The inability to listen. The idea that by interrupting and telling your story people will be amazed. The practice of segmenting into hundreds of small niches to feed them whatever they want today. The ideas of optimization, hacking, ranking, fans and followers. The belief that data is better than interactions. The effort to second-guess needs and wants to stay clear of the risk of asking. The easy shortcut of personalised and automated user journey. The unrelentless focus on growth.
Marketing is not ruining the world. The things above are. And at the same time they set expectations, both for marketers and customers, that cannot be met, leading to inevitable dissatisfaction.
Key insights and themes from the research include:
- Data is a dilemma. But “big data” isn’t marketing’s biggest challenge. It is actually the “small data” – the data used to describe the small, specific attributes delivered directly from the customer through, as an example, the Internet of Things. 36 percent of respondents believe that small data will be the greatest challenge for the organization.
- We’ve lost the ability to be human, and we can’t blame the machines. Some 41 percent admit that they are overly focused on driving campaigns, forgetting that they are building relationships. Nearly 30 percent admit they think of their customers in terms of targets, records and opportunities – interestingly an equal amount admit that they are also struggling to define and deliver returns from customer experience strategies.
- Going small could bring our humanity back. Marketers believe small data will help extract better signal from the noise (45 percent), reveal the “why” behind customer actions and behaviors (41 percent), help focus on the people behind the data to deliver more human interactions (35 percent) and aid in filling key gaps across the customer journey (35 percent.)