What Will Marketers Be Doing Most in 2015?
Next year - 2015 - is probably going to be yet another 'year of the customer', and marketers will have to become more agile, transparent and collaborative than ever before if they're going to survive an increasingly competitive marketplace, according to Matt Preschern, chief marketing officer for IT services firm HCL Technologies.
Preschern's top five predictions for which marketing trends will matter most in the next 12 months include the full spectrum of marketing disciplines from authentic branding to new technologies, to a greater focus on the customer as an individual rather than part of even a small demographic segment. In summary, Preschern foresees:
- Greater brand authenticity and transparency As customers have become savvier in terms of the way they interpret marketing messages, so it has become easier for them to differentiate an authentic marketing statement from one that lacks credibility. This increased level of customer 'cynicism' means that in 2015 brands will have to work harder than ever before to align their marketing messages with the culture of their brand.
The days of communicating a message that does not directly, and authentically, relate to your own brand values and culture are long gone. Marketers will need to develop an intimate knowledge of technologies such as real-time analytics, social media and other digital tools and learn to use them in a way that emotionally, and transparently, connects their brand to customers and differentiates it in a 'sea of sameness'.
- The rise of marketing-as-a-service The operational backbone of effective marketing in 2015 and beyond will be a process that is technology-enabled, and interactive. As a result, we'll see an evolution of marketing as we understand it today, and will see it expand beyond traditional realms into a new, digital environment.
What this means is that we'll see new cloud-based marketing tools such as content-as-a-service, analytics-as-a-service, and even community-as-a-service becoming an important part of a marketer's arsenal.
- B2B marketing will become B2I marketing Over the next year, marketers will increasingly understand the need to create tailored and highly personalised campaigns for individual customers. Modern marketing is not, let's not forget, about disseminating messages to buildings or lists. Successful marketers will be those who grasp this and who learn to understand that they are marketing to individual people.
These people are decisions makers who are connected and interact, who look for information on-line, find it and tweet about it if they don't like it. They demand personalised messages, and the role of the marketer in 2015 will be to deliver it to them as quickly and effectively as possible.
- Embracing the 'science of marketing' Performance-driven analytics tools will become an increasingly important part of the marketer's toolkit in 2015. However, this technology will not be used as a means of tracking established marketing metrics. Instead, it will be used to demonstrate tangible business impact, specifically around top-line revenue growth. Gone are the days when the success of a marketing campaign was measured solely in terms of clicks to a website, or audience reach.
This emphasis on exploring the 'science of marketing' to measure ROI will go beyond merely demonstrating that the marketing function is accountable for its actions. Put simply, those who fail to deliver and demonstrate results won't survive long enough to tell the tale.
- More multi-disciplinary marketing The three words marketers will need to hold dear in the coming twelve months will be: 'Collaborate, Collaborate, Collaborate'. Where once the marketing function would sit in a separate silo from the rest of the business, in 2015 there will be more emphasis placed on it than ever before to integrate across multiple disciplines and functions. Integration with sales teams, the HR department and even the CIO will be critical, as the marketing function moves increasingly toward the centre of all company-wide efforts.