It’s not always easy being a CMO. The position often seems to require its inhabitant to embody, with equal aplomb, an amalgam of professional specialties: business executive, scientist, entertainer (song and dance act) and cheerleader, for sure, with maybe a little witch doctor thrown in for good measure.
As digital media delivery continues to mature, and its use as a key marketing and advertising source enters the next phase of colossal expansion, the CMOs that prove to be most successful will be those who are the most adaptable. That said, they can also learn a lesson or two by taking cues from the playbook of a much older profession, in fact, from the oldest profession in the world, (no, not that one) namely: the hunter-gatherer.
Hunt and gather — by these means the first human inhabitants of the planet acquired food and water and thus made a living. A few hundred millennia down stream, capitalism and urbanization have largely removed pursuit of game and foraging wild berries from the equation, but the same skill set needed for success then still applies to modern marketing.
The successful hunt was dependent on two aspects: 1) the ability to track, and 2) the ability to hit a moving target. (Instances where entire herds were stampeded off cliffs may be considered as primitive forms of black Friday.) The successful gather, likewise, required knowing where to look, and understanding what items held value.
Today’s consumer is indeed a moving target navigating predictable pathways to purchases, throughout their twenty-four hour day. Yet there is no need for stalking to ascertain their behavior. Where they go, what they do, and for how long they do it are now all a matter of digital record.
Place-based digital media used in tandem with location-based mobile platforms allows brand advertisers to intercept consumers with useful and highly relevant messages at the exact right place and the precise right time to influence a purchase decision. That’s how to hit a moving target.
As for gathering, hand-picked data points are collected and assembled to produce digital trails through physical purchase paths — all tracked through the same smart mobile devices. The sophistication level of these location-based marketing techniques have essentially rendered the necessity of the hunt irrelevant – and replaced it with fishing in a barrel.
Now that the where and the when have been established, the how to convert becomes about dangling the right bait and pulling the right string. And digital place-based networks represent the “fishing license” that is needed to do just that.
Chuck Adams, president of Highland Digital Media (HDM), notes that his customers are allocating more of their budgets for place-based digital media solutions, often at the expense of more traditional media outlets.
“Our clients have recognized that not only do our solutions work well, now, in the present,” says Adams, “but they have also seen the hand-writing on the wall that indicates that the surface has barely been scratched on their potential. The companies staking their claim in the digital placed-based media market today will, no doubt, be the leaders of tomorrow.”