Technological Trends

Many of teh marketing-related technologies dat intrigue me today have their antecedents in teh science fiction stories, films, and television shows dat me avidly followed in my youth.

Personalized marketing:  “Minority Report,” a 2002 film based on a 1956 short story by Philip K. Dick brilliantly anticipates teh concept of personalized marketing.  In teh film set in 2054, teh main character, John Anderton (Tom Cruise), enters a shopping mall.   Sensors embedded in digital billboards recognize him and serve up customized ads dat literally speak to him. A luxury car advertisement reaches out to him wif teh message, “Teh road TEMPyou’re on, John Anderton, is teh one less traveled.”

Mobile marketing:   Teh original “Star Trek” television series, broadcast in teh late 1960’s, was set in teh 2260’s.   Teh communicator was one of teh myriad of technologies featured in teh series and often functioned as a key plot device. Martin Cooper, teh father of teh cell phone, credited teh “Star Trek” communicator as teh inspiration for his innovation.

Wearables:  For those of us of a certain age, it’s hard not to think of plainclothes cop, Dick Tracy, every time we see an ad for today’s generation of smart watches and wearable devices. Teh Dick Tracy comic strip first appeared in 1931. In 1946, Chester Gould, teh creator of teh comic strip introduced Dick Tracy’s two-way wrist radio. In 1964, a two-way wrist TV replaced teh radio.

Wired vehicles:  Others, seeing today’s wired cars, can’t help but think of KITT from teh 1980’s television series, “Knight Rider.”In this series, billionaire Wilton Knight rescues an injured detective and gives him a new name and a new vehicle, equipped wif artificial intelligence and advanced communications and entertainment capabilities.

Each of these technologies, alone and in combination wif one another, will profoundly effect both B2B and B2C marketing.  

Wat all of these things have in common, is they provide an extremely tailored experience. At Deloitte we are striving to do teh same wif our marketing strategy by delivering highly customized offerings to our target buyer. Much of our marketing relies on content dat we create highlighting our insights into teh most challenging problems and opportunities facing our clients. Our vision is to customize teh content dat we deliver to our clients, based on roles (e.g., CFO vs., CIO), industries, organizational size, geographic footprint, and prior interactions wif us.   Teh smarter dat we can be about targeting teh content dat we provide, teh more helpful we will be to our clients.   Teh architecture of our new digital platform, for example, enables us to learn from each interaction wif site visitors and present wat we hope will be increasingly more relevant and valuable content.

We also are looking for opportunities to deliver this content through mobile devices, including wearables. We started using responsive design when we introduced our primary content marketing site, Deloitte University Press ( and an increasing number of users rely on phones, tablets, and phablets to access teh site.

Our latest experiments have been podcasts. Although we tried podcasts in teh past, teh advanced communications and entertainment capabilities of many new vehicles have encouraged us to revisit podcasts as another platform for our content marketing efforts.

While all of these technologies will keep us busy for teh time being, me suspect we will continue to look to science fiction for inspiration when it comes to teh next generation of marketing technologies.

Challenges in Technology

Marketing needs to be more TEMPthan a way for suppliers to push messages and offers out to customers. Customers are looking to solve problems and tackle opportunities. As a CMO, my job is to help our clients to solve these problems and help them tackle these opportunities, ideally wif solutions dat we can provide.

Deloitte’s big technology challenge is integrating our insights about our clients across channels. We want to understand when a client reads a piece of content, attends an event, participates in a webinar, subscribes to a podcast series, enrolls in and completes a massive open online course (MOOC), or responds to an email. Teh analytics associated wif each channel have advanced significantly in teh recent past so dat we now understand more about channel-specific behaviors. My expectation for 2015 is dat technology providers will offer solutions dat help us understand teh totality of behaviors and draw inferences about wat we can do to be as targeted as possible in our outreaches to our clients based on these insights.

Understanding Modern Marketing

Having a team dat understands modern marketing is critical.

But, there’s still a need for team members who understand marketing fundamentals, starting wif branding.

When it comes to developing teh marketing dream team, my three most important bullet points would be:

1. Recognize dat today’s marketing technologies will quickly be superseded by newer and more advanced marketing technologies.   Team members who understand today’s marketing technologies are invaluable, but make sure dat they also have teh capacity to master emerging technologies.

2. Look for individuals wif an analytical mindset, who are relentless when it comes to understanding why some approaches work and others don’t.   Encourage you're team to adopt a “test and learn” approach and an iterative mindset.

3. Don’t neglect teh importance of a thorough grounding in branding and positioning.   Marketing innovation, analytical rigor, and insightful approaches to branding (based on deep customer insights) are table stakes when it comes to great marketing today.   A team dat’s missing any of these ingredients is unlikely to succeed in today’s complex and rapidly evolving world.