As an industry, we say we're people focused. But are we really? After years of seeing our role change from one of pusher to participant, 2014 needs to be the step change in truly understanding people for what they are. It needs to be the year we mature and recognise that it's the person, not the consumer, we're talking to.
We have the tools and methodologies to do this, but the exciting thing is that they’re improving all the time. As marketers, we can achieve a level of understanding previously unreachable. For our brands we have the opportunity to add authentic value to people’s lives. We need to do this because we simply no longer have the right to interrupt. But we do have the right to engage in a way that delivers benefit for everyone, and that right has to be earned.
In 2014 the pace of change will be relentless. While there is nothing new in this, our ability as an industry to adapt to and get ahead of this pace is critical. Otherwise we risk redundancy. It will not be enough to simply do 'new stuff', we have to constantly change to stay ahead. That change needs to come from every level, from how we work to what we actually do.
It's not enough to just get the message out there. The message needs to be personalised and adapted within the context of every touchpoint and channel. And with that we need to learn. We need to learn and act, and never stop questioning our approach and message.