Will 2014 see a wide adoption of real-time marketing?

I have been observing, talking and writing about the incredible convergence & power of data, analytics and contextual marketing for marketers for sometime now. Will 2014 see the beginning of this trend & wider adoption?

I believe so and I am starting to see some green shoots around this marketing eco-system. With the convergence of emerging technologies with big data and analytics,I see an increasing trend in usage of intelligence-driven, embedded marketing applications, which will bring these capabilities together for marketers to engage with their customers. Clearly, some of these areas are breaking-out of the Gartner Hypecycle.

Also, with consumer's adoption digital mediums, availability of data in companies, wider usage & time spent with these mediums, increased access thro' devices like mobiles and tabs, some of these areas will need newer marketing design interventions and a complete rethink. The new age customers just do not have the patience to see marketing messages, when they open You Tube  or search on Google  while they watch or search for their favourite shows or content. They need to feel respected, surprised and treated differently. They will value content/information when presented with intelligence, relevance and in the right context. Hence, more returns on marketing investments for marketers.

This needs a transformation of how touchpoints are used & never-before use of data, interactions and intelligence in powering these conversations and relationships. Altimeter Group has come out with an excellent research report on how marketers could plan for real-time marketing. A great read and provides a lovely road map on how to get it going in organizations:



How marketing automation software need to tag the quality of leads better.

Sharon Drew Morgan makes very interesting points in her article where she draws attention on how marketing automation software needs to add decision facilitation technology to their offerings.

She writes, any such marketing software like Marketo, Eloqua,  just help capture some names - email addresses, telephone nos etc. which is great but there is no way to understand at what stage is the prospect in the buying process. This is the precisely where such software must add value to any company's lead management process.

I agree with her, as "stage of buying/decision process" decides in the lead's mind, the kind of information they need & plays a huge role in evaluation & purchase decision. According to me, each person, who is a lead, could be in different stages in the buying/decision process:

  1. Trigger stage - where the person is just evaluating the need
  2. Consider stage - where the person is considering to buy or not
  3. Search stage - where the person is actively looking at all choices before making the decision
  4. Choose stage - where the person is close to making the decision & is in a compare mind-set
  5. Buy Stage - Where the person looking at all offers/discounts and ready to pay the cheque

Marketing automation software need to "integrate" or "tag" this decision-based thinking that goes through a prospect's mind to ensure a precise method of tagging the lead. This will certainly have downstream effects on what information is shared at each stage with the prospect by both the sales  and the marketing team that can accelerate decision making or conversion.

Capturing the name alone is not good enough. Calling it Hot/Cold/Warm may be better but not good enough too. It is important for marketing automation softwares to "tag" the leads by the the stage in the decision cycle to truly value-add to the marketing automation process.


It's time for companies to think of a Chief Marketing Technology officer!

When I talk and work with people and clients on many assignments, the challenge I find for enterprises to be customer-centric is, how to bring marketing & technology together. Increasingly, technology is getting adopted in many customer-centric channels like never before and marketing is getting more & more real time & thefore technology is becoming a nerve-centre for marketing. The future , I have always thought is the changing( or can I call it merging) role of marketing & technology folks and the need for them to work together.

I read an interesting article today, if there is a need for a CMTO ( Chief Marketing Technology Officer)! I thought this was quite interesting. Who  is a CMTO and what does he or she do?

" A chief marketing technology officer (CTMO) — use whatever label you prefer — is simply the lead marketing technologist, organizing and managing that team. He or she reports to the CMO, not the CIO. Again, this is ultimately a marketing responsibility. There should be collaboration with IT, of course, assuring that marketing fully leverages its infrastructure and complies with technical governance standards. But collaborating is better than being solely dependent."

I find this very thought provoking and I do feel this is doable. The role of the CMTO is to ensure the right technology - either already invested is leveraged across the enterprise or if to be invested is partnered and led by this role - to collaboratively ensure this is adopted enterprise-wide.

Finally, customers must see the benefit of technology in their interaction experience with any company. The role of the CMTO is to make this happen.