​Relevance and substance are the keys to marketing’s future

Jean-Luc Ambrosi

  • Author, marketer
Jean-Luc Ambrosi is an award winning marketer and recognised expert in branding and customer relationship management. He is the author of the new book, Branding to Differ, a strategic and practical guide on how to build and manage a successful brand.

Marketing’s evolution and increased value-add to organisations is making headway in one essential direction: Driving brands to achieve maximum relevance in the heart and minds of customers.

Relevant messages, relevant products and relevant interactions foster emotions that touch the psyche of customers in more ways than one. Managing the customer experience by enhancing emotional bonds, not simply meeting functionality, will bring customers closer to your brand and your offerings.

To get there, insights generation toolkits and targeting capabilities have certainly become essential components of the marketer’s arsenal. But it’s not the apparatus or technology a marketer uses that is important, it’s the ability to leverage these to approach customers where and how it matters.

I need to stress this point as too much emphasis is being generated today about tools and technology rather than the quality of interaction and communication generated. As such, many marketing functions are focusing on, or are pressured to focus on, the instruments they use rather than the substance they bring to the customer relationship.

‘When are you launching a chatbot?’, or ‘what are you doing about artificial intelligence’ are common questions thrown about on a regular basis today. These are leading to a real danger that marketers become ‘technology tragics’ and forget what they’re actually using the technologies for in the first place.  

Clearly this has been exacerbated by the rise of digital as a core element of the communication ecosystem. But if your communication is lacking, launching a new app or a chatbot will not solve your communication issues. Rather, they’re channels to leverage once your messaging content has regained its strength.

What is of absolute necessity is marketers acquiring the ability to identify, select and implement new technologies to support their strategies. But always bear in mind these are instruments, not strategies. The tools, channels and technology marketers use are only meaningful if they can add value in fulfilling a higher purpose, and the higher purpose is relevance.

Marketers therefore need to cultivate an unwaveringly focus on what will make their brands meaningful, communicating with substance how and when it really matters, and not be distracted by the noise.

Holding the keys to building rapport and relationships with customers is what marketers should be all about. By doing so, they will help organisations evolve and transform themselves to better match their customer needs and aspirations. This places marketing in an opportune leadership position to steer organisations, and why research firms like Gartner believe that more CMOs will move to CEO roles in the near future to make their organisations more relevant today and tomorrow.

 

Tags: digital marketing, brand strategy, marketing technology

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