What’s top of mind for CMOs? Adele Sweetwood, VP of SAS Americas Marketing, meets with top marketers from companies like Google, Pepsico, Verizon, Levi, and Harley Davidson to find out.
She knows the research, attends and speaks at industry conferences, and has 24 years of marketing experience. At the SAS Customer Connection for Customer Intelligence, she shared her insights, including a compilation of eleven marketing trends for 2013.
- Broader brand presence across channels; channels being the operative word. Channels are continuing to grow: none are getting taken away, and more are being added. The question is: “Where should you be, and how should your communications work together across channels?”
- Rise of user generated content. Customers’ are forming communities, sharing their opinions, likes, dislikes, and expectations – all in real-time. How are you capturing and using that information?
- Mobile marketing reaches critical mass. According to Bloomberg, mobile ad spend will reach $2.6B this year and $5.04B by 2015; over 6 billion mobile subscribers, 75% of the world has a mobile phone (“Only 4 billion own a toothbrush,” observed Sweetwood).
- Balance of inbound and outbound marketing efforts. On average, the sales cycle is already 57% complete before the prospective buyer engages a vendor – this is a shift, and must impact the way you market.
- The “Influence Factor” takes over. Your customers are talking about your brand and your products on social media. You had better be listening.
- A clearer vision on the value of analytics. Analytics in marketing is no longer a “nice to have,” it’s a “must have.”
- The mobile experience is the modern day CRM. Your customers are on mobile — are you meeting them where they are?
- Up close and personal. Customers expect personalization — you had better know what they want and when.
- Content deployment and activation. We have a LOT of content (tweets, blogs, etc.), so what do you do with it all? Develop a plan, and watch out for content creation madness.
- Video is center stage — still. What are you doing about it?
- The customer recommendation rules — yup, it’s all about what customers are saying about you and your products. How do you leverage that content?
“These trends aren’t vastly different from 2012 trends, but they will continue to matter in 2013,” said Sweetwood (for more detail, she recommends this Jeff Bullas article, used as one of her sources). “What will be new is around our ability to bring them together effectively. We need a higher level of alignment of strategy and convergence of channels. We have to be optimum in approaching channels and how they overlap.”
There was a wealth of information in her presentation, so there’s more to come. In the meantime, check out what she had to say in this MarketingProfs article on creating an analytic culture in marketing.