Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Over the next several weeks, we will be sharing predictions on the future of marketing from 25 industry thought leaders. These predictions have been compiled in our new whitepaper, Inspired Marketing Predictions for 2013. Today, Ashraf Montaser of AdInfinity shares his thoughts.
True Cross-Channel Marketing Arrives
How many times have you heard the term “cross-channel” bandied about? As a marketer, the answer is probably more times than your average political candidate has been pictured kissing babies—constantly.
What is usually meant is that you can do web and social and email and offline and mobile separately. Or, you can do it just as ineffectually as you aggregate these bits of data and try to reach them through a single channel. Either way, it’s not great.
No more. The user will be a single user and each channel will have context of the user’s state at that moment in time. The technology has been around for awhile and now “big data” has moved from a buzzword to business-as-usual. We can start doing what marketers everywhere (no matter the channel) are trying to do—send each user a tailored message in the right environment at the right time, otherwise known as one-to-one marketing in many channels.
Real-time recommendation engines are a simple example of this. Used in a checkout lane and integrated into email receipts, they’ve been around for some time. Display ads use behavioral targeting in the same way to target messages. The proliferation of offline and online profiling through social media sites and loyalty schemes, cheap computing power, and company acquisition/consolidation is all happening. The only thing missing is the elastic bands to tie them together and a multi-disciplined approach by marketers. Target was a case study in profiling and targeting (forgive the pun) a few years ago, and now these tools are cheaply available to all.
The final technology piece is real acquisition modeling, which can account for the myriad of data noise in all channels. Marketers can move to building campaigns and messages around context and real time profiling and data enrichment rather than medium.
So the best advice is to go back to Marketing 101:
- Keep it simple.
- Focus on target and message, not medium.
- Make the experience spookily personal—not creepy.
Co-Founder & Director
Ashraf is an evangelist for innovation in ad technologies and is passionate about commercial and operational excellence in digital advertizing. Ashraf has worked for some of Australia’s largest and most complex online publishers including News Digital Media and Ninemsn. Since 2004, he has planned and executed dozens of enterprise migrations, implementations, and strategic change management projects. Managing large mission critical teams, he specialized in ad technologies, operations, and software development. Prior to this he co-founded and ran an internet and business software company and worked for one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies developing sales, CRM, and business systems.