How has Marketing been disrupted technologically?
Let’s start by understanding what’s meant by the term disruptive technology. A disruptive technology is basically one which displaces an established one, thereby shaking up an entire industry. It could even be a groundbreaking technological product that leads to creation of an entirely new industry! To give you a few examples: personal computers displaced the typewriters, emails replaced the conventional postal system, cell phones disrupted the telecommunications industry, thereafter smart phones replaced the regular cell phones and so on.
The technologies that are evolving these days are disrupting almost everything we’re aware of and believe in. The consumers of today are more distracted and well-connected than they ever were; and the marketing industry is largely underprepared for the speed at which these changes are driving this industry forward.
While a good number of marketing professionals struggle to keep up with the tech advancements, others reinvent and reimagine new possibilities for their companies and careers.
Let’s take you through few examples and help you understand how the field of marketing has been aggressively disrupted by technology.
AI (Artificial Intelligence)
Moore’s Law proved that the processing power of modern-day computers doubles up in every two years. Keeping that in mind, the advancements in the field of artificial intelligence may have major consequences for a large number of technology as well as marketing companies. Leaving the technology companies aside, let’s take a look how machine learning and artificial intelligence is transforming the field of marketing, and may do that all the more in the years ahead.
Using AI, a brand like Tesco can effectively interact with millions of potential and current customers each day, thereby serving its products to a large consumer base. So, if the population of UK is 60 million, and Tesco gains 20 potential opportunities of interacting with each one of those people per week, it’d mean 1.2 billion interactions per week!
These many interactions are unfathomable for even large marketing teams. No human can precisely calculate and place targeted ads which appeal to each one of those individuals’ specific needs, based on their browsing and/or purchasing history. However, it’s possible to do that with machine learning and AI. And it is already happening!
IoT (Internet of things)
IoT has opened up a whole new realm of possibilities around the connected devices. While companies like Google and Amazon are already using Internet of things in home automation and cloud computing respectively, for the marketing professionals, IoT means a better integration of the digital world with the off-line experiences.
Using Big Data, marketers are already building highly-detailed personas of consumers’ behavior patterns on the Internet. The advent of IoT means that the so far ‘unconnected’ areas of our lives, for instance, going to the park, buying groceries, filling up the refrigerator etc., will inevitably get integrated with our online lives. The marketers can then actively tell us what we need to buy and when.
There has been an ever-growing buzz around the VR technology at all the major technology conventions of the recent years. The augmented or virtual reality products are rapidly becoming a day-to-day reality these days.
This technology is bound to have a major impact on the next-generation experiential marketing. For instance, if we talk about the travel sector, the companies can easily create immersive VR experiences for potential clients, giving them an actual feel of the places they want to holiday at, thereby selling their packages more effectively, and even up-selling many other products/services. It may not be very long that we’ll actively see the brands using such immersive experiences as an integral part of their marketing strategy.
Apart from the above three, many other disruptive technologies such as advanced robotics, 3d printing, content marketing etc. are providing new opportunities to the marketers. With more and more platforms placing restrictions on ads, it has become imperative for marketing professionals to diversify the technologies, platforms and channels they use to reach out to their target markets.
As a final word, technological disruption isn’t something that marketers should be afraid of; rather they must lap up and bank on any marketing opportunity that comes their way.
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