More than ever, consumers are demonstrating that they are in control. In this era of relevance, marketers may have only 50 to 500 milliseconds to secure consumer interest. As we enter 2013 and technologies and communications channels continue to evolve, it is imperative that brands embrace the new demands of today's empowered consumer -- relevant experiences at every touchpoint.
Companies that can embrace the shift toward consumer relevance and maintain this presence across all marketing and communications platforms stand to further succeed in 2013. The three trends outlined here will be integral elements of successful marketing.
From multichannel marketing to integrated experiences
One-to-one, one-to-many, multichannel, cross-channel -- and now omni-channel. Forget all of it. It's time to engage consumers with integrated experiences. Today’s campaigns need to be tailored to consumer’s preference and be prevalent across all touchpoints.
To be successful and understand consumers, companies must adopt an experience-led approach to engage consumers. Leveraging data using real-time analytics allows companies to support ongoing relationships and gives customers relevant, more impactful experiences. Because consumers switch rapidly from one device to the next and respond through various media, data and analytics should be culled from multiple channels. In 2013, companies that get serious about delivering meaningful experiences to their customers should organize around the concept of integrated experiences.
Placing consumer relevance first
Putting consumer relevancy first is the ability to continuously release experiences across all channels and locations. This means scaling every essential function -- channels, actionable data insights, segmented content, enabling technologies, etc. -- while continually monitoring performance in real-time and rapidly responding to new consumer insights.
Consumers are increasingly demanding relevant offers and an enjoyable experience while online, in-store, and using mobile devices. Our recent survey found that 65 percent of respondents noted that they showroom and compare prices on a mobile device while in-store. This year, we can expect consumers to be more inclined to buy from companies that make use of mobile apps and send them relevant ads, as well as buying from retailers and brands that find ways to make offline experiences equally as relevant and engaging.
In order to deliver scaled relevant experiences, companies need to tap into the wealth of data sources to understand what attracts and holds consumer attention at any moment in time -- not just data about geolocation, gender and age, product preference or purchase, but more importantly, likes, interests and who they talk and listen to. Likewise, relevance goes beyond personalization.
It's not enough for companies to know who they are communicating with -- they need to simultaneously understand the context and intent of the consumer in what is a vastly different and more complex consumer life cycle.
The rising tide of social media and mobile
Social media has not just created a new channel to communicate -- it has inherently changed the ways in which people interact. In 2013, social media will continue to change how businesses do business. Both mobile and social will be extensions of campaigns and ongoing experiences -- not separate channels.
While many companies grasp the important role of social media and have begun effectively leveraging it to reach consumers, in 2013 a new challenge emerges -- the ever-expanding tools of social media and resulting analytics programs. While these tools can track and analyze consumer behavior, it also creates an enormous amount of information that is often channeled into a series of silos. For social media to truly contribute to an organization’s pursuit of excellence, this valuable information cannot remain tucked away in different functional areas.
Companies must use social media and mobile devices to convey a message and to harness deep contextual knowledge about each consumer and apply it intelligently to create persuasive experiences on each device and ad platform the consumer touches.
Succeeding in 2013
A prosperous year will entail breaking down barriers that exist between functional areas to embrace the power of social media and the ubiquity of mobile, celebrate the relevant consumer and harness the many channels that marketers have available to create truly compelling experiences. Brands that stay true to their New Year’s resolution of embracing consumer relevance can look forward to a successful 2013 and beyond.