Well, here we are. We’ve made it to 2020, the year that so many believed would be a milestone for voice search, because allegedly, 50% of all search queries by 2020 were going to be conducted via voice.
I think most people by now are aware that this stat is, to use the technical term, bunk. Many of them have been nice enough to link back to my own articles on the topic! (If you’re interested in reading about why the '50% by 2020' “prediction” is so unfounded, you can do so here. The short version is that this statistic never existed as such; it also came from a prediction about voice search in China, which is a very different landscape to the west).
The single view of the customer has been marketing’s Holy Grail for decades. A variety of solutions, such as data warehouses, business intelligence applications, master data management systems, and customer relationship management solutions, have all emerged to deliver that treasure, but they’ve all fallen short of the task. Customer data platforms (CDPs) are the latest shiny arrow in the archer’s quiver. These tools are gaining traction because they rely on modern computing foundations, but they also have not yet fulfilled marketers’ dreams.
Interest in a central customer information repository is pervasive. “Marketers know they have trouble getting control of the information needed to connect with customers in meaningful ways,” says Steven Casey, a principal analyst at Forrester Research.
When it comes to email marketing for ecommerce, you know the drill. You need to do it without spending too much. You need to make it less promotional while still bringing in sales. You need to stay in touch with your audience without spamming them.
Enter your blog. Blog content is with you every step of the way, from driving leads with locked content, to segmenting your list, to building targeted email flows.
Digital transformation. It’s a big buzz phrase right now, and rightly so. Gartner has found that nearly 90% of surveyed senior business leaders believe that digitization is a do-or-die undertaking for many companies. John Chambers, Cisco’s CEO for 20 years, rather bluntly prophesied the deaths of many companies that do not digitally transform: “Forty percent of businesses in this room, unfortunately, will not exist in a meaningful way in 10 years,” said Chambers in a keynote address. He added that the only companies that will survive will be those that manage successful digital transformations.
The end of the decade will be here before we know it. And despite prevalent fears about an upcoming recession (one expert says we will likely avoid in 2020), most marketers are optimistic: in fact, 61% of CMOs expect marketing budgets will increase in the coming year.
If CMOs’ predictions prove true, marketers will have more flexibility with their strategies with the added responsibility of justifying their expanding budgets. As a marketer, the same holds true in that you’ll need to remain nimble and forward-thinking to ensure you make the most of your budget and make the biggest impact on your organization.
Content marketing has been proven time and again to be a useful strategy for reaching potential customers. To do it well, your content creation needs to be on point. A big part of that? Writing in a way that connects with your target audience and clearly shows them what makes your brand better than competitors.
Are your writing skills up to par? Keep reading for 15 tips to make sure your marketing copy helps your business shine.
As we settle into 2020, here’s a staggering workforce stat for you: It’s estimated that this year, Millennials will represent more than one-third of the global workforce. With Millennials (born 1982-1996) overshadowing GenXers as the largest generation in the labor force, you might think that every organization would have a strategy in place to harness the capabilities of this growing workforce.
But that doesn’t appear to be the case. Instead, we’re still regularly reading about how Millennials are being pitted against Baby Boomers and GenXers. We Millennials still hear the stereotypes about how we’re entitled and must receive a pat on the back for every minor task we complete.
Houston, do we have a problem with the marketing technology (martech) stack? According to recent Gartner findings, we do. Gartner found in its Gartner Marketing Technology Survey 2019 that marketers only use 58% of their marketing stack’s full capabilities and potential.
Not exactly the most promising news for an industry a few months ago tabbed at $121.5 million. Are marketers wasting money when it comes to the martech stack? Are vendors over-selling marketing technology? Does this mean that of the average 91 or so marketing cloud services in a brand's stack, marketers only utilize about 53 of those services to their potential?
One of my favorite questions to ask during my keynotes is, “what’s management for?” It sounds like a simple rhetorical question, but I don’t ask it rhetorically. I let people discuss it and often ask what they concluded. (Try it now, before you read further. What’s management for? Why do we have it?).
The vast majority of answers understandably fall into a category I call managING. (In a keynote I call this, “managing with a capital ing,” because it’s tough to speak in all caps without sounding like you’re stressed out.) ManagING involves things like defining individual goals, setting and modeling policy, managing performance, supporting development, and dealing with compensation – to name a few. As soon as you get your first direct report, you’re managING, and you must take care not to minimize or ignore the function, especially as the size and level of your group increase. ManagING is how you make sure the work gets done.
The marketing technologist’s job description is highly dynamic, to say the least! Brands now market and sell their products through a variety of digital channels, requiring new skill sets. On the one hand, you have traditional marketers rapidly upskilling themselves to keep up with the digital world. On the other hand, you have an emerging job description dedicated to marketing technology and its management.
So, what does 2020 hold for professionals in this space? What are the key moves in terms of job requirements and salaries that marketing technologists could expect this year? Let's find out.
B-to-B organizations aren't immune to the omnichannel trends impacting the B-to-C space. A recent inRiver survey found that 80 percent of B-to-B organizations are facing more competition than five years ago, requiring companies to transform and deliver experiences that stand out from the crowd. However, something is hindering businesses from achieving this.
The amount of product content needed to support omnichannel experiences is unmanageable with traditional practices, which is why new technology solutions should be used to deliver accurate and reliable product information from the beginning of the supply chain to product delivery.
There are some great examples of digital transformation already happening in industries that aren’t typically digital-first. In this article, we’ll look at some of these examples.
We’ll also review what traditional companies can learn from tech companies when it comes to digital strategy and disrupting themselves. The one resource that all companies (both tech and non-tech) already have is customer feedback. Turns out customer feedback can really propel digital transformation, and it’s easy to get started!
Marketing budgets returned to growth in the final quarter of 2019, signalling fresh signs of optimism as Britain closed its latest chapter of political uncertainty.
Data from the IPA’s Bellwether report shows a net balance of 4% of UK companies increased their marketing budgets in the fourth quarter of 2019, bringing to an end a year of stagnant growth where uncertainty, client hesitancy and weak confidence resulted in a subdued business climate and delayed decision making.
You may not have heard about Waze Local before, but if you have any interest in location-based advertising, you will undoubtedly find out more in 2020.
In fact, Google purchased Waze back in 2013, with the intent of enriching some of the functionality of Google Maps.
Features such as camera notifications and better driver advice on route performance changes made Waze an attractive proposition.
The concept of presence of mind, as a tool for strategy, comes from one of the original writers on that subject: the Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz. In his classic book On War, published in 1832, he named presence of mind as a critical step of creative thinking. To have presence of mind is to clear away your prior notions about the situation you face: what the problem is, what the solution is, what your goal is, what the question is, what the answer is, what you want, what you expect, what you like or dislike. This gives your brain the space and time to make its own connections.
For the second year in a row we’ve spent the first few weeks of the year surveying hundreds of marketers to assess their agility (or lack thereof). With the help of the Agile marketing team at CoSchedule, we’re delighted to present the Second Annual State of Agile Marketing Report.
And so, also for the second consecutive year, I’m conducting a deeper dive into our findings.
This article will walk you through some of the year-over-year trends, why some data points fluctuated in unexpected ways, and generally give more context to the survey and its results.
If you haven’t checked out the complete report grab it here, and then get ready to geek out on some awesome Agile marketing insights.
As firms look to optimize their marketing efforts in 2020, it’s imperative that business-to-business (B2B) marketers are laser focused on doing what is most likely to drive growth and make an impact.
Just as many great minds once thought the world was flat, there are plenty of B2B marketing misconceptions that are widely held and need to be abandoned in 2020. Here are five to consider:
As inbound marketing continues to be a dominant force, you’ve likely heard the phrase “content is king” more times than you can count. But getting the right message to the right person is not an easy task in a society that’s tangled in a web of digital content, and it requires a top-notch content strategy.
A solid content strategy can help create meaningful, cohesive, engaging and sustainable content that attracts new customers and retains existing ones. Despite the importance that great content can have on your business, two of the biggest challenges for content marketers are knowing how to prioritize marketing efforts for one audience over another and communicating a content strategy effectively across teams so that everyone is on the same page.
Any business in the world today wants customers as "engaged" as they think Apple customers are. In other words, we [the enterprise] will deliver new products and services that our customers will buy at the prices that will afford us Applesque margins. Most businesses want better customer engagement; however, their CFO's focus is that those customers buy from them. If not, what is the point of engaging with a customer?
Today, we are living in a bifurcated world from a 'customer experience' point of view. On the one hand, we want to measure, value and score engagement, as we want to improve it, for obvious reasons. If we cannot measure something in large scale enterprises, then we cannot improve it, so it is not worth the worry, time and cost. On the other, if we focus exclusively on trying to raise engagement 'scores,' we may take our eye off the ball and not sell at the level that our CFO and the financial markets require.
Sleep brand Casper is vying to make its ad dollars work harder after spending $423m on marketing in the four-year run up to its IPO filing.
The direct-to-consumer brand filed its S1 yesterday (10 January), revealing it spent $114m on marketing in the first nine months of 2019. This represented a 23% rise from the $92.7m it spent during the same period in 2018.
Altogether, the brand spent just under $423m on marketing from January 2016 through September 2019.
Marketers are re-assessing their spending plans for 2020, according to a WARC report, embracing a renewed focus on brand-building with long-term impact over performance marketing with short-term payoffs.
A pivot back to brand is the main theme highlighted in the Economy chapter of WARC’s Marketer’s Toolkit 2020, an annual report that assesses the influences on marketing strategies for the year ahead, based a world-wide industry survey.
Every day billions of emails are sent to consumers. Breaking through a noisy and crowded inbox has never been more difficult for marketers. Many of the email campaigns that you spend time developing, designing and targeting fall through the cracks.
There are a whole host of reasons why emails don’t get opened, but something that I run into time and time again is marketers holding onto outdated practices and long dispelled misconceptions that are hurting their email campaigns. Here are the four most common email marketing myths that retail marketers need to forget:
Customers today communicate with companies, and vice versa, over more channels than ever, with a variety of options—social media, text, email, mobile, the Web, telephone, and even in-store—all being part of the mix. It’s not uncommon for a single interaction to take place over more than one channel.
In fact, omnichannel itself is the critical channel of choice, but preferences go much deeper than that: Consumers want to be able communicate with companies via a blend of both digital and physical channels, recent research from the CMO Council found.
To support this, it found that the top five channel expectations are email (86 percent), telephone (65 percent), website (53 percent), text (52 percent), and in person (48 percent).
Every minute, 1.3 million pieces of content are shared on Facebook, 350,000 new tweets are posted, and a hundred hours of video are uploaded to YouTube. Yet brands are struggling to keep up and produce content that excites their audiences. While 90 percent of marketers use social media, only 58 percent believe they’re truly effective at it.
To make matters more complicated, this new generation of consumers that have been raised on digital, are wise against content strategies and engagement tactics. According to a study from Kentico, 68 percent of social media users ignore the brands they follow. So unless brands rethink what they’re posting in 2020, they’ll continue to get ignore
Consumers can now shop wherever and whenever they wish. Gone are the days of needing to visit a physical location — consumers are instead always on, and ready retailers need to be prepared at any time of the day to facilitate a purchase.
But the rise in e-commerce doesn't mean that consumer behavior in the real world should be overlooked. In fact, the rise of mobile devices, which has enabled much of the e-commerce revolution, also provides value for retailers in another way.
The advent of the Internet, smartphone and social media came in different decades, but the 2010s were not without its seminal moments and trends for digital marketing. In fact, the last 10 years saw the true emergence of social media marketing, mobile marketing and SEO-building content campaigns. Consumers became marketing rockstars themselves through influencer marketing and user-generated content on social media. Marketing automation and machine learning-powered marketing were hallmarks of the 2010s for digital marketing, some say.
I turned 60 this year, and just weeks later received my first piece of direct mail advertising from a cemetery in Queens. I don’t live in Queens, and when I do someday meet my demise, I have no desire to be buried there. I’ve been targeted with advertising for incontinence and erectile dysfunction, ailments that I do not suffer from. I’ve also been plastered with ads for dating services, although the marketing algorithms seem to have taken a scattershot approach: I’ve been offered the chance to mingle with “fellow” Christian, Muslim, and Jewish singles.
For enterprise technology organizations, tackling legacy systems and infrastructure is expensive, extraordinarily complex, and often impossible to justify with a traditional ROI model that weighs cost against demonstrable return on capital.
On the other hand, the accumulation of applications, different tech stacks, and hard-coded solutions have created Frankenstein IT environments that are costly to operate, vulnerable to failure, unlikely to be understood from end-to-end, and detrimental to speed, flexibility, and agility. For technology professionals, these systems distract from the day-to-day work required to support critical business strategies and opportunities.
When the contractor didn’t deliverer the proposal as promised, the homeowner called to find out when to expect it.
“Sorry about that,” was the reply. “You’ll have it later today or tomorrow.”
When it arrived, what passed for a proposal was a “cost estimate” and a hand-drawn layout lacking specifics. It appeared to have been dashed off on the way over.
The marketing industry has seen some massive improvements in the last two decades. The rise of social media platforms, artificial intelligence, the internet of things (IoT), and other technological advances have enabled marketers to move to a more innovative form of marketing. And although marketing analytics has evolved with this changing landscape, marketers still find it challenging to demonstrate the marketing ROI. Some of the reasons for this include:
1. Not tracking and reporting metrics that prove the value of marketing
2. Expectation mismatch between the marketing department and senior management
3. Following brute force marketing tactics that lack a sophisticated tracking mechanism
A common contention among the top management is, ROI is in the revenue that you generate, not in the likes or comments. However, this is debatable.
Influencer marketing is finally being taken seriously by brands and agencies. It’s becoming an important pillar of the marketing mix, if not the most important. Now, we could go on and on about the basic trends we’ll see this year - increased use of video, more authentic partnerships, increased measurement capabilities and so on. But we won’t. If you’re among the clients we speak to - you already know that. What’s more important to know, is what will determine the winners and the losers.
J.M. Smucker Co. says a marketing reorganization in late 2018 has paid off with more content, greater agility—and a narrow escape from a bland ad campaign for its Folgers coffee brand.
The planned campaign, which was just weeks from being shot, depicted a chaotic family morning at home, calmed only by taking a moment for coffee.
“It was pretty category-generic,” said Geoff Tanner, chief marketing and commercial officer at Smucker. “The messy-morning, calm-moment solution had been done. And there wasn’t really any arresting drama in it.”
Digital marketing is such a minefield of misinformation that even the biggest brands (like the BBC and BMW) make mistakes. Don’t do what these six companies did!
Nowadays traditional marketing techniques aren’t working as well as they used to. And the online landscape can be difficult to figure out… even for huge, well-known brands like BMW, Mozilla, and the BBC.
For small businesses, it’s even harder. When you check out your competitors, it seems like they’re all killing it online. You search for your products and services in Google and it’s their stuff that pops up.
So, imagine I am on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and right now I’m sitting across the desk from Colbert.
One thing that people don’t know while they’re watching on television or streaming, but you discover when you’re on stage under the lights, is that there are production people offstage wearing headphones, talking into microphones with their handcuffed over the mics, eating sandwich halves or peanuts, and toward the audience the lights glare into your face so that you can’t see anyone (also, Colbert has something hidden under his desk that no one is ever supposed to talk about).
Want to engage baby boomers?
Consider targeting them on places other than social networks, messaging apps, and other such platforms.
That’s one way to interpret findings from Adobe Advertising Cloud and Advanis’ August 2019 “Voice of the Generations” report.
Traditional organizational structures are not well-suited for modern customer service strategies. The best customer service strategies are embraced by companies with more fluid boundaries between different departments and functions. One example of this trend is the integration of content marketing and customer service.
In 2013, SalesForce author Jason Boies wrote a great article on the intersection between content marketing and customer service. This was a novel concept at the time that has gained popularity in recent years.
Each year, the Adobe Stock team pores over data and signals from Adobe users, influencers, search, research reports, global news, emerging fine art, and fashion runways so we can report insights of where we see the year ahead unfolding creatively. This year, we’re going further. For 2020, we’re excited to reveal not just four Visual Trends, but accompanying Motion Trends and Design Trends too.
As part of the Adobe family, we know creativity spans many perspectives, mediums, and skills. That’s why we’re so excited to venture with you into this year’s trends, expanding from photography, illustration, and vectors to the worlds of motion graphics, cinematography, graphic design, and the world of 3D renders and immersive experiences.
Most leaders can walk their team through the what and the how behind change management efforts, but fall short on the why. Here's how to make it meaningful
The track record for most change management efforts is pretty dismal. One missing element often dooms these efforts from the start: Most leaders focus on the what and the how, thinking that these items will carry the ball. Leaders often avoid the why because it tends to be more of an emotional message – and people are less comfortable with those.
But the reality is that people make decisions based on their emotions, and then use the data to justify and validate their decisions. If you want your teams to actively support your change efforts, you need to do a much better job of engaging them in why it matters.
Studies over the years have shown that the vast majority of B2B buyers start their journey with a Google search. But what good is being found if the content doesn’t create immediate feelings of trust for the searcher?
According to the 2019 Content Preferences Survey Report, 95% of B2B buyers prefer credible content from industry influencers. At the same time, few B2B influencer marketing programs integrate SEO. Most business influencer marketing programs rely almost exclusively on the social media reach of the brand and influencers for content promotion and buyer discovery.
This findability and credibility disconnect is an opportunity for marketers to optimize for a much better customer experience.
What do you think 2020 will hold for branding design?
Branding will continue to focus on experience. People want meaningful experiences and the truth from brands. In-house agencies may have an advantage in delivering this because they are integrated with product teams, and know their customers and brand better than anyone. To stay relevant, traditional brand agencies will need to change their model, and focus more on substance, and less on the wrapper.
• Survey of 3,000 consumers in the U.S., China and France examines views on personalization in healthcare, mobility, retail, and home and city environments
• Personalization in healthcare, prioritized over other categories, will require AI, 5G and home assistant technologies to achieve, according to respondents
• Consumers will pay on average 25.3% more for personalization, but they expect a savings in return
• Generation X, millennials, and Generation Z are more willing to pay and share data for personalization that brings personal safety, time, monetary benefits
Trends define the world of marketing in social media. Here are some predicted trends to watch out for in 2020.
Social media is constantly changing, and it is hard to keep up with every meme and Twitter trend that might help your business. If you’re running a company, the idea of keeping up with several different media platforms can be overwhelming. We compiled a list of the top social media trends that are going to be relevant in 2020.
Eeshita Grover, director of marketing for Cisco, cares deeply about content. It’s what drives digital experiences, product experiences and serves as a connective tissue between her brand and her customers. She also knows that loving it is one thing. Leveraging it through things like analytics, SEO, metadata and content governance is a whole different set of challenges.
Marketers seemed stuck in creative gridlock in 2019, hampered by a lack of bold ideas and innovation. Low levels of risk-taking were understandable, as churn among CMOs created something close to an existential crisis for the industry.
With a heated presidential race, possibility of economic downturn and new levels of maturation in digital advertising on the horizon, volatility in the market is unlikely to cool at the start of a new decade. That means 2020 will be an inflection point where marketers must reaffirm their value by balancing long-term brand-building with the demands of growth, mastering an increasingly complex network of media channels and becoming stewards of critical issues like sustainability and data privacy in the face of tighter regulations.
FACT: Internal organizational psychology related to tech implementations differ dramatically! MarTech leaders responsible for their organization’s sales and marketing tech stack can expect smooth sailing if the new system is linked to Marketing Automation. You will meet with little internal resistance when introducing an advanced web meeting system or social media platform.
But, woe betides if you’re unveiling a new or updated CRM system. That one is the poison chalice because of its impact on every facet of your organization.
Speaking from experience, we recently re-launched our own upgraded Marketpoint CRM system for a large client with multiple divisions and thousands of users. So far so good! The success of this project is based on our careful selection of a core team that understands the project goals from start to finish. This VIP team communicates well and works well together under pressure.
As the New Year is here, it is clear that content creation is the way of the future for online business. We can safely say that creating high quality, custom content will become more important moving forward – but just like everything, it will also continue to adapt.
There is no doubting the efficacy of content creation, but knowing which type, channel and medium to use can be difficult. Use this article as your helpful guide for the top 10 content marketing trends for 2020.
Every good marketer knows the importance of producing and curating solid content marketing that actually means something to their target audience. Most businesses understand the significance of basing their messaging on content that builds relationships instead of outright hawking their products.
It’s not about selling the brand, products or services – it’s about providing valuable information that engages with the customer in a relevant way. Content that resonates with your audience will attract new leads, build the necessary trust and positive brand recognition, and keep customers coming back to grow a business of any size.
MIT digital transformation expert Jeanne Ross says your organizational chart should look more like a set of APIs. The interlocking components have greater autonomy and room to experiment
Look inside the organizations demonstrating the most success with digital transformation, and you may see what looks more like a set of interlocking software components than a traditional reporting hierarchy.
Or, at least, that is one way of thinking about it, says Jeanne W. Ross of MIT Sloan’s Center for Information Systems Research and co-author with Cynthia M. Beath and Martin Mocker of Designed for Digital: How to Architect Your Business for Sustained Success. The book lays out observations of how digital businesses organize their people as well as their software, drawing on examples of companies doing it well.
For some of the biggest and most considered products and services, the decision to buy doesn’t always come down to a solo customer.
From finance and utilities, to travel, household goods, and entertainment, we often buy (and use) products and services as a couple, family unit, or group of friends.
Why then do many of the online systems we use treat customers as solo decision-makers, tying customer accounts to an individual email address and neglecting (or even discouraging) sharing and collaboration?
In recent years, marketers have been on a tear to take back control of their brands. Much of that has been in the form of taking various agency functions in-house — creative, social, programmatic, even media buying — in the hopes of not only saving money but becoming more nimble. But doing so isn’t a quick fix, nor is it as simple as it may seem. As marketers start to wake up to that reality, they will start to work with agencies again — albeit in a hybrid model.
The rental and resale markets are booming for products as diverse as fashion and camping gear — and it's creating an opening for brands to reinvent their business model.
For fashion retailers, the holiday season usually generates healthy sales. Shoppers ready to get their sparkle on are in the market for fancy outfits for holiday galas, designer shoes for New Year’s Eve parties, and high-end designer bags and jewelry to complete their look.
This week, Andy Newman wrote a great article in The New York Times about the life of a retail sales agent. He used the example of an Old Navy sales associate’s employee experience in Manhattan. And he walked the reader through the retail worker’s use of multiple apps needed to meet customers’ omnichannel expectations.
This quote says it all: “… dashing back and forth between stockroom and fitting room and sales floor, online and in-store, juggling the hats of cashier and cheerleader and personal shopper and visual merchandiser and database manager.”
The nature of change is changing - and so is the pace.
We spend a lot of time talking about things you can do to make sure that your business is around next year, or a few years from now. It’s a continuous effort. Still, things change and will keep changing, of course. That may seem like an almost silly comment to make, but the thing is, it’s not just aspects of your business that change. The nature of change itself is changing. Not only the nature of those changes, but the speed of the changes as well as how fast the rate of change changes. That’s what can sneak up on you.
Your most valuable asset is your brand reputation. Learn how to protect it.
According to research, 45% of business owners aren't happy with their online presence. Unfortunately, most of those who feel this way don't know how to deal with the fallout from a public customer dispute or the actions of a disgruntled employee.
Enterprises, government agencies and organizations are applying AI to develop more focused and detailed profiles of individuals other companies and more. Some of these deeper profiles help improve marketing and advertising conversion rates, while other profiles are being used to provide more optimized healthcare, finance, insurance or retail.
Machine intelligence (also known as artificial intelligence) is going to have both an awesome and unfortunate impact on our posterity. Let’s explore one possible way AI may impact the future of work and how it may dramatically change how we train our workforce.
ECOMMERCE – DIRECT TO CONSUMER
The fact is that most ecommerce brands are getting their margins squeezed and going direct to consumer is going to continue to be a huge focus. Shifting to direct to consumer essentially cuts out costs that are incurred from wholesaling and retail markups. While some of these costs are going to be transferred to marketing campaigns (at first), in the long run, a brand’s reliance on other parties to properly represent them shrinks. Brands looking to make a bigger ecommerce splash in 2020 will need to lock down their direct marketing plans in order to shine the spotlight on themselves in a big way.
• Companies in the tech space will increase their pursuit of partnerships to capitalize on the combined strengths of different technologies. The result will be a more fluid exchange of ideas, a re-emergence of IoT with combined capabilities, new levels of integration and infrastructure support
• Increased collaborations, partnerships, and open platforms will create new volumes of data moving across industries. With your permission, your data will be used to create a better experience for you
• As we come through the trough of disillusionment with AI and move toward a cloud-first ecosystem, a new era will arise where industries and governing bodies will start to draw bolder lines around ethics and proper application of machine learning for problem solving.
• Conversational interfaces will begin to enable deeper interactions between human beings, with eyes and heads away from keyboards and screens and the spoken voice making a comeback
• Horizontal AI knowledge will be ubiquitous but deep, specialized expertise will be critical in breaking new ground.
The dawn of a new decade always gives us an opportunity to take stock of the last 10 years and look ahead to the next.
In the specialized domain of business relationships, the technology for driving sales growth has changed rapidly over the past 10 years. If what’s past is prelude, we will see even more innovations that will transform the ways your company works with its customers and prospects.
So what are the major changes in store for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology? While it’s risky to gaze at the crystal ball, we can see several trends already established within the CRM space that will extend into the next few years along a natural evolutionary progression.
Millions of people in California are now seeing notices on many of the apps and websites they use. “Do Not Sell My Personal Information,” the notices may say, or just “Do Not Sell My Info.”
But what those messages mean depends on which company you ask.
Stopping the sale of personal data is just one of the new rights that people in California may exercise under a state privacy law that takes effect on Wednesday. Yet many of the new requirements are so novel that some companies disagree about how to comply with them.
As digital channels continue to proliferate, there is a seemingly endless number of platforms and communication capabilities that marketers must keep up with.
In the “Is Your Brand Ready?” series, we do the hard work for you, investigating all the latest developments across platforms and battling through the noise to identify the most promising emerging marketing opportunities that are netting impressive real-world results. Our last piece focused on the latest opportunities in social commerce.
There’s a classic phrase about good marketing being both an art and a science, and although this idea has been rephrased, reused, and repeated for years, it’s never been more true than it is today.
One of the most exciting parts of marketing is that, although fundamentals like this one don’t change much, virtually everything else does. New marketing channels emerge, customer buying preferences shift, and perhaps most importantly, emerging technologies give way to streamlined processes, elevated customer experiences, and fresh takes on marketing principles and practices.
In 2020 we will face new challenges as well as the same old ones. Brands will want to generate buzz, by being provocative but avoid the backlash of stepping that one step too far over the line.
So far we have seen, social media, reputation management and content marketing continue to dominate, but can your brand do the same in 2020?
Twenty-one years old this year, no one can dispute the dominance Google has enjoyed in the world of search. After all, it has a massive 81.5 percent market share worldwide. But, new players are beginning to chip away at its position in Europe and North America — particularly when it comes to users researching products — and they’re coming from different fields.
According to a new study published by MarTech Today, a whopping 83% of the organizations it polled upgraded or replaced at least one martech application in the past year.
Organizations are upgrading or replacing both homegrown and commercial applications at an almost equal clip and this activity is not limited to non-mission critical applications. In fact, the most common changes were made to critical systems, such as CRM, analytics/BI and marketing automation and, which accounted for 18%, 18% and 21% of changes, respectively.
Systems in place for three to five years are the most frequently replaced. When homegrown applications are replaced, it is usually the result of a commercial application offering better features. This is the reason cited in almost half (49%) of cases. When commercial applications are replaced, better features, better and easier integration, and lower cost were equally cited as the primary reason.
Interactions between organizations, business firms, and customers should be ideal for the perfect customer experience everyone loves. Throughout eras, centuries, and generations, the customer experience has been evolving gradually. This has evolved to you a point wherein, customers are particular in what they seek from a product or a business service.
Organizations should keep this in mind while designing their services and products to gain the utmost customer experience. Remember, a better customer experience translates to a good profit margin. This is a wonderful reason for, to keep track of customer experience trends in 2020.
It’s no secret to programmatic traders that location-tracking has become one of the most important signals for identifying and targeting users in a post-cookie world. Yes, device IDs are still the most indelible hook, but tracking where those devices are, have been and are going to is the new gold rush in consumer data tracking.
The problem is that it’s no longer a secret to most users either.
• A new survey of its users by retail marketing platform Bluecore finds that targeted email personalization will be a top priority for marketers in the 2020s.
• The survey points to the need for a better definition of the different kinds of personalization, especially when compared to Gartner’s recent dismissal of the future appeal of one-to-one personalization, in general.
• Email-based personalization is one particular mode that satisfies Gartner’s requirement for scaling and ROI.
Headless content management systems and site generators are driving a new content-centric web. The changes could be coming to ecommerce, at scale, very soon.
Headless content-management systems … could be coming to ecommerce, at scale, very soon.
The setup of ecommerce websites has not changed much since Amazon launched in 1994.
A database stores the product information. The site’s code resides on a server. When a person shops online, the browser on her device sends a request to the server, which gets the product info from the database, and runs the code to create the page. This process takes place every time a shopper requests a page.
Influencers — those who proliferate in social media, email and other channels — are being viewed with a jaundiced eye, especially among older consumers, according to Ethics & Influence, a study by Influence.co.
Among baby boomers, 73% think influencers should research the products or services they discuss. That falls to 63% for millennials and 56% for Gen X.
And 62% say it’s unethical for influencers to promote products they don’t use themselves — a figure that rises to 75% among boomers.
This comes as the Federal Trade Commission is itself paying much closer attention to the influencing game.
How do marketers make the best use of tech and avoid brand-damaging failures?
One of the hottest terms in communications is "martech": technology-powered marketing. Encompassing everything from email marketing and blogging, to chatbots, AI-generated content and big data, the blending of marketing and technology is fast becoming a vital way to reach consumers.
But it isn’t always successful. We only have to look at Microsoft’s Tay – the chatbot that generated racist content within 24 hours of its launch – to see that badly implemented technology can spell disaster for a brand. And more fundamentally, in the world of email marketing, two-thirds of chief marketing officers say they’ve experienced “disasters” when it comes to managing data in campaigns, while more than three-quarters (76 per cent) suspect they’ve missed out on opportunities because data hasn’t been managed effectively in-house.
Despite being touted as the future of customer relationship software, a recent study by Freshworks – a customer engagement company – revealed that only 12 percent of CRM users actually utilise an artificial intelligence (AI) tool.
The study also found that 97 percent of CRM users think AI is too expensive, with 89 percent suggesting it lacks utility.
"Research reveals hype around AI is falling on deaf ears because it fails to provide real value — more like artificial impact than intelligence," according to a Freshworks press release.
Digital is awash with mystification. Too little clarity and too many vague promises. In order to help cut through the confusion our latest whitepaper – OK Computer? – explores why marketing technology needs to be 100% brand-led, and what steps should to be taken to achieve this.
Keen to put our findings to the test, we hosted a series of breakfast briefings with senior brand marketeers. They corroborated our insights, as well as sharing their own. We’ll be posting a series of articles exploring these insights in greater depth over the coming months, but as a starter for ten here are some of our findings.
• Gartner predicts that by 2025, 80% of marketers who have invested in personalization will abandon their efforts due to lack of ROI, the perils of customer data management or both.
• Personalized marketing is about delivering a positive user experience, so marketers should see it as one of the many tools to enhance that experience, not as their primary goal. Your mission is to use personalization for the customer, not against them.
• Once marketers are ready to choose a personalization solution, they should prioritize true cloud, SaaS architecture along with simple, best-of-breed integrations to ensure they retain flexibility and agility and don’t get weighed down by heavy tech.
• By embracing privacy user experience, or Privacy UX, marketers can ensure compliance while also building strong relationships with their audiences.
Your business depends on its content to drive organic traffic to your website, generate sales, grow your email list, and more. People won’t trust your brand or invest in it without learning more about it first, which is why your content marketing strategy must be actionable and practical.
Around 63 percent of marketers say their biggest content challenge is driving traffic and generating leads. Content is something that businesses across all industries struggle with in some form. If you don’t take the time to study your current strategy to create a better one, then you can’t expect to reach your goals and improve conversions.
People prefer free or ad-supported content over ad-free content via a subscription service, according to a research report by programmatic marketing provider MiQ.
Globally, 78% of consumers surveyed said they don’t like ads but wouldn’t pay for ad-free versions of most of their preferred content. And 51% think having advertising in the content they watch or read is a necessary trade-off to get free or cheaper content.
However, in possible recognition of the economics of providing that content, 34% of respondents also expect to spend more on or subscribe to more subscription services in the next five years.
Today many b2c brands are adopting, or at least talking about, the idea of ‘purpose’ as a way of connecting with consumers and increasing brand equity. It’s no longer enough to just sell soap, chocolate, trainers or fizzy drinks, today’s brands need to have some deeper and more meaningful reason for their existence. And why not? If you can show your brand has a greater purpose you should do just that. All things being equal, most consumers would prefer to buy a brand that not only serves their immediate need but does something more for the world we live in.
One brand, one voice. It’s a maxim that you hear often, and quite rightly so, we believe. But what does it mean? Why is having a united and consistent brand so important for an organisation, even internally?
Along with sharing a vision and values, sharing a consistent brand identity (both visually and verbally) can be a powerful tool in aligning and engaging teams to work together under one banner.
You can learn a lot of important lessons about creating a successful content marketing strategy from the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR).
Yes, even content marketers in other fields can learn things from NASCAR, the privately-owned company that is best known for stock-car racing.
If you’re skeptical, then ask yourself, “What do I know about NASCAR that I didn’t ‘learn’ by watching movies like “Herbie: Fully Loaded” (2005) or “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” (2006)?”
Data, data, data...In the world of digital marketing, it certainly feels like it's all about the data.
Why not? Data-driven marketing has become so advanced in recent years that brands can leverage the insights they get from that information to achieve far more than ever. Not only is that data used now to improve marketing operations, but also to turbocharge almost every element of your sales cycle.
• Shake Shack, the fast-casual burger chain with about 160 locations, expanded its marketing team by in-housing staff from its agency of record, Agency Within, per a company announcement.
• The in-housing project will focus on Shake Shack's marketing partnerships such as one with Grubhub, which began offering delivery from the chain in August. Agency Within's staff will handle digital experience and marketing strategy for Shake Shack while attending marketing meetings and managing campaigns to hit key performance indicators (KPIs).
• Agency Within will report directly to Shake Shack CMO Jay Livingston. The agency's other clients include brands such as Nike, Spanx, Acorns, Purple and Hugo Boss.
Survey results from technology services and digital transformation consultancy Mindtree shows that the chief digital officer (CDO) role is key in driving digital transformation within organizations.
This information may seem obvious, but Mindtree posits that the CDO position is often seen as one with a short shelf – at least to C-level executives. The 323 business and IT professionals who took part in Mindtree’s survey, however, overwhelmingly responded that the CDO is an instrumental agent of change.
This contrast can be attributed to the fact that these professionals, not C-level execs, are tasked with the actual implementation of the CDO’s strategy, thus putting them in a prime spot to judge the role’s importance. Twenty-seven percent of respondents, for example, stated that the CDO is responsible for providing customers with “seamless digital experiences,” while 20% said he or see is effective in creating and pushing new business models.
Implementing frameworks like Scrum and Prosci can increase the chances of a product’s success, but a person must accept the responsibilities to own it.
I’ve written about the importance of product adoption. Getting a return on something that no one regularly uses is pretty tough. Adoption isn’t the only important factor related to products; ownership is as well.
A common factor among successful martech stack components is clear and dedicated ownership. Ownership doesn’t necessarily mean the product owner is in senior management or is paying for it out of their own budget. Depending on the component, there is a wide variety of potential owners. For instance, an SEO tool that costs $100 a month may have a junior staffer as its owner while a CDP or CRM that costs several hundred thousand dollars a year (or more) is likely “owned” by someone with more authority and influence on the senior leadership team.
What does 2020 hold for digital marketing, and marketing generally?
There's no doubt data-driven marketing strategies and digital marketing practices are accelerating thanks to marketing technology maturity and the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), customer data management platforms and orchestration capabilities.
So we asked a raft of industry experts from the marketing technology and industry community to give us their thoughts what digital marketing will look like in 2020 and beyond, off the back of the latest innovations and growing realisation of digital as the dominant component of the modern marketing approach.
Content fatigue. Every marketer is familiar with the phrase, and we all know exactly what it means. There is more content on the web than ever before, and it just keeps coming. Pretty much every company is spewing out copious amounts of content for their niche buyer. Said buyers also have higher expectations than ever, so it can be difficult — if not impossible — to stand out from the crowd. Sadly, many companies fall into the “content-in-a-vacuum” trap, where they end up creating content just to create content. These pieces end up going nowhere, with no one’s eyeballs ever making it to their videos, blogs, newsletters, etc. — no matter how hard the marketing team flogs them on social media, email and every other channel imaginable.
So, what’s a marketer to do?
Did you know there are 3x more email accounts than Facebook and Twitter accounts combined? Or that you are 6x more likely to get a click-through from email than on Twitter?
As a savvy marketer, you’ve probably seen the reports that show email has the highest ROI of any marketing channel available. And you’re probably keen to start using it to drive sales and revenue for your business, while also looking for the next big thing to improve your campaign efforts.
But, the thing you’re looking for could be something you already have: subscriber data. The key to sending timely, relevant and effective emails is having and using the proper subscriber data. No more are the days of blasting the same email to every subscriber.
There has been much debate surrounding the state of the CMO. Should the title be more expansive? Is the role itself even necessary? When Hyatt Hotels eliminated its global CMO position last year, the company replaced it with a chief commercial officer as part of a "larger corporate restructuring." And a recent Ad Age article, "Why More Brands Are Ditching the CMO Position," discussed the "growing groundswell" to move away from the CMO in order to "reflect the new ways companies are reaching customers."
There is no doubt that the CMO role is evolving—fast. According to a recent report by Accenture/Forrester, 88 percent of organizations agree that the role of the CMO has changed in the last couple of years and will continue to change over the next two years. However, that shift should only elevate the role of marketing. If anything, the "M" in marketing should actually rise in importance and be better represented across the C-suite, rather than be replaced by a “G" or an “X."
As the quantity of customer data flowing into your business continues to grow, automating aspects of your enterprise's processes has become a commercial imperative. One key area to focus this development upon is marketing.
Your cloud deployment has already brought several benefits to your company. Whether you have a private, public or hybrid cloud deployment, the hosted infrastructure you have in place is the ideal environment to radically alter how your business uses its marketing technology.
David Ogilvy, known as the Father of Advertising who built his agency using direct mail promotion, would not recognize today’s marketing organizations.
Marketing has evolved from a supporting nonstrategic department to one of the most important actors in today’s businesses, driving profitable growth, retention, loyalty and advocacy. Marketing has transformed from a product-pushing entity to a customer-focused team striving to build value-based customer relationships. Today, we have very concrete marketing-influenced revenue targets.
The original Four Ps of marketing have been redefined and present us with a different mission. Product has become experience. Price is now value. Place is now omnichannel, and promotion has become influencer and storytelling.
Your CMS should empower your content team to work without learning new processes or involving IT.
Enough was enough. Rubbermaid Commercial Products’ (RCP) Marketing team was done fighting its Content Management System (CMS) in their attempts to add, manage and distribute thousands of SKUs across hundreds of distribution partners, each with different requirements. The daily battle managing its CMS and product data – critical to sustaining business growth – meant products were not coming to market as quickly as needed, adversely impacting the bottom line.
Like RCP, many enterprises in the midst of Digital Transformation find technology, including their CMS, holds them back instead of pushing them forward. CMS technology should empower Content Managers to do their work without learning new processes or involving IT, and function as part of business processes and applications. Yet, few actually do.
We’re in a privacy panic.
It started with GDPR, and CCPA followed with new legislation aimed at giving consumers greater control and transparency into how their data is used. Tech giants took a mighty stand to get ahead of the changes and the oncoming cookie-free movement: Apple’s new Intelligent Tracking Prevention (IPT) in Safari places restrictions on cookies based on how frequently a user interacts with the website, purging cookies entirely after 30 days of disuse.
The streaming wars are well underway and intensifying, as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Apple TV+, Roku and many more services battle for subscribers. With an ever-expanding battleground, it stands to reason that the segmentation of the streaming market is changing the way that companies are collecting data and, in turn, driving dynamic marketing trends.
The marketing industry has reached an inflection point. With today’s fragmented TV landscape, marketers are facing a dramatic shift in consumption habits as more consumers continue to drop their cable providers and switch to streaming services. By 2022, nearly 25% of U.S. households will ditch traditional TV in favor of "cord-cutting," according to eMarketer. Reasons for the switch range from increasing value to amplifying experience and boosting viewing options — in 2018, streaming-first companies netted around 30% of Emmy nominations.
Organizations are sitting on a treasure trove of data, yet many don't have the processes in place to use that data to its fullest potential. This is especially important for marketers who rely on data to effectively reach target audiences and convert customers, writes. Vikram Shanbhag, VP of Business Development, Valid.
In the enterprise, data points arrive at a rate far beyond the business’s capacity to process them. With so much data to sort through and no clear business intent to get started, only 1% of the data ends up analyzed and the remaining 99% ends up being discarded or becoming “sleeping data.”
Also called dark data (in reference to dark matter in physics), sleeping data is what comprises the majority of organizations’ information assets. It is the information that businesses collect, process and store on a daily basis during regular business activities — data from web analytics, feedback forms, customer surveys, etc. However, sleeping data is not used for general business processes, like analytics or monetizing and organizations usually only retain this data for recordkeeping, regulation or compliance purposes.
Design thinking helps you deliver more meaningful products to customers, faster - but it’s a big change for many teams. Here’s how to incorporate design thinking principles.
As we move into 2020, new technologies like 5G will drive rapid changes to processes, forcing companies to become more software-driven and more customer-centric. These changes have prompted a mass adoption of agile, DevOps, and now, design thinking practices as a means to adapt to and implement change.
Design thinking practices can help teams adapt to and implement change.
Design thinking helps organizations deliver products that are truly meaningful to their customers. By following key stages driven by creativity, design thinking highlights what problems are worth solving, thus reducing risk and promoting cost efficiency.
Maybe we should stop using the term “data-driven marketing” until we have a better idea of what we’re driving towards.
Think about what happens the moment you get into a car. Almost instantly you are surrounded with information. This includes how much gas you have in the tank, the speed at which you’ll be driving, whether or not you need to change the oil soon and even whether you closed the door properly. There’s even more when you glance across the dashboard to the radio, the air conditioning system and whatever’s being shown in the side or rear-view mirrors.
All of this represents data, or at least raw data. When we drive somewhere, we pull all that information together and cross-reference it with third-party data sources like traffic lights and where we see pedestrians and other cars moving.
This happens almost instantly if you’ve had your license for a while. Many marketing departments, however, are still working with data at a stage that might be considered roughly equivalent to having their learner’s permit.
While 62% of CMOs plan to increase their spending on data analytics products and services, for example, marketers rank the technology only 4.1 on a seven-point scale in terms of its effectiveness. The IAB, meanwhile, has forecast a nearly 18% year-over-year increase in how much brands are spending on buying, managing and analyzing third-party audience data, or $19 billion.
Despite commanding 16 percent of marketing budgets, marketing innovation is largely hampered by a lingering aversion to risk, an inability to measure the impact of investments, and limited talent, Gartner found in a recent study.
In general, significant challenges remain for marketing execution and effectiveness, Gartner noted in its "Brand Strategy and Innovation Survey 2019" report.
"The nature of true innovation is newness, and this takes people out of their comfort zone," explains Elizabeth Shaw, senior research director in the Gartner for Marketers Practice. "Even though senior executives demand innovation, they are reluctant to move forward when the time comes to act."
As new businesses spring up each day, the competition for the reader’s attention heightens. Staying on top of the latest SEO trends will enable you to meet specific requirements that search engines use to rank websites.
Google makes hundreds of changes to its search algorithms every year. While most changes are minor, they could affect your search ranking. These are some of the SEO trends I expect to see in 2020.
While digital transformation is one of today’s most frequently-used buzzwords, the concept itself is constantly transforming. This is because every digital transformation journey is different for every company, and it can be difficult to have a single definition that applies to all.
In general terms, we define digital transformation as the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, resulting in fundamental changes to how businesses operate and how they deliver value to customers. Simply put, digital transformation should result in more efficient operations, optimized controls, and better customer service.
With every industry getting disrupted by the “digital wave,” organizations have no choice but to transform. Many companies who are leaders in their industries do it by choice to seize opportunities brought about by new technology, innovation and trends, allowing them to stay ahead in the game. Other companies however, embark on transformation because disruption is impacting their business and they have no choice but to transform or risk falling behind or even becoming extinct.
Do you remember playing tug-of-war as a kid? It was a game of two teams holding on to either side of a rope, and each team had to try to pull the other over a line down the middle. When it comes to change and innovation, that’s exactly what happens individually, in our teams, and in our organizations – it’s a constant tug-of-war between the resistors and drivers of change.
On one side, you have the resistors of change, that hold change and innovation back. On the other side, there are the drivers of change, that push them forward. In almost every organization, there is a constant interaction (and conflict!) between the resistors and drivers of change, and that can become very frustrating.
Data management platforms (DMPs) were once painted as a panacea for all of a marketer’s data needs – from collection, to harmonization to segmentation and syndication.
But marketers have since cooled on the technology, concluding that it‘s too disjointed to perform many of the functions promised.
Marketers tell AdExchanger they have struggled to achieve ROI, often hiring consultants or in-house talent to manage their DMPs. Some went through disruptive rip-and-replace processes only to find that their new DMP providers also had poor match rates, bad integrations and weak connections into paid media.