Marketing Resolutions for 2017

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The best way to predict the future is to create it

Virtual Reality by HammerandTusk (Wren Handman)
Virtual Reality by HammerandTusk (Wren Handman)

The best way to create the future is by evolving investments. With 2017 days aways, marketers have a chance to learn for their mistakes of the past year and begin strategizing about how money and time should be spent in the future. 

Is augmented/virtual reality ripe for exploration or too rare to touch? How much personalization is too much personalization? When is it best to use intuition over data?

Marketing is an ever-evolving industry. And if marketers want to remain relevant, they should consider some marketing resolutions for 2017.

Whether the Customer is Right or Not, You Should Listen

The customer is at the epicenter of the entire marketing industry. Presumably, if you please the customer, success shall follow. The greatest way to tap into a customer’s experience is to think like a customer.

“Today’s consumer, or buyer, is incredibly reliant on digital channels as they navigate through a purchase process, and they expect instant access to information,” said Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Adobe Campaign. “To keep up with this empowered and always-on consumer, marketers need technology that goes beyond managing sales and leads, to one that helps manage interactions across channels; provides insights into what is working and where course corrections are needed; provides recommendations; is fully integrated with marketing to align sales and marketing efforts.”

In recent years, brands and marketers have taken the omnichannel approach to appease this multi-layered consumer experience. However, as technologies advance and more platforms arise, the omnichannel approach may become more layered and more confusing. In order to best navigate these technological waters, listen to the customer.

Embrace Data

Over the past couple years, the importance of data has grown from a basic marketing trend to a necessary tool. From statistical trends, to analytical patterns, to technological shifts, data has the capability to expose marketers and brands to a seemingly endless trough of information.

However, despite the rising importance of data in marketing, there are still those who distrust the concept. If you happen to be one, 2017 is the year to let go of the pessimism and embrace data.

“We need to find ways to establish societal trust in how organizations operate in the emerging data-driven society,” said Sander Klous, partner at KPMG in the Netherlands, said in a report titled “Building Trust in Analytics.” “The simple reality is that we are moving quickly into a world in which our behavior and decisions are heavily impacted by systems fueled by data.”

Learn Everything You Can About VR, AR

If there were a list of marketing words for 2016, augmented reality and virtual reality would have to be near the top. Over the past couple years, the concept of AR and VR have slowly been making their way into the marketing industry, with concepts such as interactive ads, 360-degree videos, and augmented retail experiences.

“It’s getting more interactive, more personal, and brands are humanized now more than ever, and the more they understand the more personalized and interactive the content is going to become,” said Darryl Villacorta, a social media strategist at Sprout Social.

While the VR and AR concepts still appear to be a few years away from truly integrating with everyday marketing; it is clear the trend is growing, so learn everything you can about it in 2017.

Integrate, Integrate, Integrate

With so many platforms and so much data, things tend to get lost in the mix. In order to maintain a focused approach, brands should consider integrating certain aspects of customer relations marketing.

“CRM must seamlessly support both sales and marketing requirements, which includes the ability to alert sales or marketing when something happens that warrants attention; a single accessible view of the customer/buyer; insights into customer/lead behavior throughout the journey, as well as what sales/marketing tactics are working; full funnel visibility into lead/buyer status,” said Swann.

Brands, in order to drive engagement, have and will continue to evolve so that social channels are managed alongside email, web, CRM and other channels managed by sales/marketing.

The Role of a CMO is Evolving, so Evolve With It

The CMO is now expected to lead revenue growth by almost 70 percent of CEOs, according to a report entitled, Connected Interaction to Power Brand: How Marketing is Transforming to Create More Connected Customer Engagement by CMO Council and Deloitte.

“Being a chief marketing officer is not even remotely the same role as it was ten years ago,” said Liz Miller, SVP of marketing for the CMO Council, to Venture Beat about the report. “Before, you were the chief branding ambassador — it was really more about advertising and the introduction of marketing as a formalized process.”

With the meteoric acceleration of all things digital, CMOs, per the report, were forced to evolve from simple creativity to full engagement with data, science and technology.

So to be a successful CMO in 2017, don’t forget everything you know, just understand there is more to learn.

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