What: We talked to Nestlé’s Margie Bravo and NFL’s Marissa Fernandez. We talked about marketing innovation and how to prepare for what the future brings.
Why it matters: In what some are calling the fourth industrial revolution, new technologies like AI and VR are expected to dominate the marketing space. Marketers like Bravo and Fernandez agree that companies need to evolve to survive.

Technology has moved fast than ever. Especially since the first industrial revolution. No we are now living in times in which technological advancements are changing everything. And at an almost inconceivable pace. Scientists and economists like Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, have begun to call this moment in time the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It is fundamentally different from the previous three. Because in Schwab’s words, “new technologies are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds. They impact all disciplines, economies and industries. And they challenge ideas about what it means to be human.”

 

Digital disruption and marketing innovation

All this talk about digital disruption and marketing innovation has marketers wondering exactly what this revolution will mean for the marketing industry. “Technology has changed consumer behavior as much as it has changed everything else. Shopping has become a social activity,” writes Craig Thornton, VP, Business Mobility at Telus. “They hardly buy anything without first checking to see what previous purchasers have to say about it.  This level of research used to be reserved only for big-ticket items such as major appliances and cars. However now we google which toothbrush is best.” As Thornton says, marketers need to change to face these dramatic changes. We asked two members of Portada’s Brand Star Committee, Nestlé’s Multicultural Marketing Champion Margie Bravo and NFL’s Senior Director of Marketing and Fan Development Marissa Fernandez, to share their thoughts. What is next in marketing… and how to get ready.

Marketing Innovation, the Consumer Knows Best

It’s no secret that for some people, and particularly for the world of marketing, technology has brought data as a sort of all-encompassing math God that could reportedly solve all of our consumer-related needs. “Technology is evolving quickly, the media landscape is becoming more complex, and we need to use data to learn about that and invest wisely,” says NFL’s Marissa Fernandez. “But ultimately I think that no different from brands that existed 20 or 50 years ago, brands that actually understand their consumer and are delivering an unmet need are gonna continue to win in the marketplace.”

Everything lathers up to asking ‘How can I create those opportunities for my consumers?’

Data and what to do with it

As Nestlé’s Margie Bravo points out, “It’s been outstanding how much talk there is about data, how data is changing, and what you need to do with it.” All over the world, but particularly in the U.S., “Now you have more diverse, more multicultural consumers. So […] the idea of analytics, the idea of really having a good gage of what is happening. Where is your growth coming from? What are the consumer behaviors that you need to take into consideration… Everything lathers up to asking ‘How can I create those opportunities for my consumers?'”

Connecting the Digital and Multicultural Landscapes is Crucial

According to Margie Bravo, in the past, we didn’t ask so much from data as we’re doing now. Today, we try for that data to be informative and helpful in “finding those opportunities to maximize,” comments Margie Bravo, but “maximizing” does not necessarily mean more sophisticated; as she says, “The more you simplify life, the more consumers also ask for more simple lives.” And this simplicity takes us back to basics. Marissa Fernandez explains, even though the landscape is getting more and more complex, “Not losing sight of who you are as a brand, what you stand for, and what needs you’re delivering on… I think that will be a thread of truth.”
Not losing sight of who you are as a brand, what you stand for, and what needs you’re delivering on… I think that will be a thread of truth.
Moving into the marketing innovation future, Margie Bravo has some advice. Keep an eye on the following: 1) the multicultural landscape, 2) the digital landscape, and 3) how to “connect those two. Aimed at building structures and accelerated growth opportunities for your brands. Taking into consideration where your consumer is going.” In the end, even though things move faster every day, the truly important remains the same. “If brands get too caught up in the complex landscape and how to reach their consumers and lose sight of […] what we really are trying to do for them, they will probably lose out to those brands. And they have that core focus that’s remained unchanged in marketing,” predicts Marissa Fernandez.

 

 

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Janet has worked as editor and translator since 2013. After graduating with honors when receiving her Bachelor's Degree in English literature, she began working as a book reviewer for Expansión, the leading business magazine in Mexico. She has also worked as editor of young adult literature for publishing houses like Planeta and Penguin, and she's the author of a book of short stories. She's in the process of getting her MA in English at McGill University. Her interests include arts, good food, and her 8 pets.

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