Mixing musical metaphors, it was 20 years ago today (almost) that I used R.E.M's classic "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" as the theme for a provocative presentation to group of publishers.
My thesis: the Internet was ushering in a new and disruptive information age, and failure to quickly evolve would result in the global annihilation of the media world as we knew it. On the other hand, rapid evolution would allow these media businesses to feel fine.
Well, we know how that turned out. Lots of destruction. Lots of innovation. And an industry turned upside down.
Now it's marketing's turn.
While marketers and agencies did a better job than their media counterparts of adjusting to the new digital world order, marketing today is being disrupted down to its roots.
Reconciling marketing technology with human relevancy. Transforming into truly data-driven businesses. Staying on the right side of privacy and decency. Connecting the mushrooming myriad of dots.
And along with all of this daunting complexity, greater and greater scrutiny.
In fact, a recent survey of 300 CEOs reveals that 81% of these business leaders have higher expectations of their top marketers than ever before.
Naturally enough, these expectations extend to marketers' agency partners. And agencies' challenge is to develop better, more relevant models that deliver against a new and still forming set of expectations.
At Stein IAS, we have pioneered and brought to robust maturity just such a model – one that delivers a holistic and rigorously integrated process of connecting the most important insights, interactions and inventions in order to deliver the most important business results. We call this model Mi 3.
With MI 3, brand insights rise up from deeper customer insight. Creative inventions and content are precisely delivered across highly elaborated buyer journeys. Orchestrated digital interactions on a local and global basis are underpinned by advanced marketing automation and underscored by multitouch analytics and attribution all the way to ROI.
To be sure, every agency falls in love with its process. But what's clear is that marketing as we knew it is giving way to marketing as it needs to be. Sophisticated marketing technology must be the backbone that supports the brilliant strategy and creative that great agencies are known for.
It's the only way to find your footing in a world turned upside down… and the only way to win.