Note: This post is part of a 3-week blog series exploring the roots of Infinite OptimizationTM. To stay in the loop as each new post is published, please subscribe via email using the box on your right.

In January of this year, we introduced the concept of Infinite Optimization to describe Kenshoo’s unique approach to the intersection of marketing and technology.

Coming up with the vision was simple. Executing it was not. Join me for the journey….

We’ve all known for some time that the marketing purchase funnel is dead. Gone are the days when consumers moved neatly through the process of awareness to consideration to intent to sale. And gone are the days of one-way push communication from brands to their audience.

In today’s always-on world, brands and consumers are engaged in continual two-way dialogue across myriad channels and devices. And the relationship and advocacy goes well beyond the sale.

As such, in the old world, media planning was easy (well, easier) as brands simply mapped each channel to the appropriate phase in the funnel and delivered generic messaging:

TV – “Hi world, I’m a new product, and you should be aware of me!”

Radio – “Our product is the best, one and single… and now you’ll remember me from this jingle!”

Print – “Here are directions to the location near you!”

Direct Mail – “Here’s a coupon to buy this product now!”

In today’s world, it goes a little something more like this:

TV – “Hi world, I’m a new product, and you should be aware of me, and find me on Facebook, and tweet about me using this hashtag, and watch my videos on YouTube, and pin me on Pinterest!”

Radio – “Our product is the best, pretty as a belle… and now you can Google us or visit this URL!”

Print – “Here’s the location near you, and a Yelp review, and a QR code, and our Google+ page!”

Direct Mail – [crickets]

Digital – “Nice to see you, I know exactly who you are, and what you’ve been searching for, and what you like, and what you’re interested in, and what content you’re looking at right now; therefore I know this is the perfect product for you, and if you click now but don’t buy, no worries, I’ll keep following you!”

Accordingly, the job of a media planner has never been harder. In fact, it’s so hard that it’s become multiple jobs. We have buyers, traffickers, analysts, oh my!

And that’s just paid media. Today’s marketing departments now include roles for owned media, organic optimization, and content marketing on top of the traditional creative and PR roles that have carried over from the old world.

More than anything, the difference between the old media world and the new can be described as a shift from static planning to dynamic activation.

The old world was rife with three martini lunches and insertion orders. Today’s world requires triple-shot espressos and real-time bidding.

Today’s world demands careful calculation, constant concatenation, and continual calibration.

Today’s world requires Infinite Optimization.

Now you know how we arrived at the concept of Infinite Optimization. In part 2 of this series, I’ll share how we wrapped the Kenshoo offering around this construct as a way to differentiate in a crowded marketplace and position our clients for ongoing success.