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Here's how 'quantum marketing' is the industry's next skills challenge

The technical word “quantum” has popped up in various contexts over recent years. The word - a Latin one meaning "amount", as explained by WhatIs.com - has, in one particularly curious instance, recently been used to describe a very modern and up-and-coming form of marketing.

Jane Cave, the managing director of not-for-profit organisation the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM), has declared “quantum marketing” a major skills challenge for the marketing sector. A significant digital overhaul is taking place, she says - and firms need to wake up to it.

For how long can the industry’s impressive growth continue?

Cave has recently made these bold statements writing for Marketing Week. In fact, a sweeping digital transformation has already evidently come about, she posits. Today, just one person with a smartphone can take just minutes to action marketing tasks that once took weeks.

No matter how complex a programmatic campaign, it can take mere milliseconds to be triggered, delivered and optimised. However, due to recent IDM research, Cave cites an upcoming obstacle to marketers’ continuing drive for improved productivity and efficiency.

She points out that 49% of marketers have not been trained in major skills they deem essential to their career development. These skills include - but are not limited to - mobile marketing, search marketing, marketing automation and integration and data analysis and reporting.

Will quantum marketing rise as the smartphone falls?

Cave despairs that many businesses consider professional training a “zero-sum game” which necessarily prioritises some skills over others. However, technologies like blockchain and quantum information science are poised to give rise to disruptive effects in marketing.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has gone as far as deeming the days of the smartphone numbered, despite its significant influence on the past growth of digital marketing. However, Cave adds that marketers can still pounce on the fresh opportunities, provided that they suitably position themselves in advance.

The promise of quantum marketing heralds exciting opportunities

With quantum marketing, brands will be able to get closer to prospects and customers than ever before. Brands could, for example, become accustomed to a world where quantum-enabled microchips are embedded into trillions of devices that customers daily use.

Marketers might also have the option of directly delivering dynamically optimised experiences to contact lenses that, to customers who wear them, could appear to show advertising messages on any visible surface. Customers could, thus, come as close to a business as its own workforce.

How can marketers act to take advantage of the opportunities?

Despite the manner in which marketing technology has evolved, it is not the speed of operations that will primarily affect a company’s ability to meet the upcoming marketing challenges. Instead, the business itself will need to go through a profound change.

With the digital transformation having so far often thrown up issues of a human nature rather than a digital one, businesses should prepare accordingly. With further advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning on the way, it’s a very exciting time to get work in marketing.

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