The future of media will shadow the future of digital. Where digital marketing goes consumers and marketers will surely follow. It will be those businesses that keep one step ahead of changes in consumer media consumption, not one step behind, that will stay relevant and thrive. There are tablets, smartphones, addressable TV, and will be tons of stuff we don’t even know about yet. What’s your marketing strategy for Project Glass? If you’re in the education space, should you be worried about Kahn Academy? It might take you years to catch up and by that time, some even newer innovation will come along.
Digital has proven time and time again that it will game-change industries — even obliterate them. Digital’s rapid innovation curve is both a blessing for new opportunities and a curse if you’re unprepared to respond. For example, when was the last time you called a travel agent? How about walked into Blockbuster? Advertisers can no longer sit back and strategize multi-year marketing programs without taking into account the fact that change is inevitable.
So how do marketers plan for changes that they may not see coming? The first step is to migrate your current marketing infrastructure into as nimble an organization as possible. Anywhere that automation can shave even minutes off an existing process, it must be adopted. Find things that don’t make sense and that you’re simply doing “because we’ve always done them that way.” If you can build an agile marketing organization, then you won’t be weighed down by the stuff you can control when the things you can’t control begin to impact your business. Not only do you need logistical agility, but you should assess potential employees based on whether they prefer dynamic workplace environments rather than those that maintain clockwork consistency.
Finally, find partners and technologies that don’t just meet today’s needs, but are proving themselves to be future-proof for tomorrow’s challenges. Adopt marketing attribution so that regardless of the mix of channels or tactics you utilize in the future you’ll be able to accurately measure the contribution of each to your overall success. Find vendors with proven track records of demonstrating that they’re watching their individual marketplace to ensure they’re ready to handle whatever comes next. There’s just too much fragmentation for you to be an expert at everything. You need your partners and their technologies to adapt so you don’t have to change your toolset every time with winds of change blow.
Josh Dreller, Sr. Director of Client & Industry Solutions, Visual IQ