The good news: Marketers have access to more customer data than ever before.
The not-so-good-news: Marketers are still figuring out how to get the most out of it.
That’s the takeaway from IBM’s Review of the Top 9 Marketing Trends for 2019 presentation by David Miller, VP Global Product Marketing, at Gartner’s Marketing Symposium/Xpo 2019. Here are 9 important takeaways from IBM’s expert in AI-powered B2C and B2B marketing automation.
1. We have access to more data than ever before
This is an exciting time for marketers. Marketing automation is gathering more useful data on customers and prospective customers than ever before. An overwhelming amount of data can be gathered into any number of silos and everyone is racing to converge the data into useful, business and marketing-oriented insights and actionable tool stacks. It’s important to tread lightly, however, and take time to architect data so that it actually helps your business.
2. Introducing Marketing’s Newest Player: The Director of Marketing Data
Roles and team structures are rapidly evolving to meet the new reality of more and better consumer insights. And for good reason:
- Only 5% of customer data is ever analyzed
- There are 6,800 MarTech systems available and large enterprises are using 91 of them.
When customer data is collected, critical new skills are required to get the most out of it while negotiating thorny legal issues like Europe’s GDPR, California’s CCPA and others. And while useful for customer experience and personalization, accurate interpretation of that data is crucial as AI and machine learning is dependent on the quality of the data they are fed. Speaking of AI and machine learning. . .
3. AI and machine learning are making hyper-personalization more relevant than ever
One thing 94% of marketers surveyed agree on is that personalization is good. However, barriers like IT roadblocks and legacy technology are keeping many from leveraging the full effectiveness of the data they collect. Artificial intelligence is bringing new life to preferred locations insights using geo-fencing to hyper-target how marketers engage with their customers where the customers are. This AI can be leveraged for a number of purposes, from personalized website interactions to Whole Foods pinging customers while they are driving home, and even identify where customers are struggling in their customer journeys.
4. Digital Marketing agencies are transforming into “Consul-agencies”
Up to 47% of high-performing brands are consulting with agencies to bridge their data silos. As a result, the compensation model is expected to evolve toward agency compensation based on outcomes. It is more important than ever to find a strategic, consultative partner that can provide full-service needs for your business and marketing solutions. Consul-agencies are here to stay.
5. GDPR is tightening data hygiene while building customer trust
According to eMarketer, 55% of consumers no longer want to provide their personal information to marketers. Protecting customer data has taken center stage with a cascade of powerful new consumer-protection laws, notable for severe penalties when consumer data is mishandled under new regulatory requirements like CAN-SLAM, CASL, GDPR and, coming in 2020, California’s CCPA. Marketers and their in-house counsels are spending more quality time together as brands weave their way through the tricky issues that come with protecting consumer data. What some may see as a problem, however, is really an opportunity, as 60% of organizations are embracing GDPR as a motivator to improve privacy, security, and data management and act as a catalyst for new business models. Whether an organization chooses to be proactive and take responsibility or look backwards and be found at fault, the bottom line is that data hygiene instills consumer trust, which in turn creates higher quality acquisitions, and will ultimately lead to new metrics.
6. Agile marketing adoption is accelerating marketing outcomes and developing teams
Agile marketing subdivides marketing projects into tasks for quick wins which, upon completion, are assessed for improvements and lessons learned. This tactical approach has been adopted by 37% of marketers and 50% expect to adopt agile methodology in the next year. And for good reason—agile enables fast gear shifts when needed, speeds new ideas to market, tightens business alignment and improves team productivity, resulting in higher quality of work.
7. MarTech and AdTech are converging
MarTech and AdTech, which have been siloed in the past, are converging as marketers struggle to connect pre- and post-purchase customer journeys. By 2020, 85% of digital display ads—representing $69 billion in the U.S.—will transact programmatically. We can no longer think of these execution platforms as separate. We must architect our technologies to speak the same language and collect useful advertising and marketing data to inform our strategies and daily executions.
8. Customer centricity is driving transformation
As marketers’ new business models become based around fulfilling customer experiences and retention, CMOs are finding their roles are rapidly evolving into that of a Chief Experience Officer. New customer-centric strategies are driving repeat business by delivering positive experiences for customers across the arc of their journey to conversion and beyond. As a result, subscription models driven by recurring billing are taking over. Subscription models offer a number of benefits, like better revenue predictability, more opportunities for engaging with customers, and inventory management, and most importantly, retention. For this model to work, organizations need to embrace digital transformation to address and correct any disconnects across their organization.
9. Purpose is creating loyalty in today’s emotion economy
A recent study shows that 87% of U.S. consumers say they purchase a product because the company advocates for an issue the customers care about, as opposed to 76% who say they refuse to make purchases if a company supports issues contrary to their beliefs. Recent controversies around Nike/Colin Kaepernick and Lyft’s eco-conscious green emails are revealing how enterprises’ stances on social and other issues can be leveraged to add greater transactional value for customers.
Sagepath helps our customers gather and leverage data to create positive, fulfilling customer relationships that build greater brand affinity and increase conversions. If your enterprise is ready to harness the latest digital technologies to meet rapidly evolving customer expectations, get in touch to learn just how you can stay ahead of the game before you have to play catch-up.