The era of post-modern marketing

This article originally appeared on Business Live. Warren Moss speaks to The Redzone team.

It’s the age of post-modern marketing, when creativity and storytelling are combined with modern technology and a focus on human behaviour.

At a time when it’s a race to catch up with the changes brought about by technology, there is also a wealth of opportunities – a host of marketing concepts and ideas that can provide major benefits for brands that are brave enough to use them. It’s the age of post-modern marketing, when creativity and storytelling are combined with modern technology and a focus on human behaviour.

Demographica’s Warren Moss explains that pre-modern marketing centered on storytelling, big-idea creativity and campaigns that evoked emotion. The biggest brands of the world were created during this time – think Apple and Kodak Carousel. Modern marketing was technology driven, with a strong focus on data and analytics, Moss continues. Everything was about measurement, behavioural tracking and return on investment.

Globally, a large portion of the marketing budget is still spent on tracking and reportability. Technology has provided us with the ability to track and measure almost anything. It’s also used to talk to people; yet people think and feel, and they have emotion.

This brings us to post-modern marketing in the business-to-business space, Moss says. Today’s business consumer needs to make an emotional connection with a brand, he says. That is why big storytelling, which supports such a connection, is more relevant today than ever before. Because of this, storytelling across popular platforms, underpinned by marketing technology, can measure and create connections and affords brands the opportunity to optimise where these connections (and sales) are best made.

“In a pre-modern marketing world, storytelling was the order of the day. Brands could really connect with customers, but they couldn’t measure the cost of acquisition. In a modern marketing era, it was all about marketing technology, where you could measure your marketing efforts; it became functionally driven and the storytelling element was lost,” Moss says.

Also, in a post-modern marketing era more understanding has been gained about marketing technology, allowing storytelling to be overlaid. “Moreover, we are no longer limited to text overlay on Google. We can use beautiful and graphically powerful mediums to interact and engage with consumers, all underpinned by technology, making things very measurable,” Moss says. The stories and avenues that are working most effectively for brands can be measured and tracked. This creates the best customer experience with the best return on equity for the brand, he continues.

Moss explains that the post-modern marketing trend is gaining traction and forcing brands to be more responsible about how they spend their money. “In a pre-modern marketing world, spend was on big media and big storytelling. In modern marketing, money was spent on trackable avenues and research. Now marketers cannot get away with focusing or spending on one or the other; they must cover both avenues. This combination minimises the risk associated with marketing campaigns, as it identifies the most effective campaigns that provide the most valuable return on investment.

However, though business-to-business marketers in SA are generally aware of post-modern marketing, their awareness is not at the level necessary to leverage it effectively, Moss argues, adding that education needs to be done about this concept. “This is a very big growth category – growth will be fuelled by agencies pushing a post-modern marketing agenda and the brands and marketers supporting it,” he concludes.

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