3 Marketing Mandates for the Digital Revolution

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In our ultra-connected world, in which your 3-year-old is adept at using an iPad and your mother is now texting photos of her cats, marketers are in constant pursuit of the Holy Grail on how to leverage this digital explosion. With more devices and more audiences comes added pressure.

In our ultra-connected world, in which your 3-year-old is adept at using an iPad and your mother now texts you photos of her cats, marketers are in constant pursuit of the Holy Grail that will help to leverage this digital explosion. With more devices and more audiences comes added pressure.

At last week's Adobe Summit in Salt Lake City, President and CEO Shantanu Narayen, spoke about these challenges. He said that having a direct relationship with all of our customers is becoming an important necessity, however, customers are flocking to digital channels at an increasing rate, but only 25 percent of marketers' budgets are spent on digital strategies to meet this shift.

Narayen gave three marketing mandates to help right this imbalance: Engage everywhere, embrace rocket science, and connect the dots.

1. Engage everywhere: Narayen said the days when digital strategy was only about your website are over. Now marketers must think about every digital use case. "You need to think about where your customers are spending time, and retailers need to think about every touchpoint with their customers," he said. For example, Delta Airlines, he said, provides a single interface between its website, airport check-in, and seat-back entertainment. "You have to go to your customers or they won't come to you."

2. Embrace rocket science: Narayen said marketers must harness math and machine learning to bring marketing and Big Data to a whole new level. Think about the possibilities of having the capabilities to conduct predictive analysis on market and business performance would create for your business, social platforms, and mobile strategy.

3. Connect the dots: This is not only about integrating the digital channels, but also refers to the organizational change that needs to happen in every company. "Its' about breaking down silos of people, information, and processes to get a true picture off the health of the business," Narayen said.

He referenced his weekly Monday morning meeting at Adobe as a way to achieve organizational integration and provide a means to understand customer sentiment and the sales funnel. "As marketers...I think CMOs are in a better position than folks in finance to predict the business," he added.

That last statement met with an eruption of applause from the audience. Narayen went on to say that marketers understand the experiences they want to deliver but have to deliver it in a context that makes sense and that's engaging to all devices. "We're not done there," he said.

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