How long until instantaneous feedback begets instantaneous marketing responses?
An article on Techcrunch, “It’s Time To Start Thinking of Twitter As A Search Engine,” made me think about where brand management for at least some brands is surely heading. Because of Twitter and a dozen other tools, brands can get feedback on their marketing efforts almost instantaneously. Surely the next big leap forward will occur when these brands can harness technology to adjust their messages in virtually every medium in the blink of an eye based on that feedback.
Yes, yes, I know that direct response, CRM and online media types have been serving up customized responses for quite some time, and in the online space they are generating them instantaneously whenever they collect a new kernel of information about a consumer. I’m talking about something far more comprehensive. How long will it be before the person in charge of a brand–an employee of either the agency or the client–sits in a room that looks like Mission Control in Houston, monitoring relevant news feeds, market conditions and consumer responses to the brand’s advertising program in every medium and barking out responses that can be executed on the fly. The future development of addressable television, for example, raises some mind-boggling possibilities. Or what if you could change the message on an electronic outdoor board, for example, if there was an accident on the highway? What if the offer on your radio spots (after all cars have wireless internet and online radio puts both terrestrial and satellite radio out of business–write it down, it will happen)–could based on highly specific local conditions just by making a few keystrokes on a computer?
The world is only going to continue to move faster, and to assume that brands will be content to sit on real-time information rather than respond to it is farcical. In ten years–or quite possibly less–the job of at least some advertising professionals may come to resemble that of air traffic controllers–responding to changes conditions, managing multiple variables, and maximizing efficiency by making snap decisions to tweak marketing plans. And they’ll do it in three eight-hour shifts per day.