As marketers, we often juggle multiple priorities, often to the detriment of doing a few things really well. We need to resist the urge to act as the organization’s “dumping ground” for everything that remotely sounds like marketing and focus on those areas where we can make the most impact for our efforts. Here are 3 key marketing trends in 2016 where you need to focus to deliver value to your organization.
We live in a world where the customer now has an incredible amount of power. Simply stated, we don’t need to buy anything from anyone anymore. A proliferation of choices and information has forced every organization to do more to stand out from their competitors in an effort to attract and retain customers. The big challenge is that customers themselves are changing. The behaviors and needs of a digital-first, millennial generation are shaping the demands of your entire customer base. Every day, more of them expect your marketing to be relevant, your product to be customized to their needs, and your brand to treat them with a friendly, personal touch. As marketers, we need to lead the organizations’ efforts to deliver a flexible, customized experience that puts the customer’s needs above our own and resist the urge to paint our customers with one brush.
Experience is Everything:
Your customers don’t just want an offer or a deal; nor do they just want a unique message, decent content and a smiling face. They want a seamless, satisfying experience. To deliver that, you’re going to have to make sure your entire organization is working together to deliver the expected customer experience. This will require you to integrate customer data, online and offline touchpoints, content, customer service, social channels, and everything in between. As marketers, we need to examine every customer touch point to ensure that the experience aligns with the organization’s brand and promise.
Know Your Customer:
I’m amazed by the number of organizations that don’t really know their customers and wonder why they are not achieving the results they expect. Marketers are the ones best-suited to understand a customers’ needs, liaise with the other departments that face them, and lead communication on all fronts. As understanding the customer becomes more important to senior management, your role will grow, as long as you’re able to understand them better than everyone else. As marketers, we need to understand the unique characteristics of each audience segment – what their pain is, what influences them to “buy” from us and when they are most receptive to messages.
Maintain a focus on these three key marketing trends and you’ll not only make a significant impact on your organizations’ objectives in 2016, but increase the level of respect that you (and marketing) deserves in the organization.