Everything is in change. Everyone is shouting out buzzwords like Digital Transformation, User Experience, Customer Centric, IoT and many other.
We are talking about Performance Marketing, Data Driven Marketing and Social Media…. but do we really understand the big picture?
Sometimes I think I’m just a small gear who is doing what others expect from me. We think we do big things but in real that’s nothing compared with the big picture. But wo is designing this big picture? Who is really steering the direction? Is it Facebook, is it Google or are this companies like Salesforce, Adobe, SAP, Oracle and others wo offers the right software solutions?
Data Driven was one of the topics within every conference in 2016. I’m sure all the named companies have their own master plan how to lead the world. They all have one thing in common… they are data hungry. Innovative companies will be bought from big players because they can’t develop their solution by themself such quickly but mainly because of their (user) data. Best example is Facebook who bought Whatsapp. They now have all the real names and phone numbers as an unique identifier combined with their cookies.
It’s not content who is king, it’s communication who is king.
Communication is everything. Marketing is communication and not just advertising. Marketing means advertising, branding, PR, social, content, (e-)commerce. User profiles are a key element to do real 1:1 communication through all steps within each of this marketing points named.
I ‘m arriving at home and my refrigerator shows me on a display what is in. He knows what I normally place in, so he knows what I like. He can predict what I would like to eat the next two days and what ingredient are missing . He shows me my shopping list and sends it over to my smartphone.
Later on, back from the super market I’m sitting on my couch taking my tablet reading the latest news in a news magazine and switching on the TV. The refrigerator knows that I like asia food and my kitchen that I do not have a wok. I’m watching TV with a pretty old TV.
Based on all this information which are available from digital connected devices, my online activities and other offline data it’s possible to build a profile like never seen these days. These information are enriched with location based information from my smartphone, so Google for example knows when I’m @work, @gym, @travel, @pub, @…
For sure there are some legal points who will try to stop collecting and merging data…. but can we really stop this? I don’t think so.
Let’s take the example of the TV and assume that I’m Samsung and know, based on all this data and artificial intelligence / predictive modeling, that you will buy a new TV from a premium segment with 3D enabled within the next 4 weeks. I know that you are not ready to buy today. It needs the right content to enable you to do so as well as the right feedback from user groups, social media and friends. This customized content I will place only for you on the Samsung website or an external website for example. Just once the next time you are appearing somewhere. For me it doesn’t matter if it’s a website, an e-mail or a social media conversation, I just want to reach you the next time.. I don’t care about the channel and the customer journey (based on channels). I just care about the stage of the buying process you are. This is a different customer journey.
Samsung is a big company but are they able to have all this user data to predictive modeling? Maybe not. If not, they can go out and ask other players to place the message to all these people (based on cookies / fingerprints) who will buy a 3D premium TV within 4 weeks.
Who are this players? This can be big agency networks, affiliate networks, ad-exchanges or companies like Facebook, Google and others. Everyone who is able to place a cookie (or collect fingerprints) on all of your digital devices (also the refrigerator) and merge this with offline data.
In the past we did digital media buying (advertising) based on environment, then we did it based on personal interest. In future will do it based on predictive modeling and do it 1:1 in realtime. This we will do for advertising as well as for all communication aspects (branding, PR, social, content, (e-)commerce, etc.). Because you have just bought a new TV and you are an asia fan you will get different content on the start page of msn.com for example. Your refrigerator will give you a different shopping list because you have read the italian cooking recipe on msn.com.
Does this sounds crazy?
Sure this all sounds crazy, but can we really stop it? There is the new EU-GDPR (European Data Security Regulation) which will take place in 2018. Every company who is offering products, services and / or information within the EU needs to follow this regulation. This means at the end of the day 90% of all companies around the world… in theory. I’m not sure how this will look like in 2018 / 2019. I think we can’t stop the data hunger of companies like Facebook and Google and the combining of different data.
Content will be not just written because of the content. Content will be written with a direct commerce approach because commerce is always at the end of everything for a company, doesn’t matter if it’s a manufacturer or a shop, doesn’t matt if it’s B2B or B2C. We will see how this commerce driven content will be from a quality point of view. Let’s hope that it will be written by an editor and not a machine!
If we are talking about digital transformation and / or IoT, it’s always about:
- Customer Experiences
- Products & Services
Reflecting this article we see that the entire communication will change, so we have:
- Customer Experience
- Products & Services
…as the right definition for digital transformation / IoT. For me digital transformation is a communication transformation which is strong digital driven, but by far more then just digital.