At RedPoint we talk about “stepping out of the herd.” Our marketing campaigns feature a majestic African elephant who embodies this message and commands marketers to be bold, courageous and fearless. But the elephant also symbolizes wisdom. Peace. Intelligence. A long memory. These are all aspirational qualities that resonate with marketers: calling to mind their best vision of themselves and their role inside the organization as leaders and as agents of change.
In fact, the foundation for our message came out of a desire to tell a story about change. For many years marketers have been the “tip of the spear” inside the enterprise, technologically speaking. We quickly embraced new digital technologies as email, web, ecommerce and mobile technologies fundamentally changed how companies and customers interact with each other. We’ve seen basic email marketing morph into sophisticated marketing automation. We’ve watched simple web sites evolve into elaborate applications powered by content management systems (CMSs), digital asset management platforms (DAMs), product information management systems (PIMs) and other technologies. We’ve witnessed the huge tidal wave of social media platforms that create greater and greater intimacy between companies and customers.
It’s been nothing but “change on change” for the past two decades. So with that backdrop, what does it mean to step out of the herd? To be bold? To be a leader? It means being strategic – seeing not just where we’ve been and where we are today, but where we’re going next. And being excited about that, and looking for new opportunities to embrace and exploit – not only what’s next – but what’s after that – and beyond.
And the future, from where I sit, is an exciting blend of the physical and the digital. Everyone is becoming more digitally enabled, but we also yearn for meaningful, authentic and personalized experiences. Supporting local farms, local agriculture and local merchants has become a huge phenomenon over the past decade. Yes, we love the convenience of Amazon and the “cool factor” of drone delivery, bit it’s equally great to discover a neighborhood coffee shop or bookstore filled with like-minded coffee drinkers or book lovers; where you can experience the scent of the coffee, or enjoy the sound of a new artist being played, or watch the excitement of an animated group of book clubbers discussing their latest page-turner. Or the warm smile of the barista as she makes your favorite beverage – just the way you like it, without your having to ask.
So as marketers we need to be thinking about our brands and what it means to make them personal, relevant and meaningful. And that is where the “modern marketing architecture” (MMA) comes in. The MMA represents RedPoint’s vision of how marketers of today and the future should be supported. We should not need computer science degrees to be effective – but we should know how to collaborate with our technical colleagues to deliver the best possible customer experiences. Our role has always been – and continues to be – to champion the customer and to rally the entire organization around meeting his or her needs. But to do this effectively in the “modern” era, we marketers need to be supported with three things: data, insight and action. Data that tells us everything there is to know about our customers. Insight that tailors every brand interaction to the individual customer. And action that brings our brands and customers together through whichever channel the customer wants to engage – digital or physical.
The modern marketing architecture helps marketers overcome the barriers to “getting personal” with their customers. Instead of worrying about how to collect data from many different data sources, the data is “automagically” connected and consolidated. The tremendous computing power available through processing chips and machine learning algorithms is brought to bear to deliver precise customer insight, at scale. The channels that your customers want to connect with you through are all brought together in a single, cohesive communication environment. The logistics of marketing are finally automated, freeing you up to know and understand all of your customers – while at the same time allowing you to focus on each and every customer as an audience of one.
The MMA may sound radical – but in fact it’s quite logical. That’s the beauty of it. It’s simplicity at its best. And that simplicity is both freeing and enabling. It allows marketers to get back to what they do best: creating a vision for their brand and bringing that vision to life by creating personal, meaningful experiences that delight their customers with every interaction.
So go ahead – Step Out of the Herd. Start by reading our new white paper and telling us what you think.