What Is Adaptive Marketing and Why Is it Important?

POSTED BY Greg Keating ON Jan 9, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Mass media has always shaped marketing. The advent of broadcast TV not only gave brands greater scope for advertising than they’d ever seen, but it also allowed them to target their advertising to some degree. The same can be said for print media.

Adaptive marketing

The internet, however, takes the concept of tailored advertising to an entirely new level. No longer static and periodic, advertising can now be “always on;” what’s more, the vast amounts of data produced by our connected world allow a level of personalization that has never before been possible. That is the basis of adaptive marketing

Adaptive Marketing Depends on Data

“Big data” was a huge buzzword just a few years ago, and although the term isn’t greeted with as much wonder as it was then, the effect of big data on marketing has been revolutionary. Collecting and mining data about audiences and buyers now allows ads to be precisely targeted, and even allows the type of personalized product development (like data-driven vending machines that dispense customer-chosen, tailored blends of sodas) that was the stuff of dreams not that long ago.

Data drives adaptive marketing, and data collected from product experiences drives further marketing choices. Adaptive marketing takes the guesswork out of marketing and lets brands give more consumers more of exactly what they want.

Adaptive Marketing Is More than Just Advertising

Adaptive marketing includes advertising (like social media advertising, which can be targeted with great precision), but it goes beyond advertising. It encompasses things like personalization (from Kleenex boxes to airline seating), behavioral pricing, and faster response to consumer demands. Old-school advertising was different in that it worked with a conveniently large aggregate picture of “the consumer,” who was not nearly as well-defined. Adaptive marketing turns that concept on its head. 

Tailored Marketing Reduces Commodification

Adaptive marketing

The problem with “the consumer” of the old advertising models was that it was married to the concepts of mass production and mass appeal (and was promoted in mass media). That type of advertising can only speak to consumers’ most basic needs – a sort of “lowest common denominator” approach to marketing. 

Sure, it works, and brands still do it, but it evolves toward commodification and puts downward pressure on pricing. Adaptive marketing, by contrast, does away with this “lowest common denominator” approach in favor of a highly personalized approach, where consumers can feel that their favorite brands really are making the effort to get to know them and their needs and wants.

Delighting Customers Is Easier and Better with Adaptive Marketing

Brands are no longer content to have satisfied customers. Today, they want customers who are thrilled, who love their products so much they’re willing to crow about them to friends and on social media. It requires structural changes to traditional marketing approaches, since budgeting, planning, and optimizing must be more fluid and agile. But there’s little question that adaptive marketing is the next major goal for many brands and marketers in the coming years. 

As you have probably concluded, adaptive marketing isn’t a once-and-done process. It thrives on change and feeds on data, requiring outstanding coordination between sales and marketing. But it’s the marketing model that currently makes the most of what a connected, data-rich world has to offer. Hangar12 is at the forefront of CPG marketing strategy and more. Subscribe to our blog to stay up-to-date with our latest insights.

Topics marketing

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