Personally, I have been at the intersection of marketing, technology and storytelling for many years now.  And, I’ve been on both sides of the fence – first at a global digital agency providing marketing technology services to leading Fortune 500 and now on the corporate side, working as the Global Head of Marketing Technology & Innovation at Kimberly Clark, one of the largest global CPG manufacturers in the world.

Throughout this journey, I have driven and utilized millions of dollars across enterprise, emerging and innovative marketing technology capabilities with a hope to drive business growth (sometimes). Some of the initiatives did make sense and yielded in tremendous growth and ROI and some that have failed. I have benefited from great studies and marketing technology research work as well as infographic and landscapes like these ones to name a few:

Scott Brinker’s Famous Infographic – Can’t even count the number of times I may have used it in my presentations
Gartner’s Transit Map
Marketing Technology Lumascape
I am sure that I am one of the many hundreds and thousands who have based their marketing technology strategies off these documents and some of us may have created our own versions of these as well.

HOWEVER, there is a fundamental element that has been missing in my approach and in these landscape views, an essential component of the entire ecosystem and an entity that is now supposedly at the center of the marketing universe. I am talking about the “HUMAN”, the “PERSON”, the “CONSUMER”; where is she in this entire marketing technology ecosystem and our entire methodology? Where are their respective EMOTIONS, DESIRES, NEEDS and the ULTIMATE EXPERIENCE?

A few very simple questions that we need to ask ourselves:

1.  Have we become increasingly technology focused?
2.  Are we really trying to change consumer behavior by simplifying lives using data and technology?
3.  Are we truly solving business challenges and objectives?
4.  Or have we allowed “channels” like mobile, social, email, search and others to drive our technology strategy – a syndrome I call “channel obsession”?
5.  Do we “really” have the consumer at the center and heart of what we do?

You may have your unique responses to these questions but I can bet you that 99.9% of marketing technology strategies and planning occur in response to these following questions that DO NOT start or end with a consumer need or a business challenge. Are we usually the “hammer looking for a nail”?

1.  We should have a mobile app or even better, all our sites need to be responsive.
2.  Why don’t we have a marketing automation platform?
3.  For all the marketing investment, we need to be on the #MarketingCloud, can we adopt one of those platforms?
4.  Not to miss, what Big Data solution should we bring on for our business, we have so much data now?
5.  Let’s bring a social marketing platform, it allows content syndication across all social platforms, tremendous reuse, efficiency and scale

…and more and more. Alright, I know you may not belong to the 99.9% and you possibly are the 0.1% that is not starting the journey here. But the point being, that’s how we think BECAUSE it is more challenging to apply these technologies, tools and capabilities all the way down to:

  • Consumer Behaviors that are preventing your business from making money
  • Business Challenges and objectives that you need to solve

We need an evolved methodology that is driven by the CONSUMER & THE CONSUMER NEED as well as by the BUSINESS & BUSINESS CHALLENGES as a second paradigm.

Re-aligning the marketing technology landscape by Consumer & Experience

Finding the CONSUMER (HUMAN) within Marketing Technology Ecosystem. How do we shift this entire Marketing Technology landscape on its axis and create a model and thinking that is lead with the CONSUMER (HUMAN) at the center?

A Simple Answer to Driving Influence & Getting Advocates & Sponsorship

  • Connect your technology ideas and capabilities to business objectives and consumer needs
  • Create a story in English and use the art of storytelling; a story that starts with the consumer and the business and not with technology
  • Drive Influence through StoryTelling

I never forget this quote from Albert Einstein: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t know it well enough!”

I tweaked it for my own convenience, “if I can’t connect it to a consumer need and a business problem, I still don’t know it well enough!”

Try it.