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Top 10 Marketing Trends for 2014

Tibco Software produced this whitepaper – what follows is a synopsis of the whitepaper.

Every New Year brings with it new predictions for what will happen in the year to come. However, if you look more closely, many are trends rather than actual predictions. This is because trends are observed, predictions are not as easy to get right. Trends are important because they offer the opportunity to get ahead of the competition. Marketing trends affect the beginning of the sales cycle.

1Customer data will go unused
Most customer data will go unused even though marketers are working to increase the relevance of the data and engage more with customers. The lack of maturity in managing data is costly to retailers. As we progress through the 10 trends it will become clear that the inability of an organisation to see and use customer data prevents the level of customer-centricity which consumers demand and brands require.

Without the right tools to react quickly to changing customer behaviour, brands lose their view into customer tastes and needs. They also lose the connection to the customer and are no longer customer-centric. Hearing the voice of the customer is the only way a brand can understand:

•What the customer likes
•Where to push the gained insights across the business
•How to gain business value from the insights
•Where to engage with customers
•How to give customer the ability to engage with the brand

For anyone planning a modern marketing campaign, the spotlight needs to be placed on this problem. Customer data will be a major competitive differentiator.

2Marketing will become even more data driven
Marketing will become more data driven in 2014, requiring integration of data silos within marketing applications as well as, across the enterprise information technology landscape. Managing marketing data effectively will involve the use of platforms that have integration capabilities built in.

Making marketing more complicated are the silos created from wasted spending by the more technology-naïve marketers. A broad view of customers and the ability to respond at the ideal time – right-time marketing – require access to data from any source. Today, it requires a marketing platform to connect, engage and inspire customers.

3Analytics will be a hot skill
Analytics will be a sought after skill on the Chief Marketing Officer’s (CMO) team. Data recovery, developing hypotheses and test and learn approaches will become crucial. CMO’s will actively recruit analytics talent and look for marketing platforms with business-friendly analytics.

The rise of analytics corresponds to other trends that aren’t necessarily marketing-specific but which are drivers of marketing such as big data and mobility. The increase in data is driven by the increase in consumer information. There is a corresponding increase in supply chain data. While the main focus of big data is the collection, storage and analysis of data, its greatest purpose is in gaining a better understanding of the supply chain, the customer and the market.

For the marketer, analytics is important because it gives insight into the customer behaviour and allows the ability to identify opportunities and influence behaviour. Analytics are not designed to replace creativity but rather offer a proving ground for the ideas generated by the creatives.

4The Chief Information Officer (CIO) will cede ever more data control to the CMO

There will be an increasing move of data into marketing as Analytics make their presence felt. Companies will become more marketer centric, which means bringing data back to the marketer to make it actionable at the right time. This requires that the CMO have control of the customer data. This allows the marketing department to be self-sufficient in measuring the outcome of its work.

The relationship between CIOs and CMOs will have to change. CMOs will seek out solutions which can be implemented quickly to provide measurable ROI in shorter periods of time CIOs who act as a business partner to the marketing department bring important information on customer data. Neither party can see the other as rigid – CIO – or detached – CMO. A powerful marketing platform provides the rallying point for both teams and both teams form a functioning partnership.

5Actionable models and analytics will drive marketing
Big data will form the basis of understanding and influencing how customers make emotionally-based purchase decisions. Mobile marketing shifts customer focus to more and more rational, price-based decisions. Data analytics will uncover the influences of purchasing decisions which will go beyond price.

Getting the full benefit of the rapid rise in data and analytics technology requires understanding the nature of segmentation. It also involves having a grasp of propensities, which is a way to build actionable models and is also a diagnostic tool for campaigns. Traditional models of propensity are being expanded to include attrition and taking social media action. It is also having a culture of test and learn.

Developments in marketing analytics are a game changer and create a new urgency for advanced tools and techniques. Without analytics, marketers can easily be swamped by increasing amounts of data which lacks meaning, context, and actionable information. The benefit of implementing robust analytics is increasing brand advocacy from loyal customers.

6Data sources will continue to increase
There is a growing number of ways in which brands can find customers. Smartphones, tablets and now the Internet of Things means that brands have more access to customers to deliver relevant and even personalised messages.

These sources of information also introduce complexity. The mobile world makes purchasing decisions more difficult. Shoppers are accessing more sources of information before making their decisions but allowing them to make their decisions based on digital interactions rather than in person. As new data sources become available, there is a need to integrate that information into the marketing analytics. This means that interacting with the customer closer to the point of making the decision becomes a matter of rapid intake of data and equally rapid determination of the best way to interact. Right-time marketing becomes more effective.

7Location data will rapidly increase
Location data will increase in volume, velocity and importance. Bluetooth Low Energy-based location tracking systems provide numerous possibilities for approaching customers at the right time. Bluetooth Low Energy or BLE allows people and objects to connect wirelessly and anywhere. It allows hands-free payment or prepayment of items in stores. This creates a partnership between marketing and the Internet of Things.

Location data also offers a second opportunity to combine loyalty data and demand- and time-based offers. Overstocked items can be offered at discounted prices to nearby loyalty programme customers or higher status customers can be offered preferential service. It can also offer micro-segmentation of consumers based on what they buy as well as, how they buy. This includes the amount of time taken to consider a product, the number of products considered, the pattern used by the customer to make a decision. All of these are valuable bits of information.

8Big data will be used rather than stored
Big data will be seen as streams of information which are used rather than being stored. Better technology will mean that more informed choices can be made about what data is stored permanently and what is only stored for short periods. The pressure to gain actionable intelligence will push brands to use technology that pre-filters and consumes the data which is necessary to interact intelligently.

This process is important because big data includes more information such as a shopping cart being abandoned or a customer entering or leaving a store. This information helps understand a customer’s mindset.

9Loyalty will be key to profitability
Loyalty is the increasingly important target of engaging customers. Loyalty will be of major importance as the move to analytics and data-driven marketing grows. Profitability for more brands requires customer loyalty. It has been calculated that it is up to seven times more costly to acquire new customers than it is to retain existing ones. The value of a loyal customer is considered to be as much as ten times the value of the initial purchase. Loyal customers are also emotionally attached to a brand and therefore, more likely to see products and services favourably. Lastly a loyal customer is more likely to be an advocate for a brand.

10CRM systems will cede ground to marketing
Marketing technology and techniques will take over most of the consumer-facing role of Customer Relationship Management (CRM). They have not been architected to manage the sources and amounts of data necessary for the new role of marketing. CRM systems lack the focus on real-time Customer Engagement Management (CEM) which brings the permission to interact, makes offers purposeful and puts the customer’s needs and desires at the focus of selling (pull) instead of the brand’s (push).

Marketers have been forced to build solutions on top of existing systems because they include the aspects of personalisation and analytics. But this is only a short-term solution. Many enterprise vendors are scrambling to buy up marketing applications to head off the challenge from loyalty marketing applications, but they are fighting a losing battle when it comes to understanding how to integrate these products to create solutions which provide a centre of gravity for actionable models and analytics.

The goal of every marketer needs to be a unified customer experience which does not rely on difficult integration and customisation. Reliance on big systems and tools has been expensive and has not really made any inroads to presenting an holistic customer experience. A CLM platform presents an integrated set of products and tools which meets the data integration, actionable models, analytics, event processing, loyalty and agility requirements of an industry going through rapid change.

This report lists the trends, you must decide whether to act on them or to wait and see. Smart marketers know that it takes being ahead of the curve to succeed.

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