Lately, it seems like everyone is talking about the Digital Age and what it means for today’s marketers. An article published in a recent issue of the Harvard Business Review* explores this issue, offering valuable insight into the strategies, structures and capabilities that marketers should adopt to stay ahead of the game. 

Over the last ten years, the variety of ways marketers engage and communicate with their target audiences has exploded. Tactics and tools that were once considered “cutting-edge” are now quickly becoming obsolete, and advances in digital and social media are introducing new approaches and complexities on a daily basis.

So how can we, as marketers, adopt these new realities and successfully communicate with our target audiences?

In today’s multi-channel world, competition for audience attention is at an all-time high. Overcoming this  challenge means changing the way we interact with and engage our target audiences – applying the fundamental principles of Think, Feel and Do.


Utilize data and analytics to build deep, meaningful insights.

Integrate data about what customers are doing with an understanding of why they are doing it – it’s these insights into consumer’s needs that are critical for developing and improving the targeting of your messages. 


Understand your consumers’ basic drives to drive engagement and influence brand perception.

Engage and inspire your target audience by satisfying all three elements of brand purpose:

  • Functional benefits – the “job” a customer buys the brand to do
  • Emotional – how it satisfies the customer’s emotional needs
  • Societal benefits – how the brand is perceived to benefit society, i.e. sustainability or improved


Design a “Total Experience” for your customer across multiple channels and touchpoints.

It’s no longer enough to simply leverage what you know about your target audience to personalize offerings– today’s marketers need to take this one step further to provide a “total experience” across multiple physical and digital touchpoints.

Everything from targeted communication and branded content, to interactive offerings and product packaging should be grounded in data and carefully designed to create the desired “experience” a customer has with your brand.

Source: Marc de Swaan Arons, Frank van den Driest, and Keith Weed, (2014, July-August). The Ultimate Marketing Machine, Harvard Business Review, 55-63.