Many of us have spent years, nearing decades, understanding the digital customer journey and motivations. We’ve done it well. Take a bow.
Then the world was upended. We now know that there are funny-looking objects on people’s nightstands and even on their heads.
Voice. Virtual reality. Artificial intelligence. Machine learning. Wearables.
Who asked for all of that?
If you believe that everything has changed for marketers, think again.
During interviews for my The Art of Digital Persuasion book, I learned that in many ways it is imperative to continue doing what you were doing despite the adoption of new technology.
Machines are propelling us to up our marketing games. But they aren’t replacing us. And they never well.
Consider this. In 2017, Nike created “Breaking2”, an attempt for elite athletes to break the two-hour barrier for running a marathon. The number of people tuning in to the live stream on Twitter was nearly eight times higher than the broadcast audience of the New York, Boston and Chicago marathons. In total, 13.1 million watched the attempt live via Twitter, making it the company’s largest brand-powered, live-streaming event.
Of course, most of us won’t attempt to run a two-hour marathon - or any marathon at all. But we can all relate to the effort to maximize human achievement. That’s what Nike bet on and won.
Understand that you can’t run a marathon, even in four hours, in flipflops.
“Everyone has to be relatively sober-minded when evaluating the possibility of a what might come in the future and realize that for all of us who are trying to predict what can happen in the future, we're all partially right and partially wrong,” Aaron Price, SVP of Global Marketing, Expedia told me.
In other words, give yourself a chance to succeed. But know that you will never be perfect. No one can be.
Involvement is everything. Regardless of the technology, seek to turn what might be a passive activity into one that your customers and prospects will see is interactive.
How? Interestingly, some brands have built upon the concept of user-generated content to entice customers to take part in user-generated product.
“If you think about Mayochup, which is a combination of mayonnaise and ketchup, Heinz put a Twitter poll out there and said if you get to 500,000 (participants), we're going to put these products on shelves in your local stores,” Stacy Minero, Head of Content Creation for Twitter, told me. “And that created a whole gamification of that campaign. And they got a billion (media) impressions within 48 hours.”
The lesson in all of this? Of course, see emerging technology for what it is – more screens, more interfaces, more complexity for marketers following or leading customers. But don’t think for a second that you should abandon what you know works.