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TopRight Trends Series: 3 IMM Trends for 2015

Happy New Year!  To help us all gain a bit of perspective on the opportunities ahead, TopRight team members have identified key trends in our major practice areas.  This is the second in a series on 2015 marketing trends.  Read our Digital Marketing trends post.

2015 trends

As part of the TopRight 2015 Trends series, we take a look at CRM and Integrated Marketing Management (IMM) as core areas of marketing technology investment and opportunity.    We can summarize the (near) future of IMM with three words:  Data, content and automation.

1.  Data.  A recent Oracle study projects that big data will be a $50 billion business by 2017.  This continued understanding and utility of big data means bigger budgets for analytics, which grew significantly in 2014 and many analysts expect will continue to grow across industries in 2015. Getting big data and marketing analytics right is the number one imperative for companies who wish to lead their markets.  Bad or “dirty” data across businesses and the government will cost the U.S. economy $600 billion dollars a year, and many companies are realizing the opportunity cost of not collecting, owning and analyzing their data.

For IMM strategies, using big data is all about connections.  Good IMM solutions will help marketers connect business lines, cross-channel customers, loyal brand advocates and dispersed employee bases.

2.  Content:  We’ve seen social and content come together in 2014 to begin to build an integrated marketing strategy for many marketers.  Brands ramped up their content marketing efforts in a big way, and so 2015 investment will add analytics to the mix and focus on ROI to quantify and benchmark these efforts.  Good IMM technology and practices helps to operationalize all that content, matching it with lifecycle stage, real time advertising and insights from analytics and the budget.  The end result should be higher quality content that is unique to customer and channel.  Repurposed content across social networks is not going to cut it anymore.

“Know thy customer” will be the mantra of CRM and IMM for 2015.  Companies that succeed will be nimble – not only with content that integrates and personalizes campaigns, but also in the resource management and planning process.  We are big fans of strategic planning here at TopRight, but budgeting needs to be flexible and responsive to market, customer and competitive change.  Managing dynamic programs in ever-changing ecosystems is at the heart of a great IMM approach.   Hot areas of investment will include mobility, social media and technologies, Web analytics and e-commerce.

3.  Automation.  People don’t want “Brand experiences.” They want “My experiences.”  IMM and CRM are critical to understanding each customer as a unique person, with interests and demands that are very personal to each.  Automation is what lets marketers act on a lot of those opportunities, provided the data is protected and governed and the risk mitigated for engines to make social gaffes or predictive blunders.  Buzzwords like predictive analytics, pre-targeting and iBeacons have made marketers’ roles more complex, but also more powerful, proactive and measurable.  Automation will appear this coming year as part of ad placement and retargeting, programmatic buying and campaign management and optimization.

Are you ready for the challenges that 2015 will bring to your IMM opportunity?  Is your marketing technology keeping up with your marketing strategies and customer needs?  Are you confident that your IMM technology is fully optimized?  Take the TopRight IMM Report Card to quickly assess areas of opportunity. It’s a great 2015 planning tool to help you Stay #TopRight.

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