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How do we embrace new marketing technologies without losing the personal touch?
As a marketer who spent six years in IT, I was always somewhat of an anomaly wherever I worked. Several friends and former colleagues are convinced to this day that I hold some kind of engineering degree. I was the data geek: the strange marketing guy who knew how to subnet an IP address or test the correlation of two data sets.
I am pleased to announce that I am no longer an anomaly. I for one welcome my new marketing brethren, be they Millennial natives or Gen-X converts. As I’ve met this next generation of marketers and PR professionals (both as an adjunct professor and as a hiring manager), I’ve been impressed by their writing and communication skills (Twitter and IM haven’t killed the ability for young people to form complete sentences into coherent stories), and equally impressed by their desire to back up their claims with data.
I don’t think it’s going to be an easy ride for them. Our world is changing so fast it will be difficult to keep on top of trends and ahead of the curve. For all the advantages that the cloud brings to companies, it brings challenges to the marketers trying to sell those offerings.
I hope to tackle those challenges on this blog. There is enormous value to be found through data (both big and little), but great uncertainty as well for marketers, advertisers and PR professionals. How do we embrace this technology without losing touch of the essential humanity that marketers must hold on to – and communicate – if we’re to be successful in the coming years.
“Authenticity” is a much-spoken word in the marketing world. As Big Data gives us more insight into the effectiveness of our outreach efforts, how to we hold on to those things that keep us authentic – that make us human? Ray Kurtzweil is looking forward to the “Singularity,” the moment in which human and machine intelligence come together in a transformative – and positive – way. Many of us are skeptical, or even terrified, of this ultimate convergence. And rightly so, I think.
With the amazing transformations that technology provides, we’ve always been tempted to set aside the human touch. Don’t tell me you haven’t tried auto-posting something on Twitter before – I won’t believe you. In future blog posts, I’ll help us navigate the treacherous waters of marketing in the cloud. I hope you’ll join me.
Todd Van Hoosear is vice president of public relations for Eric Mower + Associates' Boston office, where he helps clients in the engineering, mobile, cloud, networking, consumer technology and consulting spaces bring new ideas – and new takes on old ideas – to the market. He also teaches new media and public relations at Boston University, and serves as a Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Find him on Twitter at @vanhoosear.
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