Anyone who remembers the late 1990s will remember the dotcom bubble. Facebook was just a twinkle in Zuckerberg’s eye; the smartphone was an unheard of concept; and a little known search engine was just getting its feet off the ground.
Before even Google was a verb, ClickZ launched in 1997 and over the last 20 years has grown to one of the largest digital marketing communities in the world. Alongside the growth of Facebook, YouTube and more, ClickZ has been there, providing the latest news, insights and intelligence.
Today marks the next step in the evolution of ClickZ: a new look and three new content categories to support the changing challenges faced by marketers and business leaders.
With digital marketing still at our core, we are broadening our scope to cover the increased reliance on marketing technology, the impact of emerging technologies and the overarching digital transformation journey that is upending even the most established businesses.
Along with new content categories, you will see our redesigned article pages, podcast and webinar series, and reports pages. You may also notice personalized content recommendations based on your preferences, and the types and frequency of content you consume. Yes—we’re practicing what we preach and will be having some fun playing with our new marketing automation and customer data toys… I mean platforms.
Why the update?
In case you missed it, the world is changing. Quickly.
If we play a quick game of spot the difference, the photo on the left is from the Papal inauguration in 2005 and the one on the right is Pope Francis’s inauguration in 2013. What do you see?
As Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum puts it, we are in The Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“Characterized by a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies and industries, and even challenging ideas about what it means to be human,” said Schwab.
Just as ClickZ and the wider industry evolved through the earlier timeline, we believe that with the creation and adoption of new technologies, the scales have tilted so that the success of your business will be determined by your ability to choose and implement the technology(s) that enable you to deliver a better customer experience than your competitors.
Therefore, as marketers, if you’re not looking outside of your department and thinking about how your customers have changed, how you reach them and deliver a better customer experience, you are going to find it very hard to compete with other brands that are. Just look at what Airbnb, Netflix and Uber have done to their respective industries. The message is clear: disrupt or be disrupted.
The graphic below shows our view of how our three new and existing digital marketing categories interact with one another:
Digital transformation is the outermost layer and the constantly iterative process of balancing culture, processes and business models to keep on the path of being the disrupter.
The emerging technologies category will cover the innovations that are having an impact on how consumers interact, and therefore, how your brand should interact with them. These inevitably impact the marketing technologies you use to make sense of all this, and harness the wealth of digital information now available.
As Scott Brinker (our latest podcast guest) has shown through his tracking of the Marketing Technology Landscape, the number of marketing technologies has increased 40% year-over-year. This not only offers a huge problem for marketers who are trying to navigate the landscape, but also an enormous opportunity to those who can get it right.
Digital marketing is the connector that links the marketer with the technology to the customer.
What does this all mean?
New technologies are changing the way consumers interact and the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ creates an increasingly connected world. As a result, the expectations of brands to deliver a continuous, transparent, personalized and hyper-relevant experience is at an all-time high. Marketers have a unique opportunity to take advantage of what is still a gap in the adoption of technologies to serve their customers more effectively.
With the increasing number and complexity of technologies, those who get it right can get it really right. Those who get it wrong (or worse, choose to do nothing) have everything to lose. This decision-making process is magnified by the fragmentation of technologies, long integration period, and the price tag.
While getting your technology stack right is an essential part of any marketer’s job, it’s not all about the technology. Digital transformation is cutting through all aspects of a business and marketers are uniquely placed due to their familiarity with technology and customer-centric mindset to lead the way. According to a recent study by Heidrick & Struggles, almost one in five (18%) FTSE 100 CEOs are former marketers with this number steadily rising from 15% in 2011.
If the addition of marketing technology, emerging technologies and digital transformation have come from left field and has left you in a cold sweat, you should definitely subscribe and join the 123,000 other marketers who read our newsletter every day.
This new look is just the beginning. Stay tuned as we release topic-specific newsletters, special offers and trials of the latest tech that could transform your business and also a new way to keep tabs on all of those marketing technologies.
We hope you like our new site and the addition of our new categories. Please send your comments and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you as quickly as possible.