“Connected Marketing” can have so many different meanings depending on who is making the statement. In the context of digital, both of these words on their own are experiencing a pretty heavy evolution with a ton of fluidity around each of them. Together these two words, connected marketing, seem to represent what I might argue is the bleeding edge of what digital marketing has to offer both for the end user and for the business unit.
What I really like about connected marketing is that this is both an early space (yes I know there are plenty of great marketing companies currently in marketing with very compelling solutions) and also a highly fluid space.
Connected Marketing Technology
Some of the fluidity has to do with the marketing technology space.
While the above chart makes a case that we are near “peak” in terms of marketing technology vendors (time will tell but this chart provides a very interesting view), perhaps more importantly, the market is heating up around this concept (the adoption curve). So what does that mean? From my perspective it means the “market” for marketing tech is growing in large part as a result of broader marketing functions all taking on an increased digital posture.
And with an increasing market for “marketing technology” both as a software and a platform, we see an increasing number of data points that in turn provide a great opportunity for a connected marketing experience.
Market for Connected Marketing
In addition to the marketing data revolution that still seems early stage, I also suspect that the very definition of marketing itself is poised for a very dramatic evolution. Again this comes back to the word connected. In this case rather than connected focused on data across a variety of touch points I suggest looking at connected with of a different lens focused on potential volume. In particular the coming wave of new devices expected to be introduced by IoT (Internet of Things). With all these connected devices, digital marketing will once again get transformed.
If we review the platform journey, we started with text, went to display, then video (still early days), and now we are in a multi-device world (this would include mobile, apps and tablets). If we then take a view on delivery opportunities things start to get very interesting. Especially with Internet of Things still very much in its infancy.
As I’ve tried to show with the above chart, with the introduction of each new category of device, not only has the total available amount of inventory grown, but it has actually increased at a higher rate than the growth of the number of available devices . With the introduction of each new category, implicit within each category was a higher frequency of cross device communication, said differently increased connectivity. This level of inter-connectivity was the key driver spurring growth at each leg in the journey (and this will hold true for IoT as well). As an offshoot to total volume related to devices, the total amount of inventory has experienced an increase as well. Not only an increase in volume, but also an evolution around this inventory in what can perhaps be termed “connected inventory.” Marketing/data opportunities can be expected to rapidly increase as well.
Next Steps for Connected Marketing
So when taken in its totality, if we assume the emerging marketing technology curve from above, and combine it with what is likely to be an ever increasing universe for marketing opportunities (50 billion connected devices by 2020), it appears that we are really just at the beginning in terms of connected marketing.
As the world of connected marketing continues to develop it will be important for marketers to be vigilant and to ensure that the voice of the customer is maintained, and yes also protected. In addition as organizations become increasingly comfortable with data, it will be important for marketers to take a more forward role in wider business decision making cycles.
In terms of a broader orientation, marketers of all shapes and stripes must continue to rapidly evolve their own skills. Organizations must also evolve, adapt and assume new marketing postures in order to maintain relevancy, and further to truly gain a marketing advantage over their peers.