According to a new report from IBM Marketing Cloud, “10 Key Marketing Trends For 2017,” 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone, at 2.5 quintillion bytes of data a day! And, says the report, with new devices, sensors, and technologies emerging, the data growth rate will likely accelerate even more. In this white paper, marketing experts share their thoughts on the key marketing trends for 2017 with an eye toward keeping you ahead of the shifts that are rapidly transforming the industry and reshaping customer demands.
The challenge for marketers, says the report, is that today’s customers increasingly expect companies to know them and cater to their likes, needs, wants and preferences with every transaction and interaction. Doing so requires achieving a holistic view of the customer journey that can be daunting in a multichannel world. For example, four touchpoints across four channels yields 256 possibilities for paths to purchase.
Capturing this data and making sense of it to better understand your prospects and customers and build stronger connections with them is absolutely necessary for success in 2017 and beyond, says the report. Co-authors of the whitepaper present some individual comments for review:
“The cognitive era will make 2017 a watershed year for marketers. Simply put, marketing in the cognitive era is different. It requires embracing data in previously unseen ways to deepen customer connections and fuel strategic growth. That means tapping into structured and unstructured data, spanning the information you possess, the data outside your firewall, and the data that’s coming.”
Maria Winans, CMO, IBM Cognitive Engagement
"…mobile devices are simply an essential vehicle through which the customer experience takes place. As such, companies in 2017 and beyond shouldn’t have a “mobile strategy,” they should have an engagement strategy for their customers on mobile. Whether you’re working in a B2B or B2C environment, the process of finding the right influencers and leveraging them to connect your message to the right audience will become an increasingly critical part of social marketing strategy."
Dave Faupel, Director of Marketing, IBM Cognitive Engagement
"Savvy marketers having used influencers for years as part of their social strategy, but in 2017 brands will use influencers differently, increasing their sophistication to more effectively expand message reach and social impact."
Amber Armstrong, Director, Digital, Social and Influencer, IBM Commerce
“In economics, things take longer to happen than you think they will, and then they happen faster than you thought they could.” German economist Rudi Dornbusch
“Marketing has traditionally been seen as a right-brain activity: people huddled together, brainstorming copy, images and slogans. But this also applies to the rise of left-brain marketing, driven by data, analytics and cognitive technologies, and will be accelerated as marketing will be dominated by left-brain people using machine learning and artificial intelligence for marketing decisions, targeting, creative and conversion optimization.”
Loren McDonald, Marketing Evangelist/ Customer Success, IBM
“… we’re living in a world where big data is growing at a rate equivalent to a company the size of Google being created every day. It’s staggering. And it’s only going to get bigger. Many data analysts are suggesting the digital universe will be 40 times bigger by 2020! This is largely due to the vast increase of dark data, meaning all the unstructured data from the Internet, social media, voice and information from connected devices.”
Jeremy Waite, Marketing Evangelist, Watson Marketing EMEA
“We’re living through a disruptive time in commerce. We’ve gone digital, focused on mobile and transitioned to multichannel. At every juncture, we’ve tried to do a better job of improving the customer experience because we know – both in our hearts and from the data – it’s critical to customer loyalty and our bottom line.”
Elizabeth Magill, Program Leader, Customer Analytics, IBM Watson Marketing
Concluding, the report says that, "... as a marketer and business leader, you’re tasked with helping drive multiple initiatives, charting courses for business growth and deeper customer connections, and identifying and pursuing opportunities for innovation. 81% of marketers report that strategic thinking is the most important aspect of their jobs, and 68% believe it’s more necessary today than it was five years ago."
To access the complete report please visit here.