As our attention starts to focus on the new year, it’s good to take stock. It’s time to dust off the crystal ball.
The role of marketing is undergoing fundamental change, never before has it been so linked to the overall valuation of a company. Delighting customers and building a strong and positive brand identity remain core tenets that marketing must drive. But it’s increasingly about the data and being able to measure and put a value on that contribution.
With that in mind, here are my five predictions for marketing trends in 2020:
1. It’s all about the customer
This should be obvious. Organizations must understand and delight customers to grow. And, increasingly, that means a focus on digital marketing, where most customer interactions now take place.
What does that mean for the CMO? In its Predictions 2020 report, Forrester says CMOs will need to “thread the needle between employee experience, customer experience, brand purpose, creative, and technology, imbuing all these crucial areas with customer obsession”.
The CMO needs to drive this complete 360-degree view of the customer, ensuring there is a consistent, coherent experience across ALL the touch points.
That means your professional services and customer support teams, your legal and finance teams, all need to view themselves as selling organizations. Their role is about nurturing the relationship with customers, providing proactive regular engagement. It’s about being the trusted adviser and maintaining them as a customer for life.
2. Do the math
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is going to be a CMO’s new best friend. Numbers are the special ingredient in the secret sauce, and marketing organizations that crack the code and truly understand their impact will win.
But marketing is difficult and multi-faceted. And you need it to be able to identify and justify the impact your marketing organization is having on the business. Art and science – meet math and data!
That’s why AI will be increasingly important, helping CMOs and marketing organizations to make sense of the data. At OpenText™, we use our own Enterprise Information Management (EIM) technology to create an information advantage within marketing – from the creation of highly intuitive user and customer experiences, all the way to enabling rigorous data interrogation with analytics and AI solutions.
3. Transparency, trust and brand
Today, customers are driven by more than just price and product. A host of corporate scandals and data privacy breaches mean that customers are influenced – positively or negatively – by the very essence of a company and what it stands for.
Organizations must use data for the good and take the high ground with customer data and privacy. At OpenText, our very stringent policies and processes around data drives how we engage with our customers.
But it all starts with a culture of creating data for the good and building that culture into everyday interactions with the customer.
Another key element that will drive greater trust in your brand is corporate social responsibility (CSR). It’s not just a box to tick or a page tucked away at the back of the company’s annual report. It’s now fundamental to the way companies go to market.
4. Measurability – and accountability
A Forbes study found that marketers that invest in data-driven marketing approaches are achieving 5% better returns on marketing investments, and over 7% higher levels of growth.
But you can’t manage what you don’t measure. At OpenText, we are data-centric across all areas of the business, but especially in marketing. Being data-centric enables course corrections. It ensures you optimize value from every dollar spent and that you are having the desired impact with customers and prospects, from pipeline to conversion.
5. Enterprise value and responsibility to the board
The value of a company today is so linked to intangible assets, such as brand value and the external perception, that marketing’s role has had to expand. According to the Forbes CMO Marketing Accountability report, these intangible assets now make up over 80% of shareholder value and increasingly drive a company’s stock price.
Today, it’s about demand AND brand to revenue, increasing your market relevance and driving enterprise value. Forget the gut instinct of the Madison Avenue ‘Mad Men’ – today you need the data to derive insights and to empirically demonstrate where and how marketing is impacting the organization.