What this means for data-driven marketing
Things have changed. You only need look around you to see just how far technology has come in the past decade alone. Whether you look at the Apple product suite, Google’s role in finding your local takeaway, solving who ‘that guy’ on TV is, or the new-age wardrobe must-haves such as Fitbits or Google glass - technology is now a life-essential.
Technology makes many aspects of our personal lives faster, easier and more connected. The same is true for our professional lives, although there is an element of trepidation about what this change means.
We might be in a technology takeover, turning to our devices before our loved ones in the morning, but, more importantly, it signals a take-off for marketers and researchers alike.
Tapping into the consumer
As devices now act as an extension of the body, there is more information available to get to the heart of the consumers deepest motivations, perceptions and behaviours. This has created an evolutionary shift, as we are able to connect via a growing number of modes in a rising variety of times and places.
And this increasing interconnectivity is only set to continue. Gartner predicts that by the end of this year, connectivity will become the default for most products in the home, with 4.9 billion connected devices in use across the globe (Gartner, 2014).
Technology isn’t only changing what the consumer owns but it’s fundamentally altering the way we behave and interact too. The claim that the average person picks up their phone close to 1500 times a day might be bold and hard to substantiate but is potentially and worryingly accurate when you think about how often you press the button and feel reassured by the screen lighting up (shared more comically by Nick Bowditch, Twitter at AIMIA Future of Digital Advertising 2015).
Many of us rely on our devices to keep us in touch with friends, family, news, celebrities we follow on twitter, even inane videos of chuckling babies or grown men mesmerised by rainbows- we’re hooked. In Australia, 72% people us their phone in the bedroom before lights out, further demonstrating that our most important relationship is now with our phone.
“In the past, people shared at lunch with their girlfriends when they saw someone with something cool. We still share things when it’s relevant… we just share more and online” pointed out a participant in a recent study around the psychology of sharing.
Making it meaningful
With this wealth of online, trackable activity comes a wealth of data that is changing the way marketers operate.
“Media owners will really start to integrate external data sources into their audience targeting capabilities… this will enable marketers to really target its consumer with pinpoint accuracy and get rid of lazy dollars” (Lawrence Puang, Quantium, ADMA Data Predictions 2015). And in this there is real bang for buck, with CMO reporting that retargeting can lift the number of searches by a massive 1046%.
The key is in leveraging the right, valuable insights from this mountain of data. This year the industry is set to see “increased demand for technology that will allow them to digest and connect disparate data, as well as more demand for analytic skills to mine and turn ideas into reality” (Andrew Chan, Inivio, ADMA Data Predictions 2015). Not only is the consumer increasingly connected, so too is data to the marketing function, with Chan affirming that ”2015 will see marketing teams add Data Scientists.” Companies are feeling the pressure and the opportunity that technology presents.
Whilst “this year will see data-savvy marketers having a more influential role in their businesses” (Aden Forrest, ANZ/ Marketo, ADMA Data Predictions 2015) it seems that the role of the consumer utilising their technology is the real movement. Keeping pace with this is where marketers can use insights to take off.