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Technology and Marketing: The Game of Catch Up

by Kimi Lim

DUBLIN – The relationship between technology, brands and marketers is one fraught with trouble as much as it is marked by it’s successes. While there are some stand out examples where brands have used technology to raise its profile, more often than not the results have been middling and not capturing customer engagement. The crux is that technology and their users develop at a faster rate than marketers and advertisers can ever hope to catch up. So what do you do?

Jason Musante, ECD of of Havas Worldwide has some sage advice. His talk at WebSummit’s Marketing State entitled “Making technology influence people” talks about this fraught relationship between modern marketing and technology. In order to stay relevant, brands have had to take to these new technologies.

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This approach, however, brings no guarantees and will often lead to disappointing failures for both brands and agencies. But, these failures are important and Musante said that Havas Worldwide have come to redefine failure as part of its core ethos and have integrate those failures as part of moving forward as a marketing agency. In fact, the only failure would be not to try in the first place. Trying is an important part of engaging consumers.

Musante brought up a statistic by the Wall Street Journal: The average American spends more time on tech & media than work or sleep. The best way to capture their attention is to entertain them. This insight is emblematic of the kind of integration between marketing and data. Data should be every marketers’ best friend and will be able to help close the behavior gap.

The final thought of the talk was that we will always play catch up against tech. Just like how the light of the stars we see in the sky is billions of years old, the behavior that marketers see in consumers is already old. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t valuable, but keeping it in mind makes the game easier to accept. If marketers don’t accept it, they otherwise run the risk of running brands ragged in a game against technology that doesn’t necessarily pay out.

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