“What is the one move marketers need to make for 2015 to be the year of true digital transformation?”
That’s the question that Adobe’s top resource for marketing insights and inspiration, CMO.com, posed to marketing leaders for the fourth annual series of predictions exploring the changes marketers are likely to face in the year to come. And more than 70 of the world’s top marketing experts from North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region responded, sharing their thoughts on the single most important thing that marketers should focus on to help define the digital landscape of 2015.
Here are just five of our favorite responses, below, which focus on “omnichannel integration” and the digital marketing tools that will be required to address customers’ increasingly complex, multifaceted expectations of brands.
With over 70 to 80 percent of purchase decisions significantly influenced by digital channels (including for high-value categories, like automotive), marketers need to truly embrace an omnichannel response that cuts across marketing, media, distribution, and aftersales in order to meet their consumers’ needs. I believe this will require three key steps: deep consumer insights to understand the path to purchase and influences to purchase; a technology backbone, including data analytics, to develop predictive models for effective consumer engagement; and engagement across functions and entire leadership–not just marketing and sales.
–Vinay Dixit, Vice President-Strategy, Electrolux Asia Pacific
True digital transformation is being able to combine offline and digital to provide a true omnichannel experience. The distinction [between the two] has blurred with ever greater digital adoption, even in countries like India. Marketers need to drive the reinvention of the customer experience in the context of digital. This means not just considering technology as an enabler, but as a disruptor. Marketers, even the progressive ones, have to have a plan and then identify the technology to implement it. But to be disruptive, they need to track technology and then see how it can be applied in a new, never-before way to a customer experience.
–Jessie Paul, Founder, Paul Writer
Start With Replatforming
Marketers need to go beyond digital as a discrete discipline and view it as the foundation of modern marketing. This first and foremost necessitates a replatforming of marketing from spreadsheets, random tools, and vendor-specific technologies to a coherent platform from which marketing can be orchestrated. Marketing workflow, assets, performance analysis, and orchestration will all need to take place in the cloud if marketers are to compete. As marketers look to returns on these crucial investments, a new generation in marketing decision support systems will provide the insight into aggregate marketing performance, breaking them free of narrow and myopic ROI analysis.
–Andrew Lark, CMO, Xero
To leverage digital to drive value, CMOs may need to fully embrace market-inspired digital innovation and transformation. That means understanding customer journeys across the entire [life cycle], and using customer insights to unify engagement across sales, marketing, services, and products. The tactics that can enable CMOs to do that include cohesive value-driven digital strategies, unified cross-medium user experiences, integrated technology platforms, integrated customer data, and deep analytics capabilities.
–Barbara Venneman, Principal, Global Adobe Alliance Leader and Digital Marketing Offering Lead, Deloitte Digital
Bridge To Millennials
True digital transformation requires that we bridge the chasm between the tech-facile Millennials and the corporate decision-makers, who are at very different places in the adoption of digital technology. Inside corporations, technology systems need to evolve dramatically to match the multistream experience Millennials innately know and expect. Effecting that change means senior leaders who hold the purse strings need a deeper appreciation of digital technology and the value it brings in attracting top talent and driving revenue. A shift in their familiarity and comfortable level has to happen before life, work, and commerce can be played out fully on a digital stage.
–JB King, Global Head of Content, Marsh & McLennan Companies
Read the full range of 70+ predictions at CMO.com.