Anticipating the Possibilities: The Way Marketing is Going to Evolve
How will the marketing industry change in a decade? What will be the major trends in 2028? In a world where data is going to be so accessible, there won’t be any separate aspects to a customer journey. Words from Optimove’s CEO as presented at NRF 2018
In his book “Zero to One,” entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel urges us all to take an active approach to designing and shaping our own future. According to Thiel, a lot of us are indefinite optimists – we feel that our future should be, and will be better, but we have no idea why. We understand that we need to take more action when it comes to deciding what lies ahead. According to Theil, the way to go about this endeavor is to take an engineering approach.
That idea got me thinking; I began speaking with a number of people both within Optimove and outside the company, to understand how marketing might look 10 years from now. How will our roles change? How can we prepare better in advance for these potential changes? The ideas and notions that were brought up were already an initial part of Optimove’s new products, such as version 6.0 – our latest product version that introduced a whole new lifecycle stage: the visitor. But more on that later.
How do we see the marketing world in 2028?
In 2028, rich and diverse customer data will become a commodity, and this data is relevant for everyone. It’s cheap, it’s abundant, and it is easily accessible. Of course, there are complications that go along with this idea, like the battle for privacy, which it seems we’ve already lost. But the trends are pointing in the direction of data as a product; consumers are preferring the benefits of personalization, and 3rd party data is readily available.
As a result of data commodification, consumer data will be available in every marketing channel, the trend toward this commodification can already be felt, although the full-scale effect has not yet taken place. I believe that if we look into the future and imagine a world with easily accessible data, we will also be able to create a single, continuous, customer lifecycle. If today we have three realms of marketing; acquisition, conversion and retention, that are treated as separate aspects of a customer lifecycle and are addressed by different departments, by 2028, we’re going to have one continuous customer cycle.
What does this mean?
This potential change has two elements we can apply – the theoretical and the practical. In theory – all marketing campaigns will be built with a mindset of beginning a conversation, a relationship, rather than a “look at me” attitude. Marketers will no longer look at the process as acquiring, converting or retaining customers. Instead, we will all be working toward building relationships with people.
In practice – your CRM database will encapsulate every person in the world, creating an almost infinite database. Your key differentiator will be the ability to leverage AL and ML to discover and deploy actionable insights in a scalable manner.
What else does it mean in practice?
Marketing teams will change from the core. Instead of having a few sub departments within marketing, the structure will transition to one self-sufficient relationship marketing studio, in which channels are not siloed. This will give marketers the speed to execute and expand. I also believe this will bring in amazing new talent – the best and brightest, a new breed of marketers – the data savvy individuals who are also highly creative, those who excel at both paths.
And what does it mean for Optimove and Optimove’s clients?
Optimove presents itself as the Science First Relationship Marketing Hub, built for smart marketing teams – or at least for those who aspire to market smartly. We’ve remained committed to applying a scientific approach to relationship marketing, but recently realized that the relationship starts long before someone clicks the “buy” button.
Most acquisition marketers are focused on bringing in as many leads as possible, parsing the data, and continuing from there. We now believe in closing that gap between the often-isolated acquisition and retention teams, whose opposing goals of lowering cost per acquisition and achieving long term relationships with customers tend to clash. Unifying these functions reduces conflicts of interest and eliminates the data loss that occurs when moving from one CRM to another. We implemented some of these changes in version 6.0. With the release of our newest version, we transitioned from a customer marketing platform to a relationship marketing platform – allowing businesses’ relationships with their customer to start before the first website visit. This is our first step toward the future.