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How are rock music and marketing related?

10th Aug 2022
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It may seem odd, but as a former guitar player in a heavy metal band and now a customer experience ambassador, I see a lot of parallels between rock music and the future of marketing. This was solidified when I reviewed some research conducted by colleagues who surveyed 750 marketing leaders from 11 countries across Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific. It revealed five key takeaways, all of which struck a chord with me – pun intended!

AI for one-to-one personalisation creates meaning like a song lyric that resonates

Our research found while only one quarter of respondents named customer lifetime value (CLV) as a current key performance indicator (KPI), 60% said it will become one in the next five years. One way they can significantly boost CLV is by understanding a customer’s individual situation, wants and needs with real-time data and AI and deliver highly personalised and meaningful communications.

In the future, the best marketers will be harnessing AI to decide the most appropriate messaging to send a customer based on their past actions, current context and how similar consumers have previously acted. They can also use AI to tweak the experience and engage with empathy to keep them satisfied which maximises conversion rates and long-term value.

Think about it! Just like the cracking chorus of your current favourite song – whether that’s Bon Jovi’s rendition of Livin’ on a Prayer, or Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill – an email, text message or face-to-face interaction that has real relevance to you is something you are far more likely to pay attention to and act on. Otherwise, it is just white noise.

Omnichannel marketing allows everyone to sing from the same sheet

We are all consumers and have therefore all experienced liaising with brands on multiple channels and the frustration of the experience not being joined together. For example, a friend recently started applying for insurance online via his laptop, asked a question via chatbot and decided to call up to speak to someone real, but he had to explain his situation and query all over again.

Just like concert goers expecting band members to play from the same song sheet at the same time and work together to create an incredible experience, consumers expect everyone and everything within the companies they interact with to be on the same page too. There is modern technology on the market that allows companies to have a single hub for information so there is always one source of truth, and smart marketers will undoubtedly be investing in these to avoid clunky experiences for their customers.

Remapping the buyer’s journey to give the audience what they want, time and again

There won’t be just one buyer’s journey in future, but many; organisations shouldn’t just be thinking about closing one sale with a consumer, but about further opportunities to retain them, such as ways to cross-sell.

As how a bass player cannot exist with their bass guitar, marketers need the right tools to score encore after encore – for example they can use automation to deliver unique journeys that make sense for each individual. The challenge is our survey found 59% of marketing leaders admit they haven’t been allocated enough budget to deliver effective digital transformation, so in that case they should do their research into modern technology that can best help them and build a proposal to secure buy-in from senior management.

Quality content hits the right note

Of course, when you’re communicating well but the content isn’t any good, marketers won’t achieve the return on investment they expected. Low quality content is like a playing a song off key, or a song that has no strong hook. Meanwhile, if the material is impactful and makes people think differently, puts the audience at the centre, answers questions or solves problems – and is delivered at the right time – marketing teams can maximise customer lifetime value and grow sales.

Marketing strategy to adapt and engage creates true fans in Web 3.0

Web 3.0 will be the next iteration of the internet, which will be more immersive and tailored, where users have more control over their data and companies can harness new technology like the metaverse, virtual reality and augmented reality to engage with consumers and drive loyalty.

The most successful songwriters can be unsure of whether a new tune will make it big. Similarly  marketers won’t always be sure where to invest their money, and which technologies will simply fall into marketing history. But as the saying goes, ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’, and being ready for Web 3.0 by implementing a strategy has the potential to completely transform how companies engage with customers for the better. The worst case is marketers will fail and learn a good lesson, the best case is your brand will be recognised for its guts to innovate.

What does this all mean?

The baseline (or should I say bassline?) is that marketers cannot conduct business as usual and expect things to work the same way as they always have. I remember as a guitarist always having in the back of my mind that we needed to keep adapting to retain the attention of our fans and grow our reach, for the simple reason of time always ticking and people changing. While I do miss the days of performing, I am also excited for the future of our industry because of how technology is enabling people to do so much more in their roles and achieve results they’ve never seen before. If marketers think as a team, use the right tools and grow the right skillsets, they really can hit the right note with customers and keep them coming back, just like the legendary rock bands have been doing for decades.

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