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Marketing: exhaustive or intensive

I fear my attention span’s waning. My memory is something of the past and I dread reading anything containing more than a 140 characters. What’s wrong with me? Has instant messaging, micro-blogging and on-demand everything turned me into the digital version of a couch potato?

To be fair, the digital affliction I have is not sedentary like Homer Simpson slouched in front of the TV. To the contrary it is very active. I am actively seeking out information: reading, researching, viewing or supplementing media and content. If I’m watching live sports or TV (on the odd occasions that it’s not recorded), I may be following the Twitter stream associated with that event or episode. i.e. #ChampionsLeague or #MadMen. In addition to this, if I’m browsing the web I may have music streaming at the same time, or I could be engaged in an iPad app while busy on a phone call.

Although this may sound like I’m heading toward Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), it actually implies easy access to a lot of meaningful information. This data deluge does, however, lead to us knowing a lot about everything but often understanding little. Many of my friends no longer believe in the requirement to remember needless things like phone numbers, birth dates, and contractual details. This is considered history. It’s all archived, indexed and available with a simple search.

Ask yourself when last you intensively worked at remembering birth dates when it’s in your PC or social network calendar? Or enjoyed a moment with family and friends without experiencing it through a viewfinder? If some of these ring true and you are a marketing professional, how many of your customers may be going through a similar shift in attitudes and behaviours?

How prolific is your brand presence? Can you hook clients and prospects across multiple platforms and engage with them in a meaningful manner? Is it possible for you to manage your marketing resources intensively, in order to keep your customers’ loyalty?

From my experience, I see many marketers understanding the requirement to stay in touch with prospects across channels, as hard as it may be. However few have the luxury of intensively mining their campaign and customer data for greater yield. Often the same on demand campaign results, in a given quarter, are expected without truly harnessing the data to its full potential.

By way of example; consider sophisticated conversion optimization i.e. A/B and Multivariate Testing. How many experiments do you need to design and run over what period to truly see a meaningful lift in your numbers? How often are you willing to get it wrong before its right? If you were to venture into programmatic campaign management and real time exchanges; how good is your data that is driving that world leading rocket science algorithm?

Why all these questions? I fear us as marketers, especially those embracing the extensive features of the digital technology platforms, are rushing to exhaust all the latest digital avenues without intensively working with the rich data we have at our disposal. What do you think?

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