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By Sebastian Dreyfus

The future of Digital Marketing

We’re in the midst of a fundamental shift in the way consumers interact with the outside world – we are all connected to each other not only by traditional forms of media but also devices, campaigns, social networks, aggregators, search engines, games, governments and business networks. We are no longer passive viewers of a world around us but active participants.

This ‘connective complexity’ demands more than fixed campaigns, which are simply static moments in our lives. It’s a shift that requires more than onetime multi-channel ‘experiences’ that temporarily disrupt. It requires something more authentic to how we, as people, engage. There is no ‘line’. It requires creative innovation based upon connective narratives – ideas that travel, experiences that engage, and most importantly, stories that capture the hearts and minds of its audience.

Brands have used campaign-based marketing in the past because it has heroes, is emotionally truthful and is scheduled and planned. Its art is confined to the controlled world of traditional advertising and considers disruption to be the answer to a modern communication challenge. But what works now is an interconnected narrative that has characters, is authentic, emotionally powerful and live. We believe flowing ‘marketing streams’ can truly be effective in this changed landscape.

We need to reflect the way people buy, consume and live, to have characters to care about and who influence. It needs content that genuinely entertains or is useful beyond the moment. Giving people the opportunity to become part of the story, or at least feel part of the story, is critical. It needs relevant and topical content that is aligned to the brand purpose – serving its customers rather than itself.

This ‘connective complexity’ means we are constantly interacting with our world, we are imprinting ourselves to it every day. And technology is able to observe, remember and even influence some of our behaviors in a way that improves lives, providing businesses with the unique opportunity to synchronise itself to them rather than interrupt with static campaigns.

And while it is now critical to be able understand the technological jigsaw that connects brands with their customers, the real connective tissue — the thin red line that runs throughout all these interactions — is the data. That is the black gold of today. And those able to interpret and translate it into insight that drive ‘branded marketing streams’ have the ability to truly resonate with consumers today…to truly capture their imagination and drive meaningful engagements.

The future is less about digital disruption but more creative innovation powered by data. But this data is not simply a series of 1s and 0s but a digital spark that inspires a human emotional connection. Understanding the ‘why’ is at the heart of its power to connect consumers in this modern digital age.

About the author: Sebastian Dreyfus and Clare McDonald, speakers at the Digital Marketing Show 2014. Sebastian is Managing Partner and Managing Director, Europe of Rosetta. Clare is Executive Creative Director of Rosetta.

logoThe Digital Marketing Show is a 2-day event event at the ExCel, London on the 19th and 20th November 2014. The Show offers deep insight and solutions into understanding how the digital world can help deliver marketing objectives. The Digital Marketing Show provides a thought-leadership environment, where visitors can learn from leading digital experts. 

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