marketingWhen talking about technology, a lot has changed in the marketing industry in recent years, but structures and teams have largely remained the same. Hence, it is believed that 2018 is the year in which the internal organization gets adapted to external technologies, simply because a renewed disruption is necessary this year, so that the potential of new advertising technologies can be exploited.

Restructuring in Marketing: Creative Operations Management is on the rise, which means advertisers are breaking away from creative agencies in their day-to-day business to cope with dynamic communication processes. To do so, companies not only need specialized, external freelancers, but also well-established internal teams - not least because both B2C and B2B communication must be personal and entertaining. Against this background, many marketing departments have to realign themselves and unite different individual skills in a team. Digital know-how is as much in demand here as traditional marketing skills, for example in the areas of corporate communications and event management. The aim is to increase personal ties with customers and to be able to react quickly to events. This requires integrated IT systems that meet management requirements as well as the expectations of the creative community.

Digging deeper into the era of Attention Economy: We live in an age of information overload, which Thomas H. Davenport called the “Attention Economy”. For communication strategists, the central question is no longer just "How do I reach my target audience?", but also "How do I get the attention I want?", whereby the (digital) customer experience plays a decisive role. Fact is that our attention span has never been shorter, consequently, less is more in terms of content strategy. Content is no longer consumed just because it's there, but has to provide added value. Besides user-generated content, high-quality content created inhouse is becoming more important, too.

User-generated content is challenging: It sounds tempting to strengthen the very own product and corporate brand with free content, which authentic, user-generated content exactly promises. However, without proper management, it can become a threat to businesses that don’t take precautions to avoid the pitfalls of copyright infringement and lack of quality. Disregarded license terms (footage) mean huge financial risks for companies, which is why it is advisable to provide users with visual content - which has to be organized in a way that sources, license conditions and access rights can be traced and controlled at any time. To enforce the desired quality standards, previously defined community guidelines help, too.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) takes personalization to a new level: Currently, only very few companies manage to use internally and externally collected data efficiently for personalized communication. To eliminate this drawback, AI and automation will gain in importance, after Big Data, Semantic Data and Data Analysis had their chance. For example, consumer behavior and preferences can be anticipated by collecting data and behavior patterns. After that, it is not only important to provide the right content and to play it technologically smoothly, but to look less robot-like. To portray the content based on AI in a realistic way, semantic data and the classification of information in the respective context is quite important.

Number focus instead of gut feeling when making marketing decisions: New technologies are clearly changing the job profile of the marketer. Especially young marketing decision-makers act primarily based on data, instead of relying on their gut feeling. Without doubt, numbers promise objectivity and reliability, but that only applies if existing data is correctly classified. In view of the flood of data, this is no longer easily manageable, making visualization of data necessary, such as dashboards that allow real-time statements, unlike static Excel spreadsheets. Despite all appliances and distinctive focus on numbers, marketing departments can hardly handle the reporting anymore, bringing new, cross-departmental job profiles, such as e.g. business analyst, into being.

By Daniela La Marca