind-stretching discoveries and concepts.

Sources and References:

  1. Econsultancy/Google, “The Customer Experience is Written in Data”, U.S. (n=677 marketing and measurement executives at companies with over $250M in revenues, primarily in North America; n=199 leading marketers who reported marketing significantly
    exceeded top business goal in 2016, n=478 mainstream marketers (remainder of the sample), May 2017.
  2. Google, 2018,
    Is your 2018 marketing strategy leading or lagging? by Karen Budell, Carrie Bloch
  3. Google, 2018,
    Transforming your business in the age of assistance by Matt Lawson
  4. That piece I mentioned that sparked the creation of this article from Think With Google is called
    ‘Is your 2018 marketing strategy leading or lagging?’
  5. https://hbr.org/2010/06/four-ways-to-know-whether-you
  6. https://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2018/03/7-questions-to-ask-users-early-in-the-product-lifecycle.php
  7. comscore

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