Salesforce’s Michael Lazerow: Connected Products Will Change Marketing In 2014

lazerow-2013Last year we asked a handful of senior execs at platform companies to answer the question, “What will happen next year in marketing and advertising that hasn’t happened before?”

This year we invited some of those contributors to evaluate their earlier forecasts and update them for 2014. The below is from Michael Lazerow, chief marketing officer of Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Last year in AdExchanger, I said that 2013 will be the year when everyone in the company becomes a marketer, and that data will drive better marketing experiences. What a difference a year makes. ‘Stores and businesses will have the ability to know who you are as a consumer and serve you better,’ I wrote. So how did this play out?

Some of the big moments in 2013 that validate this trend include Uber’s monster round of funding from Google, Ford ( customer) doubled down to create the standard for connected cars that better serve us and Omnicom focused more than ever on using data to deliver better experiences, as especially within its Annalect group.

In 2014, the definition of marketing will be turned on its head. In the last year, we saw peoples’ level of connectivity increase exponentially and this connectivity produced invaluable data. Marketers were at the center of this data flood, and many used it to deliver improved customer experiences. In 2014, consumer adoption of connected products will grow exponentially, giving marketers unprecedented levels of data to inform personalized, in-the-moment interactions. This evolution is turning marketing into an experience-focused discipline versus the transaction-focused role it has held for more than a century. Companies are about more than the core product now – they are about the entire experience offered and represented by their brand.

It is the marketer’s job to make sure the connections between the products and the customers come alive. Cars will have built-in systems that send an SMS message to the driver alerting the need for an oil change. Toothbrushes will relay dental health back to doctors in real time, with the user’s permission. This will be the new marketing.

In this world of connected apps, connected devices and connected products, the marketer’s leadership role will grow because they’re closest to the customer – they own the teams, the tools and the technologies to connect their company with customers.”

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