“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 five of our favorite responses, below, offering thoughtful perspectives on how new technologies and big-data analytics can be leveraged to deliver increasingly personalized experiences to the individual customers at the heart of all digital marketing efforts.
As consumers expect the world around them to not just respond to, but anticipate, their needs, we should provide interconnected services and functionality across brands, devices, and platforms. The Internet of things is just the beginning: Thanks to BLE technology and mobile-device advancements, the world around us is becoming smart and aware of user behavior. We have the potential to correlate data about users in a physical space, social media history, personal preferences, and even buying history. With this new level of insight, we can build a true online profile that allows real personalization, customization, and unique experiences throughout the customer life cycle.
–Tim McMullen, Marketing Scientist, redpeppe
In 2015, customers will become less satisfied with mass personalization. For years, companies in the financial services sector have been able to store, manage, and deliver data per individual, in real time. Going forward, marketing organizations need to do the same, connecting with customers in ways that are fluid, seamless, ongoing, meaningful, and personal. It all starts with a vision of what you want your customer’s experience to be. Then, you’ll need a comprehensive data strategy that will tear down silos, unravel snarled data streams, and implement integrated processes designed to put the customer at the center of all you do.
–Lisa Arthur, CMO, Teradata Marketing Applications
2015 will be the year when person-to-person planets align. Leading B2C brands (Netflix, Amazon, Facebook) and some B2B brands have been priming the pump and raising customer expectations to engage with brands on a personalized level. In fact, personalization ranked as the No. 1 capability for marketing in the future, according to the 2014 “Digital Roadblock: Marketers Struggle to Reinvent Themselves” (PDF) study from Adobe. Importantly, the study also revealed that brands that were focused on delivering more personalized experiences to their customers outperformed competitors in sales and revenue.
–Steven Cook, Founder, FortuneCMO.co; CMO.com Contributing Editor
Time And Place For Tech
Sending out inflatable dolls to interact with our market just doesn’t cut it–even if they’re digital. We’ll be transformed when we can use our digital tools to create better opportunities for one-on-one dialogue without the artifice of technology in-between. In other words, our digital technology should open the door to live interactions. It should not substitute algorithms and come-ons for real courting. And real marketing, to me, is courting–especially in my world, which is recruiting.
–Nick Corcodilos, Recruiter, CMO.com Blogger/Ask The Headhunter
Every day our target audiences interact with our businesses across multiple channels. This presents the opportunity for marketers to constantly develop customer relationships in a connected, mobile-dominated world. The challenge is in identifying our unique audiences across devices, platforms, and networks. We must be able to connect the dots for each individual customer, whose interactions [on various platforms represent] one relationship. 2015 is the year to improve cross-channel tracking. The relationship we build with our audience should be consistent regardless of the channel of interaction.
–Sonny Ganguly, CMO, WeddingWire