This post is a marker. It is post-it note that says “remember to watch this space and try and get your head around it because this is going to be big”. It also is an excuse to log what I think is a very useful, if slightly mind-bending post by Scott Brinker.
My current mantra for marketing folk is that the future of brands involves getting your head around three things: the shift from the audience to the individual, the fact that community is becoming the new media, and the emergence of the world of the algorithm (i.e. Big Data). I also continually bang-on about social media being a process, and of course, one of the things we use technology to do is management of process.
To a large extent, eveything that Scott is talking about in his post plays against these issues. To manage relationships with individuals at any sort of scale will require a process supported by technology. Scott also talks about tag management – which (as I have already written about) will become the foundational process for the operation of communities. Likewise, it is clear that the algorithm will become the tool that makes sense of the data that could be seen to live within the marketing cloud. And, as Scott points out, Amazon is already starting to offer algorithmic products to do just that.
Scott also observes that things are currently very complicated and confused. Or, as I flagged in my previous post, this stuff is ‘legitimately difficult’. I definitely do no know enough about it – but from what I can see, I think I know enough to say that this is the future. Technology is going to play a huge role in the management of the relationship between brands and consumers – because technology facilitates process, and this future relationship is going to be defined by process (behaviour identification and response) not by channel and message.
I think I can also predict that the key to really embracing this future is to shed yourself of the snakeskin of the past. Big data is totally different to small data, to the extent that you can’t build your way to a big data future from a small data starting point or mindset. Likewise, current marketing technology deals with stuff like CRM but the only way you will be able to deal with the new marketing technology is to free yourself from a CRM mindset (and possibly your CRM people). If you look at this new stuff through the lens of the old stuff, you will probably fail to see or understand its potential.