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[dropcap]M[/dropcap]arketing is in a transitional era and it has been for a while. New and evolving technologies have changed so much about how a marketer’s day works — from the responsibilities, duties, and relationships all the way down to what exactly content is created, and why. For the last 5+ years, the focus has been on actually understanding customers; adding even more complexity, is technology because it enables customers to move back and forth across mainstream and siloed cultural bubbles instantaneously. So effectively speaking to both, and across multiple channels is a must. From now until 2020, marketing’s top priorities continue to be personalization, content, and engagement. Now it’s time to use that knowledge to drive engagement and do it at scale.
“Today, the primary task of CMOs is to deeply understand customer buying behavior and intent; deeply understand the context of where someone is in their decision journey; be able to predict what they’re most likely primed to do next; and be ready to influence them at the right moment.”
—Jonathan Martin, CMO, Pure Storage
Marketers are no longer purveyors of information. Thanks to social media and search engines, customers can access pricing and other product information on their own. So customers already know what your brand can offer them. In other words, marketing is now responsible for getting and keeping the customer. Nearly 90% of survey respondents in a recent poll believe marketing departments will exercise significant influence over business strategy by 2020. Which means the brands marketing strategy must align with both the sales and customer service teams. Now, there are new tools such as the internet of things, geo-targeting, and blockchain personalized technologies; as well as tactics like beacon-powered marketing, which uses Bluetooth technology to push information to nearby devices, focus on the user experience, marketers have the power to send shoppers a coupon based on where they are in a store. Marketing channels will be created by these connected objects and locations. Contextual shopping also on the rise uses insights into a consumer’s “buying journey,” and data from their wearables and home’s smart devices to offer suggestions or discounts.
See the Data in 2020
Business large and small know that these new technology tools for marketing are already here, but again it isn’t crystal clear as to how this will evolve by 2020. One thing that’s clear however is that the technology will be powered by data. Business data is currently being explored like never before and the Cloud is only the beginning. By the year 2020, analysts project that 78% of all small businesses in the U.S. will have adopted cloud computing, meaning it will have doubled from the present around 37%. Currently, 18% of small businesses with one to 99 employees are using a hybrid cloud. Terry Hicks, vice president and general manager of QuickBooks Online Ecosystem said, “Whether you’re a tech startup in Silicon Valley or a mom-and-pop shop on Main Street, cloud technology presents radically new opportunities and potentially disruptive changes.” If you want to drive stronger daily active use of your technology product, you’ve got to get into what’s actually working, what’s not and how you can improve.” This is also true for marketers — how they’re buying, retargeting and using the right data to improve the message, the content and the experience they’re delivering to customers. Remember, it’s not enough to just gather data — The goal is to figure out how to separate the useful consumer insights from the noisy data waste. With a clearer dataset, marketers can use relevant insights to develop smarter, more targeted campaigns. And it’s not just about the right data but how quickly brands and businesses learn from that data to optimize the customer experience.
The 2020 Mobile Movement
The easiest way to see what else is in the future is to look at the trends. Most Americans prefer to shop online, and the number is only going to get bigger as Generation Z and beyond grow up in an Internet-dominated world. Anyone in the space knows mobile has been a massive trend for years now; it makes up over half of the web traffic according to some studies. Despite this, 46% of small businesses do not have a website and 35% feel that their operation is simply too small to warrant a website. Not existing online especially mobile will not be an option in 2020. Having your own platform which you own is a must because if Facebook goes down you can not! However doing this successfully, means combining technology and sharp analytical skills with traditional marketing creativity. Advanced marketers are building statistical models to ascertain what signals mean and that customers are interested in certain products and serving them accordingly. This may also explain why more marketing leaders are coming from computer science or statistics backgrounds. One study found that 75% of its respondents admitted to taking their phones with them into the bathroom. Given the frequency with which people access the internet with their mobile devices, it’s obvious that bring people to your platform with mobile marketing is important if you want to reach a large portion of the population.
Talk to your Audience in 2020
Fading are the days of indirect interaction through media and advertising. By 2020, more marketers expect they will interact directly with their customers through technology and personalization. It is about me the consumer not you the brand. Every interaction a customer has with your content is an opportunity to build a relationship with them and ultimately bring them one step closer to making a purchase or related decision. How can your brand, product, or service be useful to a customer? You better be able to communicate that information. By the same token, if the experience you’re delivering isn’t personalized to their needs, you’re going to see an impact.
Focus on a 2020 Experience
The reality is there’s no longer a one-size-fits-all model for marketers to follow, so marketers need to rethink their content and distribution channel by channel with the broader customer experience in mind. The goal has to be creating value through personalized customer experiences. Realize that to improve personalization and engagement, this has to be a primary focus; where the ultimate goal is engaging customers with compelling, contextually relevant experiences. Marketing professionals who are out in front are using that data we discussed to create “big capabilities.” That is, understanding the immediate context of a person. Then personalizing their end-to-end customer experience across platforms, devices, and locations. Some of the most successful brands in the world today are focused on delivering a better customer experience.
“You’re no longer marketing AT people. You’re influencing them in an environment where they’ve already had a chance to form a view.”
– Kristin Lemkau, CMO, JPMorgan Chase
Marketers have to make sure they have the right technology and customer data to allow them to deliver the right content and experiences across channels and in the moment. With a myriad of complex touch points and a decision based journey for customers that is constantly changing, tapping into the trends above is a must for marketers and brands to win. The goal for brands moving forward is connecting with consumers on their own terms and building brand loyalty with authentic storytelling. Explore TimbrTech.com to learn more and #LetsCollaborate