Thursday, January 10, 2013
In this #InspiredMarketing blog series, we are sharing predictions on the future of marketing from 25 industry thought leaders. These predictions have been compiled in our new whitepaper, Inspired Marketing Predictions for 2013. In today’s post, Stephanie Miller from the Direct Marketing Association shares her thoughts.
Technology Optimized to Serve Customers
Technology will not drive digital marketing innovation in the coming years. Smart marketers will. To be precise, smart marketers who use smart technology will drive the most innovation. But don’t get cocky, now. Marketers are not in charge—consumers are.
Marketing automation technology has advanced to unlock the mysteries of consumer data so that marketers can help enable and encourage fantastic and customized consumer experiences. The days of “set it and forget it” are over. One size fits all marketing programs—built in January and left to run through June—are no longer going to meet consumer expectations.
The best tool in our arsenal is great strategy—driven by consumer need, choice, and behavior. Consumers know that we have data about them, and they expect us to use it responsibly and respectfully. This creates a forced collaboration between marketers and their customers—with industry bloggers, analysts, and journalists chiming in too. This is the year of the great omnichannel marketing strategists.
Now, those brilliant strategists of the future look familiar because they are you and me and those folks down the hall who really get data analytics. Smart marketers will think outside the channel. Although most of our data today comes from email marketing interactions, we won't work from email data alone. Instead, smart marketers will analyze and utilize most (or all) of the data they have to consistently present messaging that reflects customer interests and passions. Yes, the technology is important (essential!)—but it doesn’t alone ensure engagement.
Now that the data is manageable and accessible, we marketers have the chance to stand up for our customers’ satisfaction. Smart marketers will put the customer needs first (and really first, not just first after the product needs). Driving response and revenue. I predict that marketers make this their mantra in the coming year. No one will do this because I predict it--they will do it because it’s what works.
As Uncle Ben said to Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Marketers, this is your year to use your big data technological power for the good of customer satisfaction.
Stephanie Miller is a relentless customer advocate and a champion for marketers creating memorable online experiences. A digital marketing expert, she helps responsible data-driven marketers connect with the people, resources and ideas they need to optimize response and revenue. She speaks and writes regularly and leads many industry initiatives as VP, Member Relations and Chief Listening Officer at the Direct Marketing Association.