2013 has been an exciting year for marketers; a year of transformation and empowerment, as marketers took on the challenge to find innovative ways to connect and engage with the digital consumer. Many focused on gaining better customer insights and utilized social channels to listen, interact and experiment with mobility to reach out to customers. As we head into 2014, we talked with thought leaders to find out what we can expect to see happen in marketing both next year and beyond.
In the accompanying video, acclaimed author and speaker Don Peppers, who is also a founding partner of Peppers & Rogers Group, discusses how future marketing organizations will have to start thinking about dealing with empowered customers in the future. He talks about how consumers will soon be leveraging sophisticated analytical algorithms to help them analyze and make purchasing decisions. For example, when prices change based on different parameters users set, the purchasing engine will automatically make the purchases for them. In the near future, customers will also have access to wider sets of data.
This prediction will challenge many marketers to develop stronger proficiency in advanced analytics, in areas such as predictive modeling and scoring, real-time offers and customer analytics. As Don puts it, consumers are going to be buying from retailers based on algorithms. The model will no longer be one-to-one marketing; it will be bot-to-bot marketing.
He also believes that in the future, there will be a trend toward what he calls “social filtering,” which means consumers will more readily leverage the feedback and sentiments of people they trust when it comes to evaluating and making purchase decisions. Social filtering capabilities will automatically show opinions and feedback only from people they know in the context of brands, products, services or organizations, as opposed to them seeking out reviews from people they don’t know.
We also spoke with David Cooperstein, a vice president and research director serving CMOs, at Forrester Research, to get his take on what will happen in marketing in 2014. He talks about how marketers need to change their focus, have higher aspirations and become more like general managers in their thinking.
As David mentions, the CMO will take on more of a business owner role, as seen by increasing numbers of marketing executives having a stronger business background compared to just pure marketing. Marketing leaders will have to understand how to run and grow a business.
In 2013 many marketing organizations focused on catching up with today’s digital consumer. Many invested in various different technologies to help them to connect and better engage with audiences. In 2014 marketers will continue their focus on customer engagement, and start to work more closely with other stakeholders in their organizations to make a bigger impact on the growth of their business.
I am personally looking forward to another fantastic year for marketing organizations.
What are your predictions for the future of marketing, both next year and beyond?