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The Age of the Customer

The Age of the Customer

Last month I attended Responsys Interact, an Oracle Marketing Cloud conference in San Francisco. I went under the guise of an Oracle Partner (check out our new Eloqua integration) and an Oracle customer (Brightcove is a long-time Eloqua & Oracle customer). But I also went as a marketer, and was pretty excited to catch a glimpse of the religion the Oracle Marketing Cloud is preaching.

Throughout the keynotes, breakout sessions, and casual conversations with sponsors on the exhibition floor, today's digital disruption was the topic of discussion everywhere. A myriad of themes and threads culminated during a keynote delivered by Shar VanBoskirk, VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester Analyst. In describing the changes that marketing is undergoing today, she looked back at the evolution of marketing over the last 100 years.

The 1900s were the Age of Manufacturing, when brands like Ford, Boeing, and GE were king. After WWII the Age of Distribution arose, with companies like Toyota, P&G, and UPS taking the titles for most innovative brands and highest revenues achieved. With the introduction and maturation of technology, the 1990s began the Age of Information, with companies like Google, Amazon, Comcast, and CapitalOne winning huge market share by building out vast databases of information about products and services, and then making that information available at the touch of a button. But the 2010s now bring us to the Age of the Customer, where the customer and a firm's relationship with the customer is king. Brands like Macys,, USAA, and Amazon are integrating knowledge of their customers into every communication they send, every phone call their sales teams make, and every asset their marketing teams produce. A maniacal focus on personas is followed by personalized information and action, and the result is that the biggest brands in the world are able to communicate in unprecedented ways with their customers and prospects.

Marketing today, therefore, is about building valuable interactions with our customers. We can't focus on siloed tasks around brand awareness, demand generation campaigns, or media buys. Instead, the challenge for today's marketer is to build meaningful content that can be served, consumed, and is relevant throughout the customer life cycle. The Brightcove Video Marketing Suite gives marketers the tools to begin achieving these goals with video, the most compelling content type.