Marketing’s 3 Biggest Paradigm Shifts: A Deep Dive

By Katie Sweet

The world of marketing is always changing. It has to. As buyer expectations shift while technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, marketing cannot stand still.

If you’re in marketing, think about your career for a minute. Could you have predicted you would be doing what you’re doing now at the start of your career? Did your job even exist several years ago?

There are many ways that marketing has evolved over the years, but I think there are three key paradigm shifts that have driven that change. I’ll explore them in this blog post.

Paradigm Shift #1: From One-Size-Fits-All to Individualized Customer Connections

Historically, marketing was all about reaching the largest audience possible with the same experience. TV ads, print ads, billboards, etc. were the tactics employed by mass marketers of the past.

But the dream of individualized communication was there from the early days of internet marketing. In their seminal book, The One to One Future, published in the early 1990’s, Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D. predicted that “using new media of the one-to-one future, you will be able to communicate directly with consumers, individually, rather than shouting at them, in groups.” Unfortunately, early technology didn’t allow for this yet. Each online experience was the same, just as it was for a TV or print ad.

Now, over two decades later, the technology finally exists to deliver individualized experiences. Personally, I can’t go a week without relying on Netflix or Spotify recommendations to help me pick what I should watch or listen to. I couldn’t navigate most e-commerce sites effectively without clicking on the products they recommend for me. These are examples of businesses learning about me and delivering experiences that are relevant to me.

But those are just the most noticeable instances of personalization. There are many subtle ways that marketers are leveraging technology to deliver more relevant experiences today across websites, mobile apps, email campaigns, digital ads, and in-person channels like stores or branch locations, call centers, or online chat. Check out this blog post on the definition of personalization for more details and examples.

Marketers are finally able to speak to their customers and prospects as the unique individuals they are — they no longer need to “shout at them in groups.” As both a marketer and a consumer myself, that’s one of the most exciting paradigm shifts I’ve seen.

Paradigm Shift #2: From Delayed Decision Making to Real-Time Action

In a follow-up white paper to Peppers and Rogers’ book in 2008, Infor director of CRM Patric Timmermans made a point about the status of real-time analytics:

Companies used to cheer about having updated data every six weeks. Then they felt great about updating customer data every week. Now we’ve progressed to the point where companies can have constantly updated customer information, but I don’t think enough companies understand exactly how important real-time customer information can be.

We’ve made huge advances in big data processing since the early days of the internet. These …read more

Read more here:: B2CMarketingInsider

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