Marrying wisdom and innovation

It was evident everywhere at FutureM — an unsuspecting bent towards thoughtfulness that balanced the usual, unbridled enthusiasm for the forward trajectory in marketing. You could almost describe it as the pace of innovation hitting a graceful, confident stride. The beginnings were evident last year, as Shiv Singh (then of PepsiCo) talked about “digital fundamentally being about bringing us closer together” while Joe Chernov of Kinvey encouraged “marketing content that is beautiful so people will want to share it.” This year that momentum took even more shape.

Translating my observations into practical considerations, signals were clear to be authentic and interesting about who you are as a brand; to relate to the human condition, and specifically how people are engaging with technology and each other; and, to tap your brand’s DNA for differentiating the design and delivery of the customer experience.

The call to become unafraid of big data and get some real work done was very evident, including filtering out marketplace complexity and getting focused; using discovery to inform and not rationalize outcomes; getting a more complete understanding of customers; enabling more rapid R&D and marketing prototyping; and, maximizing the user experience for employees and customers.

There is also a growing need to prepare marketing teams for broader organizational leadership, recognizing and enabling the marketing work that is done throughout an organization; understanding, supporting and leveraging sub-cultures of internal groups that participate in marketing; and, refreshing roles and processes, with internal teams and external vendors, to maximize continual collaboration.

Larry Weber framed the future of marketing well when he reminded us that “technology is slave and people are in charge.” And then there was this question asked of the Hive 25 Under 25 young entrepreneur panel: “There is so much innovation of the earth, where is the innovation of the heart?”

We are indeed on a forward trajectory.

© 2013 Development Practice 360, LLC

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