A new forecast from Forrester predicts that for CMOs, 2013 won’t just be another year of digital’s growing influence in marketing: It will be the year CMOs fully close the divide between digital and conventional marketing, with social principals infusing all their brand efforts. Additionally, writes Corinne Munchbach, an analyst at Forrester, CMOs at consumer-focused companies will grasp that whether tactics are digital or not, they need to drive positive customer experience and interaction with the brand.
The shift comes because even though companies have been investing in digital marketing for years now, there’s finally an understanding that on some level, all marketing is inherently digital. As a result, it says it expects interactive marketing budgets to account for some $50 billion, or 20% of all marketing expenditures.
“Digital disruption moves faster with more power at less cost than any force before it, tearing down boundaries to meet consumers’ needs more fully than we could have ever imagined five years ago,” she writes. “Healthcare providers are challenged by the Jawbone UP and FitBit personal tracking devices; media companies are threatened by Hulu and YouTube; and financial services firms worry about alternative payment and banking platforms, like Square and Simple.”
As a result, CMOs must expand the capabilities of their brands to keep up, or get left behind. “Organizations that harness the power of digitally empowered consumers, innovate the adjacent possible, and embrace digital to extend the benefits of the product or service will be well positioned for success in 2013,” she says.
And increasingly, that means the digital awareness must be bigger than just marketing efforts, seeping into every aspect of the brand experience. “CMOs should move marketing budgets out of channel silos and into new cross-platform teams organized around consumer segments, with experts on the relevant media, channels, and devices for that particular segment.”
That includes giving consumers a visible value, in order to outperform competitors. (The report cites USAA, Burberry and Mercedes as examples of brands that are true to their brand mission, providing rewarding experiences in many channels.)
Finally, she predicts that content marketing, already in use by nearly 90% of business-to-consumer marketers, will continue to grow as “the logical extension of existing social strategies, creating a more robust set of brand experiences for people to engage with.”
It stems, she writes, from the
understanding that to be “remarkable,” a brand must be worth talking and sharing about, citing Red Bull’s extreme success with its Stratos jump as just one example. “Senior
marketers will see that bringing together their content marketing and social marketing initiatives is the best way to support branding goals and ultimately positive business outcomes. Social media
should be used to strategically achieve three brand building objectives: relationship building, differentiating through an emotional connection by delivering visible value, and nurturing loyal
That means moving well beyond basic Facebook and retweeting, “to actually focus on how to activate their branded content asset via their social presence.”