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Technology Marketing in 2022

Today’s CMOs Need to Rethink Their Strategies

As we’re emerging out of the first quarter of 2022, some trends are emerging that will have a direct impact on how marketers market products and services using technology.

A. Privacy as a Key Driver—

Foremost is the change in user perception and demand for privacy. Whereas in the past marketers could use all manner of technology to track, measure, connect, report, connect and fluidly adapt to target, user or customer search or site navigation this isn’t the case any longer.

Decades of unwanted or unnecessary tracking, probing, grabbing and sharing of browser and search data have angered people and created a general suspicion that is being addressed through new technologies designed to block such activity.

Trust has been eroded by constant eavesdropping by voice assistant technology that shares sensitive information with neighbors or is susceptible to hacking.

Leading CMOs are rethinking how they stay ahead of these trends while keeping marketing effective in shaping behavior and delivering great, trusted experiences.

Simply put, CMOs cannot continue to “do the same old thing that we’ve always done” without risking the loss of reputation, opportunity and revenue.

B. Ubiquitous and Compelling Storytelling—

Marketing has been about storytelling for a long time. In this, story isn’t new. What’s been interesting is that most marketers have viewed story through the lenses of a single or a couple of channels and with a single story spread over time. This doesn’t work any longer.

The most successful brands are the most successful storytellers. They tell varied stories, simultaneously, to customers and users seeking long-tail experiences that cross numerous channels and lifestyle, consumption or career points. To deliver such experiences, marketing leaders have adopted a fully integrated multi-channel, multi-story strategy that engages audiences at the point of their unique need—never forcing an engagement choice based on a company’s single-channel strategy.

Businesses that rigorously integrate audio, video, social, website and other channel options to deliver a consistent and holistic story are seeing large increases in referral, consideration and revenue. Companies that recognize that there isn’t a “single story” and adapt to tell multiple stories, concurrently, have higher engagement rates that pay off.

CMOs that continue to see the future as solely website and social media will end up the losers.

C. Increasing the Use of Automated Intelligence—

As labor shortages have recast labor strategies and workload allocations, it has become very clear that teams are overworked and overwhelmed with what must be accomplished. Marketing professionals and teams feel this pressure greater than most as they represent the “tip of the arrow” into the marketplace… a marketplace that is constantly changing in every dimension.

Artificial intelligence can provide relief to marketers (and businesses in general) by the automation of routine tasks, creating real-time cross-connecting information for predictive decision making or adaptation of strategies, formalizing and automating real-time sense and respond processes for better customer experiences, increasing alignment speed to changing market realities.

Customer expect that the companies they work with know what they want based on preferences and collected information. As a result, they expect fast, accurate and highly-targeted interactions, spending dollars with those that can meet that need.

CMOs that rely solely on carbon-based (people, paper, meetings, …) processes, information gathering and analysis, decision making and adaptation to demand and market requirements will be found uncompetitive in today’s busy marketplace.

D. Expanding Brand Reputation Dimensions—

Remember when brand was largely made up of the generic category of “goodwill”? All a company needed to do was to make sure they delivered a good product, at a good price, at the location the customer wanted (while offering decent post-sale support) and their brand was considered good.

No more. Customers have voiced that issues of environment, social and corporate governance are important brand and reputation contributors. In fact, for a growing segment of the market, ESG issues are being prioritized over great product or services experiences—willing to accept a less-than-optimal product experience if the company has outstanding ESG values and action.

Leading marketers have already recognized this requirement and have pivoted their brand strategies, marketing and customer experiences toward the promotion, delivery and measurement of ESG contribution and diligence.

CMOs that choose to ignore ESG as a key brand builder and marketplace requirement will see an accelerated erosion of existing customers to those companies with superior ESG reputations. 

Oh, one last thing that we’re keeping an eye on.

E. The metaverse—

Not that long ago the vogue marketing idea was “gamification” of marketing experiences. Making the inquiry, consideration, purchase and use more intriguing and entertaining as a point of differentiation and engagement. As fun as an idea as that was, the delivery has been fraught with peril and escalating scopes and cost.

The metaverse “jumps the shark” to deliver a more comprehensive, engaging and unique experiences for people. Incorporating the model of virtual worlds (from online gaming), you’re seeing entire companies shift into the metaverse (Facebook > Meta) through the introduction of online “worlds”, augmented reality and technology to enhance experiences.

As currently discussed, players (users) can build, own, experience and enjoy worlds made in their own image or according to their own needs or desires. Within these virtual environments people are finding opportunity to be presented with choices to evaluate, purchase and integrate products and services just as in the real world. An intriguing idea with much more to be developed here.

The jury is still out on the metaverse (as it is still being defined). Marketers have a built-in bias to adopt a new idea or technology. Often engaging before it is proven to be effective, let alone practical. So, marketers need to be careful… for now.

CMOs who aren’t evaluating and considering how to integrate the metaverse into their marketing strategies and story-telling (see above) may run the risk of missing out on a great new world that has yet to define the “leaders and laggards”.

It’s interesting how this last topic brings marketers full circle, returning to the power and importance of storytelling…only now in two worlds: real and meta.

What new strategies are you going to consider in 2022? It’s an important question and one that must drive CMOs out of their box into new areas of exploration, validation and integration.

Don’t be left fooled or behind due to the momentum of the status quo.

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