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Digital disruption and the future of marketing and communication has been a trending topic in recent years.
Technology has imposed evolution and in some instances, revolution in marketing practice.
‘Digital’ is the interface of humanity and technology. It’s an ever-connecting world,and ‘Digital’ has bridged the gap between billions of people by connecting them at finger touch through various e-devices.
I think it’s important to clarify from the onset that ‘digital’ is not a channel; it is not just a collection of platforms driven by data and devices; it’s a global community powered by people and content. Let me repeat that: people and content. Technology is just an enabler; a means to an end, and not the end itself.
Mobile device will be more potent than ever. Internet penetration in Nigeria is forecasted to become 85% by 2023 from current 47%.
Mobile video content will be dominant, with increasing relevance of live online video.
Social media impact will grow.
Influencer marketing will rise and not necessarily with ‘celebrities’ alone.
Big data and use of Algorithms are on the rise, driving personalized marketing and communication. As is the use of Artificial Intelligence(AI) and Digital assistants. Virtual reality is a reality.
Ultimately, the drivers of these changes are humans. Digital disruption is an ongoing integration of technology into every day living.
So what for marketers?
I would like to call out a few points:
- More than ever before, seek to understand and anticipate people; their needs, aspirations etc. Remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. People don’t just buy products anymore; they buy benefits and experiences. Think GTB for example. Consumer-speak: ‘Brands need to be relevant or stay out of my timeline’; and ‘timeline’ isn’t just about online. Brands need to connect emotionally to the people. Think Nike. Phil Knight’s Nike, that is, not Adenike or Olanike().
- Build communities not platform-specific audiences.
- Consumer expectations for Personalization will grow. Think Share a Coke campaign.
- Localization will become increasingly relevant, with a global mindset.
- Content and co-creation would needto be more organic and less in your face.
- Think trends and culture codes.
In conclusion, think 4Es: Empathy. Exclusivity. Engagement. Experience.
Because, despite technological advancements, the future is actually human.
Author – Lampe Omoyele