Old fashioned attitudes can hold back marketing progress as much as old fashioned tech

At Swrve we’re never shy about promoting great articles we come across during the working day. Particularly if they correspond almost perfectly with the way we view the world! So I’m delighted to point readers in the direction of this piece by Brian Solis published in TheNextWeb.

As the article so eloquently states, it often isn’t technical limitations that prevent organizations adopting new approaches, but ‘legacy attitudes’ left over from previous ways of doing things:

“Yesterday’s standards, mindsets and blueprints still overly influence the future of marketing. Yet, technology and society continues to advance. Something has to change before the gap between marketing and consumerism grow further apart.  The good news is that AI can help marketers bridge the gap while also rebuilding outdated marketing constructs.”

The article continues to outline some practical steps organizations can take to consciously move away from learned habits that aren’t necessarily the right way to do things. For example, Solis recommends moving away from conventional demographic segmentation towards ‘in the moment’ real-time behavioral segmentation, something that obviously ties in closely with our own recent work around our Intent Targeting Engine.

The Human Factor

It can hardly come as a surprise that marketing departments and teams are slow to adapt to this new reality. Individuals can be conservative enough. Nobody likes to unlearn what was drilled into them as impressionable young students after all. And when you put these individuals in teams and departments then the thinking can get really old-fashioned. It’s possible there’s no faster way to kill a good idea or eliminate common sense than exposing both to the harsh environment of the modern enterprise (I am allowed to say these things, I worked in one).

So what’s the cure (other than reading the article)? Well, for a start it would be worth breaking up some of the structures that are already in place. Point 4 in the piece - shifting from a multi-channel to a cross-channel approach - can probably only truly happen when we let go of ‘mobile’ teams and no longer have ‘push notification managers’. Unfortunately, when we organize things in this way and give people limited responsibilities, they tend to look at the world through that particular lens. And when that lens is a particular technology or channel, rather than the customer, they are unlikely to see the whole picture or create campaigns that are best for the customer as an individual.

One other approach is suggested by point 5 in the piece. One way to jolt yourself out of established habits and ‘the way we’ve always done things’ is to listen to your customers and the users of your app. You might find they’re telling you something that hasn’t been considered before, or using your service in a way that is unanticipated. Knowing your customers at the human level is the fastest route to communicating with them in the same way. Try it some time!