Why Most Marketers Will Fail In The Era Of Big Data

Marketing | Sectors   |   
Published January 3, 2014   |   
Greg Satell

Galileo once said that “All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.”  Great marketers uncover those obvious, but unexpected truths to win consumers hearts and sell products.

Marketing is, after all, the art and science of discovering what people want and offering it to them.  The right product, combined with the right message, can achieve wonders.  It can transform even a mediocre enterprise into a dominant market leader.

Historically, marketers operated by instinct. They would see an opening and pounce.  Over the years, numbers crept in—quantitative research, focus groups and analysis became basic tools of the trade. The next great shift, however, will be automation and it will require not just new skills, but a new perspective and that will be a much harder bridge to cross.

The Magic Of Vision

Very few brands have enjoyed the success of Marlboro, which has been a marketing icon for generations.  But it didn’t start out that way.  In fact, at one time it was struggling brand.  As a filtered cigarette, it was considered to be a mild tasting product for women and sales were sluggish.

Yet where others saw failure, advertising genius Leo Burnett saw an opportunity.  Health concerns were making filtered cigarettes popular with men and, because of its small consumer base, Marlboro was ripe for a radical repositioning.  With that insight, the Marlboro Man was born.

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