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The future of marketing is incredibly selfish. It has to be. We’re becoming a generation of accidental narcissists who want things our way, when and how we want it. But it’s not as bad as it sounds. It’s just an inevitable effect of technology’s impact on our lives. It’s how marketing responds that counts.

The key though, is to accept that reaching and engaging a generation of narcissistic customers means the future of marketing has little to do with marketing at all¾at least in the traditional sense. The future is instead personal-at-scale and that starts with getting to know people and appreciating them for their differences and similarities.

Understanding the #EgoSystem

Technology has never been more human. The digital breadcrumbs that are left behind from devices, connections and engagement tell us more about people then ever before. The question is, are we paying attention?

Welcome to the #EGOSYSTEM. With every new device, app and network, technology is placing us at the center of our own universe. Everyone and everything orbits our avatars in each social network and app. Everything we share invites engagement in the moment. Whenever we need something, there’s an app for that.

We multitask and thrive in an era of information overload. We balance FOMO (fear of missing out) with JOMO (joy of missing out). With everything and everyone crashing and competing together, we have created a beautiful and largely misunderstood chaos that is now our attention span. Oh and congrats, we now rival the attention span of a goldfish.

Becoming Contextually Relevant

There’s something more going on besides the rapid evolution of tech and its impact on accidental narcissism. There’s an incredible sense of customer empowerment that’s forcing the need for marketers to evolve from talking at people and listening to and learning from them to be contextually and culturally relevant across devices, networks and apps.

Written in the voice of your customer…

We the people, formerly known as consumers, eyeballs, views, likes, shares, sentiment, “voice of the customer” etc., hereby resign as your audience. We do not subscribe to any form of viral or mass-marketing, mass-personalization, responsive design, et al. We readily embrace ad blocking technology because you brought it on yourself. And, whatever Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Youtube and the like are doing to their algorithms so we can optimize our streams with relevant and engaging content, carry on! We have no qualms with opening the kimono a bit to exchange slivers of privacy for convenience, relevance and value. But give us value for doing so, otherwise we feel slighted or under valued.

Welcome to the #egosystem, a new realm of consumerism where expressions outweigh impressions, selfies are forms of advertising, and online activities and connections are bastions of real world personalization. It’s up to marketing to accept these gifts, and in turn, offer gifts of value and engagement to customers through all forms of creative, advertising, touchpoints, loyalty, etc. And that starts with looking before you leap, learning before you speak and designing for context before designing for creativity or schedules. It’s psychographics over demographics, intent over assumptions, empathy over sympathy, engagement over attention, relevance over mediumism, and value over views.

Everything begins with you. This shift in perspective reminds you that you are and aren’t the person you want to reach. To change requires a more personal view and approach to reaching the people formerly known as your audience.

It’s time to embrace the #egosystem – are you ready? Watch our AMA webinar where we share ways Smart Brands Go Beyond Demographics, and discuss how to shift your organization’s perspective to adopt a winning approach.