Marketing communication is like a chess game, played (by the winners, at least) with a combination of insight, experience and luck. The insight is provided by market research. And, while social media, mobile platforms, and Big Data have opened up new communication channels and vast troves of information, the process is still primarily reactive in nature: Data is collected and analyzed to determine what happened, and why it happened. Targeting is refined, but the game still moves at chess-like speed.
But that is all about to change.
Just today Rocket Fuel – a small, money-losing startup in the “advertising technology” space – went public, ending the day with a market capitalization of one billion dollars. They will have many competitors. A technology tsunami is washing over advertising: Ad servers, real time bidding (RTB), ad mediation, dynamic optimization of buy/sell metrics, and predictive analytics. Digital advertising is accelerating to semiconductor speeds.
Now the target can be very, very specific: Let’s target left-handed surfers who voted in the last school board election and prefer Milky Way bars. Wherever these people are in the world, when they access their mobile phone or click on their computer they will be identified and served up your personalized message. Right. Now. With 100% efficiency. Peruse sitescout.com for an idea of how this is accomplished.
Enabled by technology, and driven by powerful analytics algorithms, a new game is afoot. While it still requires marketing insight to navigate the advertising campaign, we have to learn to amplify that insight with these new tools.