Changes in marketing strategy are being propelled by what Bradley Rencher, Adobe’s SVP and GM of digital marketing, coins “the digital self.” Speaking during the opening session of Adobe’s Digital Marketing Summit in Salt Lake City, Rencher defined the digital self as an individual’s online persona, which is composed of a person’s online social networks, shopping transactions, listening habits and comments, among other things.
“Today, digital marketing is all about reading signals, mapping patterns and learning from this conversation that is alive and chaotic,” Rencher said. “And while big data gets bigger, the details that matter are getting smaller.”
It is up to marketers and advertisers, Rencher continued, to make sense of all these signals and noise, to pick out the valuable bits to create a “special and magical experience” for consumers.
“That’s the power of the digital self,” Rencher said. “It lets you express who you are as a brand to real people, not people who are in columns, spreadsheets and databases, but real people with wants, desires and needs.”
The digital self, Rencher said, has also changed the roles of marketers. Previously there was a webmaster solely responsible for online content. However, marketers must now be digital experts responsible for understanding their consumers.
“It does not matter what your role or position is. It’s critical you understand the power of the digital self,” Rencher said.
Consumers and marketers have an unspoken contract, Rencher argued; the more personal information consumers share with marketers, the more tailored experiences consumers expect, he said.
“As marketers, we can’t violate that contract, because at the end of the day, the consumer will be the judge of how well we do,” Rencher said.