Integration, insights and IoT: Fujitsu predicts the marketing landscape for 2017
2017 is set to be an exciting year for marketers. Last year saw disruptive technology being implemented into all sectors of business, changing the way we as consumers, learn, transact and interact. 2017 will see an acceleration of this, with clear implications for those of us in the marketing department, as we embrace the data we acquire through technology such as AI and IoT and use it to create customer-centric content. This rise in disruptive technology is also changing the way marketers work day to day, as we become for instance even more data-driven. So as we settle into 2017, what are the key trends that you will see in your marketing team and what will be the best way to succeed in the year ahead?
Customer-centricity will be king
We are currently in a digital age where information is far from hard to come by; as a result, customers value unique targeted content they can engage with. As more platforms become available for consumers to voice opinions on experiences, 2017 will see an even greater attention to the customer journey, with experiential marketing playing a bigger role. This will enable marketers to be more customer centric, providing personalised journeys through targeted content during the sales cycle from end to end.
There is now a wealth of channels which can be utilised to drive customer-centric approaches in order to resonate with a brand’s target audience. It will be important to embrace the power of visuals therefore, targeting audiences with graphic content which audiences find engaging. The more visual the content, the better.
Connecting the dots with integration
The marketing mix has many elements to it, particularly in the digital landscape. With this in mind, a look at how marketers take truly integrated programmes to market is essential. There is still a lot of siloed activity throughout the industry and increasingly we will see the limitations of this approach. Integration and collaboration are essential, as are the digital tools used and how different teams across the marketing function use them. There is a lot of work to do in this space, and marketing teams must work out how to collaborate effectively to contribute to and connect the different elements of a campaign to ensure maximum market impact.
Actionable analytics and the role of IoT
Analytics will take more of a centre stage this 2017 and we will see more organisations looking at how it can give the actionable insights needed to develop effective marketing campaigns. Beyond understanding the customer, data can provide greater insight into how profit, revenue and customer retention are being driven through marketing, giving business leaders greater understanding of what marketing is contributing to the business.
IoT will also present ever greater opportunities in analytics. As something that is being rapidly embraced by sectors across many industries, IoT presents marketers with access to data points and a quantity of data that they’ve never had the opportunity to connect with before. By taking a spectrum of information from ‘connected spaces’, marketers will be given the opportunity to see more effectively how their marketing campaigns are truly performing. However, the large amounts of quantitative data gathered will only be useful if businesses can sort through the noise of the information and interpret the hidden messages. Once this is mastered, IoT will play an increasingly important in the coming year and beyond.
The new breed of marketer
A new breed of marketer will emerge in 2017; one that is more data driven and analytical; one that is comfortable with digital tools, can make sense of data streams and interpret the story. This role will become increasingly valuable in 2017, providing organisations with actionable insight to make campaigns more effective, engaging and stronger. The companies that maximise this opportunity and leverage it throughout their business are the ones that will win in the digital transformation battle.
With markets changing rapidly, it is more important than ever for marketing to be agile – and digital tools will assist with this. The more agile and dynamic the marketing function, the better they will be able to respond and adapt, and the more effective their marketing will be.
When it comes to digital transformation - and indeed the disruption it is bringing to businesses today – marketing will play an increasingly key role. As a function it should support the wider adoption of digital programmes, with marketers taking the lead to communicate the benefits of digital to the business, making the progress of the organisation visible and promoting the digital initiatives adopted by the organisation.
As we enter 2017, technology is moving more quickly than ever before, changing both the way that businesses work and the broader competitive landscape. The way that marketing teams operate within their organisation will be critical to the business’ success. Prosperous marketers will maintain a key focus on the customer, make use of the latest technology and insights and crucially ensure that they have the agility to respond to - and leverage - digital transformation. That way, marketers can ensure that 2017 is a happy New Year.
By Chris Patton, Head of Marketing, Fujitsu UK & Ireland
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