“Smart” Technology and Life

As I was leaving the office today, I did what has now become habit, check to make sure I had my “Smart” phone, tablet and multiple chargers. In the parking garage, as I was heading to my car, I received an email. My “Smart” Watch vibrated and there were what sounded like 20 ringtone chimes going off. This got me thinking about how technology has affected the marketing industry and our daily life.

From an industry perspective, the emergence of multiple devices being linked to one user is amazing. As an industry, we know have a plethora of options on how to reach our target audience. We can mix and match – email with digital display, followed up with re-targeting on Social Media. It’s enough to make your head spin. As technology evolves, the marketing channels become more immediate and the effect of our marketing campaigns has to make an impact in the moment.

I miss the days of print media and direct mail being the main sources of marketing. While the results tracking tail of these campaigns are longer, there was an elegance to working on the designing of a innovative direct mail piece. There was a need to understand our customers more in-depth, what drove them – so they would open up an envelope or take the time to read thru a well-written letter or buck slip. Creating a design that we knew our audience would respond to and want to physically engage with, meant we really had to know not just demographic targeting – but psychographically as well.

Even in our every day lives, we see people walking with their heads down, staring blankly into their device or talking to themselves (or so it appears with a Bluetooth device in their ears). People rarely converse or take the time to hold a door for a stranger. Their world is literally in their hands and we’ve lost a bit of the humanity that makes us all human.

In summary, Direct Marketers need to get back in touch with the humanity in marketing. We need to not only understand what our customers look like from a demographic profile – but who are they. In an age, when customers and businesses are looking for immediate results – let’s not forget that their is an art to marketing, that sometimes gets lost in our digital age.

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