CIOs and The shotgun wedding marketers have to have 

The future of marketing is technology, so get organised and marry your CMO to your CIO in a marriage of convenience, argues CEO of Mnet, Travis Johnson

In a talk at Mumbrella360 today: The Future – and And What You Need To Do About It, Johnson explained how technology is fundamentally shifting the goal posts for marketers and what they need to know to survive and thrive in the new landscape.

CIOs and CMOs the new power couple of the C-suite

Johnson pointed out that CMOs will need to work more closely than ever with CIOs to leverage the technology wave for their brands.

“It’s really important to keep innovating in this space and be across metrics, so if they are the CIO’s priorities it’s good news, because essentially its a shotgun wedding and data is really the celebrant that’s brought everybody together,” he said.

“But your marketing innovation can quickly be killed by that app that doesn’t work, that website that goes down, those videos that won’t stream and therefore working together like any marriage you need to work on it.”

There are three key takeaways from this said Johnson: “Determining a roadmap for the whole company – don’t just expect the IT guy will be able to deliver all of your imagination, share budgets they (IT) may need some marketing money to be able to create that infrastructure and support your requirements, get your sales people to present to your IT team –  what are you presenting out there and what are your customers asking for and give them the heads up to be able to build what’s required to support all of those services.”

Everything is becoming mobile – so stop designing for the desktop

The future of technology argued Johnson is mobile, pointing to innovations around smart phones and apps and concluding that with pace of technology becoming ever faster it was more crucial than ever for CMOs to keep up with the pace of change.

“It’s really interesting to see that only a year ago 30-35 per cent of traffic (for clients) was coming through mobile devices. Now some of our clients are seeing that approaching up to 50 per cent,” he said.

“Don’t forget about the desktop, re-prioritise your efforts – you have a big space on the desktop for function and people will come to you for different uses but try and figure out what you need each device to do.

“Make sure that you are tailoring your experiences to different devices.

“If you have a look at mobile for cars well it’s probably just people out and about so they probably just want to find the nearest dealership and see what models are in stock right now – so that should be one of the primary functions for a car on a mobile site.

“Tablets are more around entertainment and gaming, they are high resolution screens so there you can see the car in 360, see what it looks like in a different colour bumper on and off and maybe some videos and gaming as well. When you go to the desktop that’s the place you’ll have a look at the specifications sheets and we’re you’ll actually got through … what features, functions, all the different models and so forth.”

The internet of things: The premise is having everything that can be connected, connected

Johnson described a world not to far off where everything from your home to your tennis racket, tooth brush, and even something as intimate the inside of your body, are part of a connected world.

“That could be having your house connected and all of your appliances, it could be having all of your music able to seamlessly stream across the house, all of your entertainment and your gaming, it could be having your car connected,” he said.

To emphasise his point Johnson used the example of a fireman’s kit decked out with sensory connected equipment.

“Putting inside a tennis racket being able to see how many swings, running around the court how many calories have you burnt, how well did you player being able to put a sensor on the back of  a mobile phone, so this is a thermal imaging sensor, it costs  a couple of hundred dollars but you can imagine the applications for one of our clients a firefighter – to actually be able to look at that building see the smoke coming out but actually know ‘how hot is that door? Should I go in through that window’.”

So what does all this mean for marketers

According to Johnson the value of this that everything from merchandising through to retail can be radically rethought in a connected world.

Marketers need to not just understand these innovations said Johnson, they need to embrace them and imagine a world where: “Everything your business interacts with is connected.

“So wether it’s your sales people, your vending machines, your store fronts, the actual products themselves, wether it’s your merchandising team – if you could connect them to the internet what would you create?”

Wearables: Beyond Google Glass

Another area of opportunity Johnson covered was wearable devices which are becoming part of everyday life include everything from eyewear, accessories and even t-shirts that measure speed, heart rate and even perspiration for hydration needs he said.

According to Johnson 35 per cent of Australians have used wearables – the highest in the world he said, quoting CMO.com.

“There’s a lot of wearables even to the sole of a shoe that can understand how are people walking, how much exercise they are doing, where are they putting pressure on parts of their body to actually help prevent injury,” he said.

“You won’t be sticking sensors to yourself with sticky tape and wearing something uncomfortable.”

“Wearables are moving beyond the geeky prototypes you may be familiar with like Google Glass; Google themselves have done a deal with Ray Ban and Oakley to actually change the look and feel (of Google Glass) so you won’t have to go out of your way, you won’t have to be a geek to use these things anymore.”

Different spaces – new apps

Mobile apps in different spaces are another area marketers need to be across as mobile usage continues to grow said Johnson.

“Have a think about what is your in-car app, so a couple of brands recently have advertised internet connectivity in (cars) one being Ford Focus, what does your in-car.

“By 2015 50 per cent of cars will be internet connected so you need to get your skates on.”

There was a warning for marketers as well, to beware of consumers confers around data security and privacy and be sure to reassure consumers.

“Communicating regularly with your customers about what you are doing and don’t just leave it behind, assure them you are staying on top of it,” he said.

Robert Burton-Bradley


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