Itasca, Ill. — There's one sector of the plastics industry where technology has been rapidly changing. Some experts say the key date was June 29, 2007, and since then everything has changed.
Have a guess for that seminal event? Was it a trade show? The introduction of a new material or process?
Not even close. It was the release of the first iPhone, running Apple's iOS operating system. And the sector it changed was plastics marketing.
Sales and marketing specialists — and others interested in learning more about the topic — gathered May 3 in Itasca for Plastics News Marketing Summit.
The rise of digital technology, most recently the use of mobile devices, has meant big changes in the plastics industry. It started with websites, email marketing and search engine optimization 20 years ago; then it moved on to social media, branding and optimizing sites for mobile devices.
While consumers are very familiar with the changes in marketing, many in the plastics industry are still using yesterday's technology — or worse. A recent Plastics News survey of plastics marketers found that 43 percent say they lack expertise that prevents them from successful implementation of their digital marketing goals.
Gary Slack, the chief experience officer at Slack and Co., gave the keynote address, and set the stage for all the changes in business-to-business (B2B) marketing, and what's yet to come.
The good news for plastics marketers: They now have far more technical capabilities than they've ever had before. Slack called this “a golden age of B2B marketing.”