The Evolution of Marketing — And How To Respond

Technology has transformed marketing — and in our digital age, the evolution of marketing only seems to be increasing in pace. 

As we get closer to the end of this year and the beginning of 2023, businesses continue to face rapidly changing market conditions. Those conditions will affect how they do business and how they market, continuing to push the current state of evolution forward.

We’re taking a closer look at how marketing has changed in recent years, how it will continue to change over the coming months and years, and what businesses should do right now so they are ready to evolve as marketing does.

 

How are business and marketing changing?

Change is a constant, and external undercurrents will always affect businesses. As external factors converge across economics, society, technology, environment, politics, and legal, businesses will face continuously changing market trends.

In some ways, it’s reassuring to remember that this business cycle is not new. After years of expansion and growth fueled by spending, a time of contraction is not unexpected. That means there’s an opportunity to be proactive, rather than reactive or stagnant.

As a part of these changing dynamics, the role of business leaders, like the chief marketing officer (CMO) and chief information officer (CIO), has also evolved. Today’s leaders need to have a broad strategic view that encompasses both the future and present. 

They have to consider the full spectrum of opportunities and threats happening right now, anticipate changes, plan for multiple possibilities, and be prepared to adapt. This perspective will allow them to create strategies that stand up against uncertainty and evolve for the long-term.

 

How have marketing strategies changed in the digital age?

Our evolving technology in the digital age has elevated customer expectations for their B2B and B2C digital experiences. Meeting those expectations is crucial for marketing and business success. According to our 2021 B2B Buyer Report, 90% of buyers stated they’d turn to a competitor if a supplier’s digital channel couldn’t keep up with their needs. 

The changing digital landscape and heightened customer expectations require digital marketing strategies to evolve. Businesses now have to deliver personalized, relevant customer experiences or they risk losing market share to competitors.

The good news? Thanks to customers’ increased digital interactions, businesses now have access to incredible amounts of customer data. With the right technology systems in place, they are able to gather data, build a 360-degree picture of their customer, and optimize their buying experience accordingly. This type of data-driven marketing is customer-centric and constantly evolving with the customer and technology.

 

Why are businesses experiencing digital transformation?

The need for digital transformation has a lot to do with how digital marketing has changed behavior and expectations, and vice versa. Think of it as a two-way relationship between 1) customer behavior and expectations and 2) digital marketing and the customer experience. As customers have more engaging digital experiences, they also come to expect it, propelling the cycle of evolution.

Constant evolution is necessary because challenges come up, many different factors are at play, and customers are always changing. For businesses, digital transformation requires organizational change that affects its overall mindset and digital function. 

Businesses are recognizing that digital transformation is no longer an option if they want to stay competitive. The tipping point often comes in the form of one of these common challenges:

  • Homegrown solutions are no longer suitable for the company’s size
  • Unoptimized or dysfunctional platforms
  • Technologies don’t integrate well with each other, creating siloed data 
  • The current techstack doesn’t allow for scalability
  • The current website isn’t helping the company reach its goals
  • The current website doesn’t allow for automation

Today’s leading businesses are embracing digital transformation. They know that responding to changing customer expectations requires a strong digital presence and effective digital tools. They are evolving their technology to improve their marketing, the customer experience, and internal organizational processes.

 

How should businesses respond to this marketing evolution?

It’s clear how digital marketing is changing business — and it will continue to drive business investments and actions moving forward. In the face of these changes, here are a few key points to keep in mind as you plan for the future:

  • Hold a broad strategic view. Anticipating change and mapping out multiple scenarios allow companies to remain agile in an ever-evolving landscape.
  • Keep the customer at the center. Leaders cannot fail to evolve and embrace digital innovation that places their customers at the center of their business strategy. This requires using technology, data, and analytics to better understand the customer, build out segmentation, and improve the customer experience.
  • Focus on digital initiatives that support long-term strategy. Improving personalization, automation, content — and implementing the technology to make that possible — will ensure businesses can deliver on their strategic goals.
  • Prioritize alignment and collaboration. The roles of CIO and CMO have evolved over time, and with those changes, these leaders need to collaborate and discover the best ways to work together.

The evolution of marketing requires businesses to create a strategy that addresses all of these aspects. A well-crafted strategy can help navigate an organization through current changes and future possibilities. Businesses need to plan and set themselves up for long-term success in the face of ever-changing market conditions and evolving customer trends.

Ready to evolve your business? Contact an Avionos digital transformation team member or download our “Continuous Evolution: The New Normal” white paper.

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