We often think that the future is just over the next hill, but when we asked global marketing experts to predict 2017, it seems like the future is already here.
We all know how important it is to collect and analyze the data—now being generated at a rate of 2.5 quintillion bytes daily—to improve the customer experience. Some of us are doing this now, and we expect to do it better in the future.
There are many marketers who have heard this advice before, and for whatever reason, they still have not implemented it. Lack of budget, lack of organizational alignment, or just a lack of a clear strategy to get there are some of the reasons it has not happened. But the time to act is now or you may be looking at a future that is not so bright for your brand.
Technology—including our understanding of it, our education of how to use it, and how it integrates into all of our marketing campaigns and activities—is what the future looks like. You know those doors that silently slide open in space movies as you approach them—well, ok, I guess that happens at the grocery store too—that is what much of marketing technology feels like when implemented correctly. It helps you know what to do and when to do it. And sometimes it can even do it by itself. This is what automation and programmatic done right bring to the marketing stack.
But with all this technology comes great responsibility. Responsibility to the customer experience. Our experts remind us that customer obsession is more important than implementing the latest and greatest. We will ultimately beat our competition with a better customer experience, not just better technology.
We will achieve marketing utopia by focusing on our customers and prospects as more than names in a database, but as individuals with preferences, opinions, and desires. Technology-focused marketing without the customer experience will lead to a dystopian future where The Terminator’s Skynet really has taken over.
Artificial intelligence and chatbots are more pieces of the future of Modern Marketing puzzle, even though this was written without the help of either one. Well, except where I had to look something up with a search engine. That’s a perfect example of how we have been living in the future for years.
We should not fear the future. We should embrace it. Customer experience first, supported by the right technology and data. Download the Future of Modern Marketing: 2017 to read more details about what the experts think is on the road ahead. Buckle up, because it could be a bumpy ride.
This post originally appeared on the Modern Marketing blog.