by Martin Wallace on December 11, 2014
It’s that time of year when retailers are either busting guts to get Christmas shoppers into heaving stores, or trying to convince online web visitors to submit orders for tight delivery deadlines. Or both!
All this to the backdrop of digital gurus clambering over each other to try and work out what’s going to dictate future marketing initiatives.
We’re no different, so here’s the Innometrics view on life as a marketer in 2015…
This has been a key ‘P’ for the last few years and its importance will not be diluted as the year turns. The so-called ‘millennials’ continue to demand more personalisation from brands, and the increasing variety of digital channels makes it a must for successful marketing. This also means that personalisation needs to extend beyond the website, to provide a multichannel personalisation experience.
For brands that have an offline outlet (formally known as a ‘shop’), the evolution of the Internet of Things promises increased use of Near-Field Communication (NFC) devices, which will not only add offline channels to the digital landscape, but will enable more targeted messaging than ever before.
The idea of bringing more physical devices online is currently to be hampered by the inertia of multi-channel marketing, which has still not been fully and properly addressed. Channels such as display advertising and social media are developing at pace and businesses are struggling to keep up. With each channel requiring a full time resource, disparate channels still present a problem that is growing in both complexity and importance. It is simply too early for the Internet of Things to be a mainstream success – businesses need to conquer the multi-channel landscape first, and that starts with personalising the experience from start to finish.
The name of the game at this stage of the year. Wouldn’t it be great if we could predict all the trends that were to unfold over the next 12 months, before this blog and its industry peers return to do it all over again? Better still: Wouldn’t it be great if we could predict what customers wanted, or were going to do, and send them relevant marketing messages at exactly the right point to facilitate the buying process? With so much available data being generated and collected, the idea of personalisation naturally moves from focusing on historic trends to mapping out and anticipating future behaviour.
Real-time data capture also opens doors to real-time prediction, where the next step can be anticipated during the discrete buying process. This, in turn, better places the brand to respond more quickly to customer behaviour, reducing cart abandonment or store exit and improving conversion.
At Innometrics, our platform, ideas and philosophy is driven by focusing on the individual’s customer behaviour, not what the company database says about them. We believe the best way to deliver a truly perosnalised experience is to create a profile of every customer and prospect, to enrich that profile over time with behavioural and demographic data, and finally to share that data across all of your existing marketing technologies in real time. Is 2015 the year of the profile? We like to think that actionable customer profiles are an unrivalled, direct route to Single Customer View nirvana.
It’s easy to think (or worry) that the age of big data and targeted marketing is tantamount to an invasion of consumer rights. In fact, the whole point of the ideas above should drive a better customer experience, not a more threatening one. Consumers should be able to choose what data they share and what data they want used, and this extends way beyond a small tickbox at the end of a long document of terms and conditions.
Consumers are demanding a better, more transparent privacy experience, particularly from their social networks, and this trend is set to continue into and beyond 2015. Social media may lead the charge, but brands should take care not to lag too far behind.
So there you have it – a selection of predictions forming a new 4 Ps theory of marketing for 2015. Don’t rewrite the textbook just yet though – let’s check back in December 2015 to see how we got on.