This week, digital marketers from around the world convened in Salt Lake City, Utah for one of the biggest conferences of the year: Adobe Summit. The event offers an opportunity for Adobe to announce new updates to its products and showcase the Marketing Cloud suite, but it’s also an opportunity to think about the biggest trends and innovations in the industry.
The two keynote sessions—featuring author Michael Lewis and actor Michael Keaton—clearly outlined a new direction for marketing, driven by advances in data, analytics, and technology. These tools and information sources allow marketers to develop a new outlook on their businesses and customers.
“Create a focused mindset,” Michael Keaton said during his exuberant session “and you’re able to see opportunities more clearly, go after them more effectively.”
These opportunities—and the mindset required to recognize them—are looking less and less like traditional marketing. Instead of campaigns, we talk about relationships. Instead of recognition, we talk about trust. This shift in the fundamental definition of our industry forces the question: What is marketing?
“In an age of digital everywhere,” SVP of digital marketing at Adobe, Brad Rencher, said, “consumer behavior is becoming more complex and technology is changing marketing.” This reinvention, he explained, is a journey and increasingly businesses must expand marketing “beyond marketing.”
The key to this transition is developing a customer-centered mindset—focusing on the quality of the customer experience above all else. In an age in which mobile devices are ubiquitous, this means the velocity of engagement between consumers and brands is faster than ever—every second represents an opportunity to connect and delight, but each interaction also carries the risk of disappointment.
Through a series of technology demonstrations, Adobe showed how navigating this new marketing environment is not only possible but exciting. Really, though, a collection of new tools is just the beginning—the keys that can unlock the opportunity of a more interactive, engaged, and productive relationship with consumers. To seize this opportunity, marketers must break out of their departments, their established processes, and their traditionally-defined roles. They must shift their mentality to recognize the new opportunities available to them. Marketers must embrace data, technology, and the methods necessary to create value with these new tools. Only then will the transformation of marketing become more than a trend—it will become a personal journey shared by businesses and consumers alike.