Do you ever get to this time of the year and look back and ask yourself where the time went? Maybe it’s just me, but 2016 went FAST. So instead of looking back, we’re looking forward to what 2017 will mean for marketers.
Here are four key themes that we see taking center stage in the upcoming year:
1. Customer-Centric Marketing
Customer centricity as a trend in marketing should not be a shocker to anyone. In fact, “customer-obsessed” could be the term that coins 2016! We all know how important and valuable our customers are, yet many organizations still struggle to effectively improve customer engagement.
If you feel this is an area your organization could improve, this is your year! Moving into the new year, consider the following things:
- A unified view of the customer—you need data and inputs to understand their challenges, preferences, and ultimately what they are trying to accomplish
- A defined customer journey mapped to your business stages
- The right content, offers, and meaningful messages that resonate with them
- Understanding the importance of influencers, your customer community, and advocacy programs
2. Technology & Data
The technology lovers reading this can rejoice–wear those tech t-shirts with pride! MarTech saw exponential growth this year, which is both exciting and overwhelming. But in general, many aspects of marketing are becoming more scalable, measurable, and efficient thanks to these advances. If you do not have your marketing technology stack in tip top shape, this is the year to spend some time on it. With more systems in play, comes more data. And because revenue teams are powered by data, make sure it’s not an afterthought. It will be critical to invest in data governance, management, and hygiene if you’re not doing so already.
3. A New Generation of Marketers
Marketing is one of the most exciting roles within organizations today because we’re involved in all the customer touch points, from awareness to advocacy. It’s also a demanding area to be in due to all the digital changes and requirements needed to be social, data-driven, tech-adopting, the list goes on.
The main message here is that successful marketing teams need to focus on building relationships and engaging customers in personalized, relevant ways at every stage of the lifecycle. This requires:
- Balancing marketing spend to also invest in building engagement, brand loyalty, and advocacy with current customers rather than just finding new ones
- Investing in teams that are dedicated to driving customer growth with adoption, upsell/cross-sell, and advocacy
4. Content & Channels
Last but not least, marketers will still depend heavily on great content and distribution channels–the difference will be understanding which ones add the most value for your strategic goals. For example, for B2B organizations implementing account-based marketing, how does an account-centric approach impact how you leverage your channels? You may still run events–but how do you approach and measure them differently with target accounts in mind?
Content is still the fuel, but it will be important not to just fall into the same old patterns. What types of content works the best for your business? What could you try that is new? There is a lot of data supporting that if content is personalized and meaningful to your buyer–it will perform well. Again, another strong argument to really make sure you know your buyer and what they need at each stage of their journey.
To get more details and insight on our 2017 Marketing Predictions, flip through the slide deck below to access our complete summary: