On April 1 marketing technologist Scott Brinker declared that by 2045, the martech landscape will consist of only one logo because, by then, the technological singularity will have arrived. A marketer’s April Fools’ joke, perhaps, but if you’ve had a chance to attend any marketing conferences this year, there is no doubt a lot is happening out there.
In fact, many argue that we’ve entered a new age of digital transformation. The ways people consume, shop, share, interact, and experience our brands and worlds, have all undergone a large-scale disruption. This new post-digital landscape is becoming increasingly complex, and CMOs are struggling to deliver a connected experience across all communication channels.
Here are five emerging challenges facing CMOs—and all marketers—today.
1. Becoming an experience-led business: If there was one takeaway from this year’s Adobe Summit, it was that we have entered the “Experience Era.” For consumers, experiences are becoming more valuable—and more powerful—than products. For marketers, the challenge will be delivering on technological transparency, consistent voice and context, and “knowing” the customer. This comes with the reality that today’s five-star experiences will be tomorrow’s one-star expectations.
2. Channel ubiquity: The proliferation of devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) is creating a world where customers are device- and channel-agnostic. Marketers will need to figure out how to tackle delivering continuous, consistent, personal, and compelling experiences—from their mobile phones, to their cars to their smart TVs—without content or consumption being disrupted.
3. Convergence of content and context: As new technologies and channels emerge—from virtual and augmented reality to IoT and gaming—contextually relevant content is fast becoming an expectation among consumers. And as smart TVs and mobile devices continue to evolve and potentially converge, marketers will need to rethink this shift in engagement and consumption of content.
4. Disconnected devices: The average consumer owns 7.2 devices but only uses three of them on a daily basis, according to Adobe Digital Index. Marketers can see only 1.2 of these devices, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, or desktop. For example, 76% of visitors use only one of their devices when visiting a website, and only 24% use two or more devices for the same website. For marketers, this means being able to put together the device graft to execute truly personalized experiences.
5. Identity and trust: The battle for identity is everywhere, infiltrating virtually every aspect of the marketing ecosystem. The challenges for companies will be finding the balance between privacy and convenience with consumers as commerce, payments, and other forms of identification converge, and establishing trust with brands.
This much is clear: In this new era, old models and marketing silos will no longer be effective. Marketers will need to wrap themselves around the entire customer life cycle and blend the art of engagement, the science of data, and the power of technology to create digital ecosystems that connect at every touch point.