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Marketing has changed exponentially during my 15 year career. My first day in marketing consisted of cleansing some data so that we could send a piece...

Marketing has changed exponentially during my 15 year career. My first day in marketing consisted of cleansing some data so that we could send a piece of DM to some contacts. Now, you might be thinking ‘I’m still doing that now’ and you’d be right. There are however 3 fundamental things that have changed in the past few years and they have not only changed the way marketing teams must function, but will continue to influence marketing strategy forever more.

The first is the humble device. I had a Nokia 3210 as my first mobile. At the time it was ground breaking. It had Snake on it, who didn’t love a game of Snake? And the battery lasted all week! Device usage since those days has literally exploded. There are now more mobile phones in use, than people in the world. Why? because we are living in a connected world, one that ‘needs’ to know what’s happening, 24/7/365. The average smartphone user has 96 apps on their phone. Go on, count yours, you’ll be surprised! The demand for content and our ability to consume it has driven fundamental change number 2. Check out the infographic to show the rise in smartphone adoption.

BIG Data. You hear about this everywhere. The growth in data is astronomical. More data has been created in the past 5 years, than in the entire history of mankind. Business’s need to wake up (if they haven’t already) that the ability to not just store and collect, but analyse and effectively use this data will define their success or failure. Sooner than they might ever imagine. the use of predictive analytics to drive smarter business decisions is happening right now. If it’s not happening in your business then it probably will be in your competitors’, giving them the edge. This is the first time in my career that I can see the need for 360 collaboration across all business units. Now, Finance and Marketing need each other. They used to fight eachother. Big data enables finance teams to accurately predict market trends, knowledge that is invaluable to any smart marketing team. This is a true breakthrough and one more valuable than any I can remember seeing for marketing strategists.

The third is driven by the first 2. As consumers, B2B or B2C, we now demand 2 things, the first is for business’s targeting us with products or services to understand us, what we want and when we want it. the second is for us to be able to communicate with these businesses in real-time, through the channel we chose, on the device we own and at any time of the day.

If you don’t know what your customers want, what they need and when they need it you’ve lost half the battle already. If you then don’t let them tweet their request from their laptop, FaceTime you for support or  maybe even (who’d have thought it) pick up the phone and speak to you, then the game is as good as over.

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