The marketing landscape is always changing – meaning that marketing teams need to adapt to keep up. Over the past several years, we have seen advances in technology and evolutions in consumer expectations that have radically changed how marketing teams approach campaigns - from leveraging geo-targeting, to creating custom apps, and emphasizing brand values over product features to reach younger demographics.
The new decade promises to continue this trend. As consumer demands and technology shift, so will marketing roles across analysts, CMOs, and agencies. In order to be successful, organizations must be aware of these expectations and adjust their strategy to meet new needs.
The Top Changes Marketers Face in 2020
In 2020, the key changes will revolve around shifting expectations and responsibilities across several important players. To maximize marketing ROI in the new year, consider the following:
Consumer Preferences and Expectations are Changing
In recent years, marketing teams have focused on individuals. While this will still be important for reaching consumers on preferred devices/channels and getting them to engage, Forrester predicts that moving into 2020 and the new decade, consumers will elect to engage with brands and digital experiences that make them a part of a similarly minded group.
According to Forrester, this will bring about the need to create “digitally-enabled group experiences” that make consumers feel like they are a part of something, rather than isolated within a brand. This is because today’s consumers are more likely to engage in group experiences and closed online groups that are aligned with their values. With this in mind, marketing teams should seek to create experiences for groups that align with their own brand values, and those of their target audience.
A key part of this is creating experiences that allow consumers to be a part of the brand and product, rather than just recipients of it. For example, the footwear brand TOMS became famous for their “buy one give one” model, where for every purchased pair of shoes, another pair was donated to children in need. However, now, they are updating their model, allowing consumers who purchase to donate to a cause of their choice, be it women’s rights, mental health awareness, a local non-profit, and more. This allows customers to feel a part of something greater with a brand and consumer base whose values align with their own.
Analysts to be Trained in Data Science
Marketing teams seek to enhance data science, market insights, and analytical capabilities within their organizations. However, many are struggling to find the right talent to close these skill gaps. Organizations are collecting more data than ever, giving them immense opportunity to understand and cater messaging to customers. However, this is only possible if the team has the analytical skills required to make sense of this data.
To overcome the skills shortage, marketing teams will work to identify existing employees with analytical backgrounds and train them in these skills to develop talent in house. This will require developing roadmaps for those with specific analytics skill sets. These employees will then be able to assist in optimizing campaigns through by distilling, analyzing, and extracting strategic insights from predictive analytics.
CMOs Need to Solidify Customer-Obsessed Strategies
There has been a disconnect in the past decade between CMOs who focus on brand building, and those who focus on data and analytics. While both of these strategies are supposed to be driven by creating unparalleled customer experiences, many organizations have fallen short. Moving into 2020, CMOs must focus on strategies that put the customer first. This means having a view into product development, sales, customer service, and of course marketing, to ensure consistency across customers engagements is being realized. This broader reach will help CMOs maintain control over the lines of business that impact customer experience but do not necessarily fall under the marketing umbrella to ensure positive engagements. This will remove any disconnect that exists between brand values and business operations.
Additionally, CMOs must become more careful with how they invest in technology. Rather than blindly investing in the newest, trending technology, they should focus on tools that allow them to make the most of the channels they are already leveraging. Optimizing how they use social, digital, and offline channels, will prove more valuable than additional investments.
Agencies to Leverage New Processes and Technology
As CMOs demand more integration across customer experiences, Forrester predicts that agencies will have to update their current processes and make greater use of technology. Leveraging AI and automation will allow agencies to streamline workflows allowing for greater productivity and outputs.
Furthermore, agencies will need to update their approach to creative campaigns – specifically, to focus on incorporating data and technology into creative decisions. Leveraging tech-driven data platforms will offer creative agencies insight into consumer preferences surrounding messaging and imagery, which can then inform copy and visuals for greater impact and conversions.
The channels and tools used in marketing, as well as consumer expectations, are constantly changing. As a result, the responsibilities and priorities of marketing teams must change with them. Moving into 2020, keep these trends in mind to ensure continued success across your marketing team.