The Future Of Marketing

Big data and technology are clearly revolutionizing marketing.  Gartner predicts that CMO’s will soon be spending more on IT than CIO’s.  VentureBeat recently reported that marketing technology companies have attracted a hefty $50 billion in investment.

The future of marketing is not technology or intuition, but successfully integrating both. There’s a problem with gut feelings.  They are not only often wrong, but we also tend to have more confidence in them than we should.  They feel much more real than data and algorithms, so we are more comfortable acting on them.  When we go with our gut, we are putting our faith in the power of our own personal experiences and that feels good.

The Rise Of The Robots

Everybody in business today is struggling with data, but the challenges for marketers are especially daunting because there has been such an enormous shift in the amount and quality of data we work with.  Historically, we only had backward looking surveys to guide us, but now we collect data in real time and can process it with amazing efficiency and precision.

Perhaps even more importantly, the technology we have now is not only super fast, but super smart.  Computers today are not merely big calculators, but can recognize and learn patterns.  Often, they outperform humans in things like legal discovery, making medical diagnoses and even evaluating creative work such as music and screenplays.

Yet as powerful as they have become, computers are not all powerful, they perform much better when guided by humans.  For example, in a freestyle chess tournament combining both humans and machines, the winner was not a chess master or a supercomputer, but two amateurs running three simple programs in parallel.

And that’s gives us a clue to where marketing is going: the future of Marketing combines Big Data with Human Intuition!

Author: Greg Satell, Forbes TECH

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