2016 will be the year of the consumer. From B2B to B2C to finally P2P People to People. I believe that this trend will actually endure and marketers will be building much more customer centric programs than ever. They will focus on experiences, customer insights and journeys. Marketers will take advantage of vast amounts of data to analyze, slice and dice information to wow customers and keep them loyal to their brands. Below are some of my thoughts about the new customer experiences.
- Amazing Customer Experiences
It’s not just anymore about doing another great event. Marketers will leverage technology, data and customer insights to create holistic event marketing programs. A brand has a life span from the exploration phase all the way to the customer care services. The most amazing event will be a negative experience if for example the registration site is not user-friendly or there is no event follow up. The time has come for Event Planners to transform themselves into holistic Experience Architects.
- Insight Driven Marketing
It’s all about Arithmetic’s. Big Data is finally here and a vast amount of software tools are available to analyze it. Profilers and Multichannel Marketing Gurus make their inroads into the marketing organizations. Welcome Ian Fleming’s ‘Q’ to the new Marketing Team. Lab Rats in white coats are the new Madison Avenue Ad Guys.
- 3 Letter Words
KPI, ROI, NPS, CPL, CPI and many other terms will be the topic at marketing review sessions. The C-Level Suite wants to know why we spend all that money in marketing and what is the return on marketing investment (ROMI). Be prepared to answer real-time, anywhere and with no excuses.
- Mobile Apps are the new Desktop for Marketers and Customers
Mobile apps will be key for a great customer experience. Pre, post and during the event, consumers want to call up information at their own paste and educate themselves on new products and services. For example event triggered marketing apps demonstrate opportunity for Marketers to reach audiences at the right moment. Feedback Apps, Alumni Apps and Customer Sat Apps for instance are a must to drive innovation.
- Account Based Marketing
In the B2B space the challenge to reach decisions makers becomes more and more of an art. Especially in large companies with complex organizational structures, you need a strategy to move opportunities more efficiently through the sales funnel. While Account Based Marketing has been there for many years it will become a renewed focus as it could reduce the sales cycle significantly.
- Ambassador Marketing
Apple has been generating a lot of ambassadors thanks to the amazing customer experience they provide. I believe that Alumni and Ambassador Marketing programs will be a must-have in the modern marketing mix. Thanks to profiling and big data, marketers can now recruit passionate ambassadors from the customer base, Alumni communities or other influencers.
- Interactive Content Marketing
Videos, white papers and blogs are great but not enough anymore. Marketers will explore more and more how to engage consumers in a creative and playful way. New areas such as interactive assessments, calculators and games will keep people longer engaged but also gather valid information about customers and prospects. It needs to be designed inside out and outside in.