November 6, 2014
I’d like to begin with some questions: In this world of instant transmission and easy access to information, are we engaging more, or are we more easily distracted? When I say “we,” I mean it in the grandest sense of the term: we as businesses and organizations, we as marketers and consumers, and we as society. How do we handle the noise? Are we more careful about who and what we allow to consume our time and attention? Do we spend time and resources on only those things that matter, or are we scattered? In shifting marketing and media landscapes, are we desperately seeking value? How does one stay relevant?
This idea of value, and the question of how we continue to provide value, seemed to be the theme at the recent CSAE (Canadian Society of Association Executives) conference as well. Organizations are evolving to ensure they continuously provide value to members and stakeholders. Associations in particular must search for ways to stay relevant by redefining service offerings, and, consequently, what they can monetize to ensure their continued existence. Even membership itself is being questioned as a barrier to entry for potential engagement with new and changing audiences—especially in anticipation of the shift in the demographics of our workforce and the eventual exodus of the baby boomers. And the triggers for change clearly have links to communications and marketing.
Intelligence derived from marketing data is an important input into these strategic decisions. After all, marketing data is your insight into which audiences are currently interacting with you and why. It tells us what content is getting traction and what is not, and what behaviors certain content provokes. This behavioral data is the kind of intelligence that should drive change.
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