Most marketers, me included, want to believe they are intelligent. But for the purposes of this article, “intelligence” will have more to do with approach and process than intellectual capacity.
Let me state my biases right upfront: I’m a data geek.
As the founder and president of ASTECH InterMedia and, more recently, the managing partner of Leap Media Solutions, I have long espoused the conviction that the industry’s future will be chiefly determined not by how much we can charge for our paid content initiatives, but by the knowledge we have of our customers — and our customers’ customers. And as part of the ownership group of a Colorado publishing company, that conviction has only grown stronger.
That is not to say that consumer monetisation efforts and new product development are unimportant; indeed they are essential. But those initiatives — and most others — will only succeed if they deliver value to our intended audiences.
And the dominant variable in the value equation is relevance.
Our ability to be relevant is driven by customer knowledge — knowledge that is garnered, enhanced, and applied through intelligent marketing. Such knowledge facilitates the creation, promotion, and delivery of content and offers that are valued by audiences because they are relevant.
So, back to the original question: What is “intelligent marketing?”
The answer is not a simple one. Intelligent marketing is both a journey and a destination. It is a process and an outcome. It is a strategy and an objective.
Let’s start with defining the endgame: the destination, the outcome, the objective.
In the simplest, most idealistic of terms, intelligent marketing is the state in which all communications are customised and targeted based on customer knowledge — and delivered via the channel of customer preference at a time likely to provoke the desired response. That is the euphoric state of absolute relevance.
Obviously, attainment of that state — or anything close to it — requires a level of customer intimacy that can only be achieved through a thoughtful, comprehensive strategy or process that is intended build the company’s knowledge of its customers and those of its advertisers.
This is the process of intelligent marketing.