Will you send emails 5 years from now? 10 tips to tackle change

I read this tweet on my timeline this week,

“Neil Armstrong may well be the only human being of our time to be remembered 50,000 years from now”

and wondered about the change the Apollo and Curiosity generation has seen. We marketers have been especially affected by this change.

In 1984, ‘Neuromancer’ – a book by William Gibson made the word ‘Cyberspace’ popular. In 1996 Hotmail was born. Google came into existence in 1998. 2004 & 2005 saw Facebook and YouTube. In 2007 a small app called Twitter debuted at a conference. Today Pinterest which started out in 2010, is the new hot thing.

What will change in the future? Will your customers use email in the next 5 years?

If the change-makers of technology – the inventors and entrepreneurs are the cogs in a futuristic ship, we marketers are the lucky ones to watch this change with one sweep from our decks.

We watch the brands ride this change, see the consumers interact with them, and while this process evolves, we help catalyze it. It’s fascinating to be a Digital Marketer today but it’s changing our role in many ways.


Rise of the Chief Marketing Technologist

16% of daily queries on Google have never been seen before.[1]

How will this impact innovation & new product development?

1 in 3 would rather give up TV than be deprived of their smartphones.[2]

Is your content delivery ready for smart phones?

30% of Marketing technology and services are being bought by Marketing departments directly and not through IT.[3]

The fusion of Digital Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Customer Analytics, Marketing Automation, Database Marketing, Content Management Systems, E-commerce, Sales Force Automation is giving rise to the role of Chief Marketing Technologist.


Value Creation and Value Delivery

Some of the questions to ponder are:

  • What percentage of the users are on a channel and how will it change?
  • How much investment in which channel will give ROI?
  • How do you extract meaningful insights from Big Data?

Consulting companies are busy helping organizations choose the best marketing automation, content management etc. solutions that will be able to scale up to new applications tomorrow. (Here is a grand list of predictions and trends.)

While Marketing function crafts strategy about VALUE CREATION:

  • Why does the Brand exist?
  • What need does it satisfy?

The new CMT function harnesses the power of VALUE DELIVERY:

See this insightful presentation from Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers. It highlights change in the delivery channels. Notice that the needs have remained the same. What has changed is the channels through which we express them and fulfill them. (Changing channels of delivery on slides 33 onwards.)


The interesting thing about digital marketing is that the channels are not just a value delivery device they can enable the value experience in ways that was not possible earlier.


Preparing for changes in Email Marketing:

How does one prepare for such a change? Here is an interesting ThinkWithGoogle.com video:


Email channel gives the highest ROI today. Here are a few things to keep on your radar to see how this channel is changing:

  1. Use more than just Twitter & Facebook links. Include interesting content from social media in email.
  2. Is the content in the email share worthy? Make content from emails more sharable.
  3. Plan for email sign-up forms from various sources
  4. Do you need to re-design for emails for mobiles and smart phones?
  5. How ‘touch easy’ is your design on the mobile?
  6. If it’s ‘touch easy’ and readers click, how optimized is the landing page for the mobile?
  7. Is the content relevant and personalized at all?
  8. How does the tone and content of the image enhance the brand experience?
  9. How similar is this experience across triggered emails and specific messages like promotions, newsletters and announcements?
  10. Is the interaction of the reader fed back into your CRM?

There is a lot more change that is coming, and sometimes even the savvy digital marketers need a different perspective [A day in the future] to see how far we have come.

I came across an interesting thought a while ago. All our endeavors are towards moving us to the future, making sure we survive, making sure a part of us lives in the future through our children, books, or thoughts. But in reality what will always endure is the past. It will always be. Nice thought and very true indeed. Neil Armstrong will forever be the First Man.

What is the biggest change that you are facing today? It will be interesting to discuss here.

First published on my blog at iMediaConnection.com


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