I'm down at SXSW, and for the pre-party, I mean, pre-conference, I met with two gigantic brains and just talked about the industry.
And it happened again - the insights that apply to one field ultimately boil down to the same solution for an old problem. Content is dead. Not because Content isn't important - but because we use it wrong. We're not willing to take a chance and personalize our content, which means that we design/create awesome and not so awesome stuff that really only titillates marketers.
What's the Unified Theory? Russ Somers of SonarDesign got it immediately (and since I mentioned his name, be smart and go sign up for the beta of Mako. It's an product built to allow designers who code in Flash to build modern content. If you love video, presentations, and are looking for a better personalized content experience, keep an eye out for this product). He even cited the Dunbar number, which is a key part of what I'm hearing.
The TL:DR version? We need to shrink our view of our markets and increase our win percentage. We need to look at the total value of what we're trying to accomplish instead of the front-end of the funnel. We need to teach our execs that 6 of 6 is better than 6 out of 1000.
When you sell your company, everyone focuses on the multiples. What you should focus on is the price.
When you're an enterprise sales executive, you don't care about the number of leads. Keeping the end goal in sight (6 sales) allows you to stop wasting time on the front end of the funnel, and digging deeper into opportunities.
If you're an internal recruiter, you need your bosses to recognize that 6 hires of key individuals is as important as 100 hires of open reqs.
If you're a mobile app developer, getting 600 downloads of the right people who use your app daily can be better than 10,000 downloads of people who never use your app.
The confluence of multiple industries towards hyper-personal marketing is a big deal. I expect it to be the most important trend in digital marketing in 2015.