As brands enter the post-modern marketing era, they must look to combine science with emotion to stay ahead of the game.

  • Marketing has recently been dominated by technology, now that many businesses are utilising data-driven marketing to target prospects and consumers.
  • Although technology will play an increasingly important role in marketing, an emphasis on creating powerful and emotive experiences for consumers should not be forgotten.

Tom Stein, Chairman, Stein IAS, “If you look at history, it can be divided up into three phases: pre-modern, modern and post-modern. The same periods can be applied to the history of marketing.”

Stein describes pre-modern marketing to be the era of ‘Mad Men’, where ideas were not tied to science, the primary focus was creating emotional experiences and this era faded towards the end of the 1990s. Modern marketing has been leading the way for the last few decades, placing a strong focus on technology and science. Then comes post-modern marketing. It can be said with some certainty that technology will not be sidelined in the coming years, however, there will be an increased effort to bring back the emotional side of marketing, whilst ensuring the opportunities that have come with technological advancements are not lost.

Marketers are now looking to merge pre-modern and modern marketing, drawing from the emotive experiences used in the era of the ‘Mad Men’, coupled with the science from modern marketing so that the emotive messages reach and connect with the right people, at the right time.

Following this, Dan Sheridan, the Group Account Director at Stein IAS comments, “Mixed reality is also becoming increasingly popular and companies like Facebook, Apple and Google are playing an important role in pioneering it.”

Marketers have recognised the shift into post-modern marketing and as a result, are using innovative technology to guarantee a personal and powerful experience for consumers. Marketers have also noticed an increased use in artificial intelligence and machine learning and they believe it will have a large impact on post-modern marketing.

While these advances are important and should be invested in, companies must not get carried away with these advances in technology, as these advances will not be suitable for every brand.

“Humans are not either thinking machines or feeling machines, but rather feeling machines that think.” Antonio Damasio, Direct of the USC Brain and Creativity Institute and David Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience.

A final note to consider while entering the era of post-modern marketing is the team and skills they will need in-house. The skills of a post-modern marketer are: more analytical, creative, emotional, understanding, and perhaps most importantly, adaptable. Teams and agencies across companies will have to work more closely together because at the centre of this is the solution to connect these touch points and fuse the data and creative workflow. Even though connecting with consumers is a high priority for brands, connecting with teams, brands, and agencies are just as important for the start of the post-modern marketing era.

“Data tells us where the customer is. Media gets us there. [...] Creativity is a competitive advantage that moves people and business.” Ted Lim, chief creative officer of Dentsu APAC.

In light of the rise in modern digital marketing technology, there is a danger that marketing’s emotional side may be clouded. Marketers must find a balance that encapsulates both the ‘Mad Men’ and the modern marketing eras. Post-modern marketing will bring together a new era where marketers will be able to do what they have always done but, in the best possible way.

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