“Innovation and inspiration aren’t just nice words for a conference – they’re an imperative.”
Those are the words SAP Chief Marketing Officer Jonathan Becher (@jbecher) used to open his keynote presentation to the CMO Club during their recent summit meeting in New York City on April 11-12. The event included more than 100 Chief Marketing Officers from some of the world’s leading brands.
In a world of accelerated change, Jonathan highlighted the trends that are causing marketers to rethink the future and make fundamental transformations to their business. He urges CMOs to embrace the changes, which have led to an unprecedented empowerment of people: “the convergence of trends is creating an opportunity for us to rethink the future and embrace change. We are at an inflection point.”
The three types of changes that are converging to create the most profound and rapid changes in our history:
- First, an emerging middle class across geographies will create a new segment of customers that represent extensive growth opportunities for businesses. At the same time, pressure increases on natural resources and social services. Consequently, every aspect of your business strategy and execution – manufacturing, supply chains, and employee base – can become stretched and overloaded.
Implication: Businesses will need to find a way to manage existing and shared resources better.
- Second, more than one billion people are engaged in social networks today. By 2013, more than 15 billion devices will be capable of connecting to the Internet, from cars, to washing machines, to the clothes we wear. Both factors are resulting in an explosion in the volume of data – creating a phenomenon called Big Data. As a result, more data has been created in the last five years than in the entire history of mankind. Unlocking the secrets inside this data presents breakthrough opportunities for businesses.
Implication: Businesses will need to find a way to manage Big Data and find ways to use it to their advantage.
- Third, the way the information is created and consuming has changed. There are now more mobile phones in the world than people. Combined with social and device connectivity, we are now in an “always-on” era.
Implication: Business will need to run in real time to facilitate personalized engagement with customers.
The collective result of these trends is the unprecedented empowerment of people – as consumers, as employees, as citizens, and as societies. Rethinking the future implies making fundamental transformations to your business. This transformation involves getting closer to your customers on a personalized engagement basis – a “segment of one” with more insights, delivering to their needs with speed (in real time), while still maintaining the efficiencies of managing operations and resources better.