The Evolution of Marketing in Times of #CX & Digital Transformation

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Marketing is much more than just advertising, tapping on the own shoulder (as a brand) and saying “we are the best”. Marketing is the entire communication and also the entire interaction through other channels like product, services and much more.

Within communication we have seen an evolution in the approach of a consumer / user:


This is nothing new. 1:1 marketing is pretty old. But what’s next? What is new within the area of #CX (Customer Experience) and Digital Transformation?

What dos Customer Experience means?

Customer Experience = Value + Emotion + Adventure

Compared with traditional 1:1 marketing we have a much better insight into the customer through digital data and much more possibilities to communicate in real- or near-time. There is much more speed in it and we can predict what is his next step, his next need.

Let’s take the example of person a and person b who are interested in a new TV.

Person A
Needs a TV from the mid-segment with HDR technology and will buy within 2-3 month

Person B
Needs a premium TV with HDR technology and will buy within 6-8 month

Both persons have the same base interest (buying a TV) but have a different focus and are in  a different stage of buying. To know this enables us to do a different 1:1 communication. We can start creating an experience. Content Marketing is on of the key elements here. We can deliver the right information for each on. Maybe person a and b are getting the same article, but person a receives block 1, 3 and 4 while person b receives block 1, 2 and 4 and this in a different order than person a.

Through all data we have from both through all online and offline channels we know that person b is a sport fan and he would love to have an offer for pay TV. This is an upsell possibility later on in different directions but also important to find the right TV. Sport is very often fast and the TV should have a very quick screen. This we should bring to his attention before his decision.

If we work like this both person will have a great experience and start getting trust in us because we understand them. To do so we have to bring as much data sources as possible together and have a very intelligent system in place.

Some brands are still working in this direction. But they do not have an 100% view on everything everyone is doing. They may have a good more or less knowledge, but not an 100% knowledge and they are weak in predictive / BI and in delivering the right granular content at the right time and the right place (channel).

So this is just one side of the coin.

There are many discussions about this and I have also written much about it. There is a lot of work to do to this perfect. My take is, that there is nobody who is doing this really perfect and it will take some more years to reach this high level.

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This was the focus on what a person is interested, what is his pain and his need. Beside this we have the personality. People act because of their personality, their thinking and their attitude. Maybe you have heard about personas or buyer personas. This is going into the direction, but what I would like to talk is about the limbic ® types. Emotional we are driven by the following three directions:

  • Stimulation
  • Dominance
  • Balance

This are the main directions of our motives, values and wishes which are shown in the limbic ® map. Based on them the following types or personas exists:

  • Adventurer
  • Performer
  • Disciplinarian
  • Traditionalist
  • Harmonizer
  • Open-minded
  • Hedonist

The limbic ® system is developed by Hans-Georg Häusel.1) Based on your target group (age, gender, etc) you have a different weight of this seven types. A person which belongs to one type has different attitudes and different behaviors than one who belongs to another type. They are different in consumption, their living style or their interest in tv-genres and many other things.

Let’s have a look at the Myers-Brigges Type Indicator.2) He is based on four areas with two characteristics. One direction of each of the four areas describes every person:

  • Extraversion vs. Introversion
  • Sensing vs. Intuition
  • Thinking vs. Feeling
  • Judgment vs. Perception

This results in 16 types of persons: ESTJ, EIFJ, IITP, etc.

Personally I think for our purpose the limbic ® types are much better to use. They are also much more used by companies which provides market research & insights like Nielsen3)Nielsen, a leading global information & measurement company, provides market research, insights & data about what people watch, listen to & buy.

Every person has a different attitude and different values which drives his thinking, his acting and his decision finding. This we need to understand and bring into our marketing in direction of addressing someone, our speech or how we build our personas.

Think this is enough for the moment and the direction of this article. There are hundreds of websites which describes the limbic ® system / types in detail.

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Let’s combine this both sides of the coin!

Let’s combine it to act on a 1:1 base with both directions, the superficial direction (actual interests, pains and needs) and the cryptically direction (thinking, attitude)

We are talking about 1:1 marketing, but if we think in personas or types this is more a 1:many or 1:some approach. For sure we personalize our advertising (like the salutation in e-mail marketing or behavior driven content / offers), but this is not the kind of 1:1 communication we should develop. How should the communication look like in future?

This is not just acting on past behavior, this is action on understanding the superficial direction. The combination of this approach with the limbic ® types will boost the customer experience and finally (in the second view) our results within marketing.

Are this both side of the coin now parts of the digital transformation or the transformation of communication which is digital driven?

I think yes, but it doesn’t matter how we call it, we need to break down both sides of the coin down in smaller parts and develop one by one to break down the complexity. This will take not weeks or month, it will for sure takes years to do so. It’s a great journey together with the customer. Let’s go this way before our competitors will do so first and we are always running behind.

Having the right vision, build the strategy, the roadmap and the OKRs (objectives and key results) is essential for this. What this means you can read in my blog post “Digital Transformation: Road Work Next 5 Miles”


3 Nielsen, a leading global information & measurement company, provides market research, insights & data about what people watch, listen to & buy.

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