The future belongs to the fast. You would have heard this catchphrase brandied about and of increasing frequency in recent times.
Attributed to Jim Carroll, author and futurist, this phrase has been aptly applied to the digital economy, the very element that is a key component of what is known today as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Indeed, speed is a relevant sentiment as the unprecedented rate of data flow is a critical and defining aspect of what underpins the digital economy.
And nowhere is this unprecedented speed of data felt more keenly than in the marketing and advertising industry.
As per an eMarketer roundup report on real-time marketing (RTM) released in February 2016, the importance of RTM to deliver business goals has grown. This was reflected in both increased investments put behind RTM infrastructure and initiatives (nearly 60% of marketers interviewed intended to increase spending) and how it is implemented. Once tied largely to social media channels, the current practice of RTM affects most digital touchpoints such as triggered emails and website personalisation based on various customer interactions.
Now consider the 3Cs — context, conviction and courage. This can be applied to any data analytics application framework. Let me illustrate the 3Cs with examples.
For the launch of a shampoo brand, careful and thorough analytics paved the way for a robust marketing and advertising plan that had a neat convergence of communications, distribution and investment. The chief marketing officer nodded his head, thanked the team and shared two critical contextual data points that went through his mind as the presentation progressed.
Here the 3Cs worked in tandem to deliver a business result and global case study that remained a gold standard practice in the client’s organisation for almost a decade after its implementation.
The client had sent a brief with the objective to increase the market share of a low-fat variant of a popular dairy brand. The statistics maestro in the team had enthusiastically attacked the data sets sent by the client. By the third or fourth iteration, it became increasingly obvious that the low-fat variant would not be able to grow by marketing it alone.
It needed to be marketed with the established mother brand, a full-cream product, as sales of the low-fat variant increased when there was communication about the full-cream product.
The result was an unusual turn of events, where the media agency was appointed as the brand planning agency in addition to its media duties, and the mother brand strategy stayed in force for more than 10 years.
I started the article with the line, “The future belongs to the fast.” This is true. The 3Cs simply add discipline and backbone to marketing and advertising in a dynamic, fast-changing digital economy world that is agnostic to the size of the data flow.
The author is MD, global data innovation centre, Dentsu Aegis Network