As consumers face challenges in managing their everyday struggle, they could be offered help from an unexpected direction: Marketing used to be about personification and providing engaging experiences of its own, but it will soon be about solving problems and helping people focus on what really matters when they are making up their minds.
Our everyday life is a struggle to combine multiple simultaneous and often incompatible demands.
IKEA’s Life at Home Report 2017 highlights 5 everyday tensions:
1. dealing with clutter,
2. the need for personal space,
3. multiple demands for our attention,
4. balancing technology in our lives and
5. coping with home as an ongoing project.
Marketing can offer solutions for our needs to prioritize, get more personal space, be more present and find balance for on and offline connectivity. It can also provide predictions on the following moments in the flows of evolving events. Many travel, hospitality, and e-commerce digital services already work in this way, utilizing machine learning and Artificial intelligence.
Marketing is increasingly becoming a service that has to stand the test of usefulness to be relevant. Now it has more tools than ever to rise to the challenge. Through the introduction of digital technologies, service dominant logic reaches every business. When creative content ‘geeks’ of marketing and data wizard ‘nerds’ come together, we have a promise of a new era of consumer experiences – with value propositions based on usefulness.
While there is much hype regarding the development, it also raises doubts. Since marketing is becoming increasingly software focused, there is a real danger of overinvestment on technology solutions and underinvestment on time and skills development.
- Remember to adopt a sober attitude towards data: Do not mistake software for strategy, or data for a real customer.
- Instead of being afraid of making mistakes, it pays off to start small and be a fast learner to build experience.
Read our editor's pics from the event -what key takes did she get from the power lunch
Saara Taalas has been following the digital landslide in media and strategic communication since 2004. She is a provocative academic multitasker, whose research focuses on consumer cultures and digital rhetorics of ordinary life. Saara is Professor in Entrepreneurship and Marketing at Linnaeus University in Southern Sweden, where she leads an IKEA funded research team on Life at Home and Sustainable Innovation. She has been working as an adviser on crisis communication, active audiences and business models innovation in Finland and Sweden.