Looking back on my 20 years in marketing, it’s almost impossible not to divide my career into two clear chunks: everything that happened before four years ago, and the time since.
Why? Whether I was working with large, global organisations like Smurfit Kappa or helping startups with Enterprise Ireland, it has always been vital to understand the customer. But the rise of marketing technology has shaken things up like nothing we’ve seen before.
The rapid change this has caused has reshaped marketing to the point it’s almost unrecognisable (think back to 2010, for example, and the drama over the ‘first social media World Cup’). The priorities marketers are expected to pursue have shifted beneath our feet. The skills we’re now expected to wield – dare I say to learn overnight – are entirely new.
The rise of marketing technology and ever-increasing customer expectations have led us to the verge of a fundamental shift. Come 2020, customer experience will overtake product and price as the most significant brand differentiator, and personalization will lead the charge.
Here at Boxever, we’re in the business of helping organizations unleash the power of their data to drive smarter, more efficient marketing. From our vantage point, the change is clear: our customers and contacts undoubtedly recognise the emerging battleground. They’re planning for it.
But something else is also true. Our experience suggests that, for all the pressure to deliver, many marketers are still struggling to realise the true value that personalization promises. A whole range of factors – technology, bureaucracy and skills, to name but a few – stand in the way.
On the one hand, this isn’t surprising. I’ve seen first-hand how difficult it can be to move to a customer-centric philosophy. But in this world of rapid, insatiable change, organizations that don’t deliver risk talking past their customers, and losing out.
With all that in mind, we’ve prepared a toolkit that looks at how marketers can unleash the opportunities presented by personalization. Based on what we’ve seen working with the world’s leading airlines, it offers concrete suggestions for how to kick-start a manageable personalization journey and overcome some of the barriers we know lie ahead.
You can download the toolkit for free here. I hope it’s useful.