Our Changing World – isn’t technology great?

The impact of technology on the way we communicate, collaborate, learn and think has been nothing short of game-changing to the world of marketing

I’ve spent the last couple of days at the 2018 Industry Training Federation (ITF) Conference. The theme for this year’s conference is “Skills in a Changing World” and the focus is on how learning and education in New Zealand is changing and will continue to change and that educators and the government need to embrace this change.

The conference has several big-hitter presenters, including Chris Hipkins, the Minister for Education and MPs Paula Bennett and Shane Jones. I have to congratulate Josh Williams, the CEO of the ITF, for bringing together so many inspiring speakers, including a key-note speaker, Dr Soon Joo Gog from Singapore, who has the wonderful job title of Chief Futurist.

It has been fascinating listening to the panel of experts discuss how the world of education has changed so rapidly over the past 20 years and how the rate of change is accelerating at an ever-increasing speed.  And it has been heartening to hear how people in the room are welcoming the changes to come.

Having time to do nothing but listen and learn is very rare for me, so it has got the creative juices flowing. In particular, I’ve been thinking about how marketing has changed over the years and the influence of technology on this change. When I did my degree many years ago, the marketing bible was Kotler & Armstrong’s ‘Principles of Marketing’ which preached about breaking down the barriers towards reaching your target audience. (It’s interesting to see that this book is still going strong and is now in its 15th edition).

I believe that this basic premise of marketing has not changed over the years. At its core, marketing is about placing your product or service in front of your target audience in a way that they welcome it. It’s also about removing any barriers, physical or otherwise, that could prevent them from viewing your product in a positive light. This is the same today as it always has been.

However, although the fundamentals of marketing are unchanged, there has been a revolution in marketing over the past 20 years or so. The impact of technology on the way that we communicate, collaborate, learn and think has been nothing short of game-changing to the world of marketing.

For me, one of the most notable impacts is the ability to aim marketing messages directly towards specific groups of people and to adapt the marketing content to suit each unique person. This marks a turning point in marketing. No longer do you need to waste your marketing budget on the spray-and-pray techniques of the past and hope that something will stick. You can now design your marketing message directly for those  you know are more likely to buy your product, with a unique message that resonates with them.

And once you have developed that connection with a person, todays technology enables you to strengthen that relationship and even leverage off it to connect with their friends and peer groups. You know that you have done a good job when your marketing messages go viral.

What am I, a marketing professional, doing at a conference on education? Perception Group is a supplier and partner to most of the Industry Training Organisations at the conference and we are a conference sponsor. So, I’ve had the privilege of representing our company at it. It has been a real treat for me.

BTW – Lately I’ve developed a dislike for stock photos, so from now on will always use my own photos in my blog posts whether they are relevant to the topic or not (far more interesting). The feet in this photo are my own. At the time the photo was taken I was having a rest after having cycled into the Tararua Ranges near where I live.