Looking back on 2015, the top issues for Marketers included Personalization, Mind of the Customer, Customer Experience, Martech and Big Data. Now, as we look forward, the TopRight team has a few predictions on what will be shaping the playbooks of marketers at leading companies throughout 2016:
Prediction #1: Chief Marketing Technology Officer Ascends to Transform Customer Experience and Marketing
The CMTO will become the most critical player in leading organizations to transform customer experiences and profitably grow the business. Executives will need to become digital leaders if their organizations are to thrive rather than die over the next few years. Whether it is the current CIO, CTO, CMO or other senior business executive who takes on the CMTO mantle will depend on his/ her ability to extend the scope and scale of his/her current role. Bringing a digital mind-set to an organization and leading the digital discussion requires a deep understanding of the business model and of what drives profits, a track record of delivering true transformation across an organization, and, most importantly, the creativity and willingness to bring disruption to the traditional sales and marketing model. There are few perfectly qualified individuals with the necessary influence to change the current mindset of the Board and C-suite executives, so this is a call to arms for true marketing heroes looking to engage in the most critical task any organization faces today – customer experience transformation.
Prediction #2: Brand Transparency and Authenticity Rule
Complete authenticity and transparency in brand marketing is paramount – gone are the days of taking creative liberties with our products to enhance their appeal. Consumers in 2016 will demand honesty in all marketing efforts and challenge brands to ‘tell it like it is’–but ensure that ‘what it is’ relates to the person interacting with the brand. So stick to the facts and seamlessly integrate these facts into your marketing communications. Speak openly and make it extremely easy for customers to engage in a conversation with you in real time and express themselves. If you haven’t already – ensure all digital communications are mobile optimized, actively solicit feedback from customers and incorporate strong data analytic tools to evaluate impact – all of which will ultimately strengthen your brand in the future. Stop worrying about measuring “impressions” and think about ways to start measuring “expressions” of your brand by your customers. A trustworthy, honest brand with genuine customers expressing their loyalty and advocacy will win every time.
Prediction #3: The Time from Insight to Action Approaches Zero
While complex statistics may still be the domain of “data scientists” in the immediate future, data-driven marketing decision-making shouldn’t be. In the coming year, simpler big data discovery tools will let marketers access large datasets, formulate hypotheses, validate them with customers, analyze insights and reshape them into new marketing campaigns faster than ever before. Furthermore, marketing departments armed with cognitive analytics and machine learning capabilities may not even need human intervention in the near future. The time gap between data collection to insight to action is still at human speed, but the future of marketing is moving to “machine speed”—the sharing of actionable intelligence from machine-to-machine and moving from being diagnostic to predictive to prescriptive almost instantaneously. Admittedly, most companies are still operating at a very basic level of diagnostic analytics, but we see that changing quickly due to advancements in cognitive analytic tools and machine learning technologies. However, it’s highly likely that in 2016, a machine will be combining your online clickstream data with your store transaction data to analyze customer behavior at the “moment of truth” and make real-time offers to enhance customer experience and increase conversion.
What predictions would you add to the list? Please share your thoughts below or share this blog with your network.
Photo Credit: William Reed Business Media Ltd