Scott Thom­son, Senior Man­ager Indus­try Strat­egy APAC, Adobe Systems

Scott's blog 1

There’s a dark art to talk­ing to or per­form­ing in front of crowds. Bands do it. Magi­cians do it. Politi­cians and inspi­ra­tional speak­ers do it. They per­son­al­ize their per­for­mances and their messages.

A politi­cian enters a crowded audi­to­rium and as she walks down the aisle she stops to warmly shake hands with a few peo­ple on the aisle and shares a few friendly words with each.

The lead singer in a band bounds onto the stage of a packed arena, punch­ing the air with energy. He pauses at the stage edge as if he’s caught someone’s eye in the crowd. He smiles broadly, points and waves at what appears to be a fan he’s spot­ted. He then calls out to the whole city all the time main­tain­ing a pointed fin­ger to his “friend” in the crowd.

Once you stop treat­ing the crowd as a crowd and start focus­ing on indi­vid­u­als, the crowd notices! The more you do it, the more the crowd engages.

One by one, the expe­ri­ence and expec­ta­tion in the crowd becomes, that this isn’t just a one to many thing. It’s about the per­former and me, a unique, unre­peat­able, magic moment shared. Even peo­ple who don’t get indi­vid­u­ally called out still start to believe this.

As the mar­ket matures it moves its prac­tices from broad reach & fre­quency, multi-channel com­mu­ni­ca­tions and starts focus­ing strate­gi­cally on cus­tomer jour­neys and cus­tomer cen­tric com­mu­ni­ca­tions, we begin to see the imper­a­tive of get­ting into the crowd, wav­ing and smil­ing and con­nect­ing with our cus­tomers where they are.

Quite sim­ply, we are mov­ing from an enter­prise cen­tric mar­ket­ing approach to a cus­tomer cen­tric mar­ket­ing approach.

Scott's blog 2

Scott's blog 3








Two poten­tial chal­lenges for the near term will be if we see the bulk uptake of address­able TV and the pre­dicted mass uptake of wear­ables. Not long to go, we were say­ing, “Next year will be the year of mobile”. We kept say­ing that year in, year out – 2007, 2008, 2009… then we got to 2010 and uptake passed crit­i­cal mass and peo­ple were scram­bling for mobile resources and des­per­ately try­ing to get apps to market.

Think about the “year of con­nected devices”, includ­ing TV and wear­ables. When do you think that will be? – 2015, 2016, 2017? Espe­cially with TV, what hap­pens when the bulk of TV mar­ket­ing and con­tent sud­denly has access to address their audi­ences individually?

Are mar­ket­ing and con­tent teams lay­ing down the foun­da­tions and skilling up their teams to have per­son­ally address­able con­ver­sa­tions? Are they work­ing towards address­able con­ver­sa­tions with cus­tomers across TV, tablets, mobiles, wear­ables and the poten­tially dizzy­ing array of address­able Inter­net of Things we are promised? Are we being wise or will we be left scrabbling?

There are now and will be in the near future more ways than ever before to use all this to lis­ten, pre­dict, assem­ble and deliver all kinds of con­tent in near real time to our cus­tomers. We could also match the con­text and jour­ney of the cus­tomer to meet them where they are most engaged and most recep­tive to our mes­sages. How are you cop­ing now and how are you prepar­ing for the future?

Join my col­league, Kevin Lind­say, and me at the Adobe Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Sym­po­sium 2014 in Syd­ney and Sin­ga­pore where Kevin will con­duct a deep dive into per­son­al­iza­tion and I will cover Data Man­age­ment Plat­forms – Your Audi­ence Matters.

Also, find my pre­sen­ta­tion on per­son­al­iza­tion (with the Aus­tralian spelling) as well as data dri­ven adver­tis­ing on my slideshare: