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The incubation time between merely talking about new marketing ideas and actually employing them in real life is shrinking.

That means futurists are more important than ever to alert the rest of us about how our jobs – and our world – will change in the years ahead. John Mustin is one of those guys.

“Are you creating an environment, a culture and a team today that will be able to harness those unknowns tomorrow?” asked Mustin, CEO of a Wasabi Rabbit, New York City-based, veteran-owned agency that prides itself on matching creative expression with digital discipline.

In a wide-ranging conversation with Critical Mention on best practices for using technology to glean marketing insights from vast amounts of information, Mustin was enthusiastic about marrying unstructured data with his clients’ customer relationship management systems for previously impossible one-to-one engagement between brands and target consumers.

“We view big data as, not a challenge, but an opportunity,” said Mustin, who spent 23 years in the U.S. Navy Reserves and was CMO at GlobalWorks prior to starting Wasabi Rabbit.

Rather than relying on the decades-old ad industry mainstay – the 30-second spot – to reach consumers, Mustin is urging clients to engage in social listening, publishing and analyzing so brand communications can be customized for each recipient and customer enthusiasm can be tapped.

“The ability to build an advocate force that will rally on behalf of a brand and tell the world why your brand is better than another is unparalleled,” he said. “We’ve never had this opportunity before.”

The Wasabi Rabbit chief pointed to shorter and shorter development cycles between development of “crazy, harebrain ideas” and mass adoption. One example he cited is the ability for brands to publish in real time with messages that are tailored for individuals, with dynamic response-modeling.

“Smart brands are investing heavily into intellectual property and patents that have to do with getting in front of the consumer with the insights that resonate with them,” he said.

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