Putting the basics before the techno-babble: Thomas Funk

There is little doubt that data has now conquered the world of marketing. There is an acceptance in boardrooms that data can empower marketers and that, used properly, it drives business success, especially in the context of a move away from acquisition and towards retention.

Companies have spent years focusing on gathering more and more data and trying to feed that into a single customer view. Then it was all about how to use and interpret the enormous amount of data and turn it into actionable insights.

Now, it seems, the big thing is technology. Which is complicating and enabling in equal parts. The emergence of digital channels is throwing up data in greater amounts than ever before. But technology is also allowing us to filter and react to that data in real time, track how consumers navigate the web, and enable better targeting and personalisation.

Technology is also empowering the consumer. Take, for example, the recently introduced Red Laser iPhone app which allows you to scan barcodes in shops and then, by using a Google or Amazon product search, compare prices from rival outlets. Think of how that impacts on the customer journey! Yet when faced with all the excitement of what technology can do, there is a danger that we can lose sight of our original objective as marketers – which is to initiate a conversation between a brand and an individual based on knowledge and relevancy.

We need to keep that context in mind. The greatest challenge now is simplicity.

Because, despite the complex nature of this new marketing world, what still drives advocacy and loyalty is an emotional engagement between a consumer and a brand. In fact I’d argue now, more than ever, consumers respond best to emotional engagement.

Technology gives us the means of engendering that in new exciting ways. The challenge for us is to ensure that we use that technology intelligently, not just for the sake of it. That our use is underpinned by insight that tells us the use of whatever technology it is will help us create that all important emotional engagement.

Let’s not forget the basics, let’s not forget that technology is merely an enabler. A way of helping us deliver what we must always ultimately deliver – return on investment.

Thomas Funk, CEO global data solutions, Rapp

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here