2015 is here and it is shaping up to be a big year with a ton of big technology predictions– from the emergence of 3D printing to the year of the Internet of things. With marketing budgets set to increase by 8%, according to a recent Gartner’s CMO Spend Report, marketers are looking for the next big thing that is going to put them ahead of the competition. This year, I think Voice of the Customer (VoC) analytics is set to play a major role. Below are a few of my predictions on the big customer feedback trends for 2015.
1. Mobile will become a do or die strategy
There is no denying it. This year mobile will become a do or die strategy. Google predicts that this year mobile searches will surpass desktop searches. Considering consumers’ use their smartphones almost every waking moment of the day, this is not surprising, it was just a matter of time. Marketers have woken up to this fact with eMarketer research showing that 34% of companies will significantly increase spend on mobile in 2015.
In a recent Clickz article, Kathy Stromberg, VP of Marketing at Webtrends, said, "Marketers now have to find a way to make media concise and digestible enough to resonate for consumers who are on the go and viewing from a 3-inch screen. Best practices are still being developed, so the opportunity is around defining what works and what doesn’t in the evolving space of mobile." To do this marketers need a vehicle to identify what is working and what isn’t for their mobile users. Now that it’s 2015, it’s essential to have a clear mobile strategy that is data-driven. Don’t get left behind this year, make sure the voice of your mobile customers is incorporated in those decisions. To get off on the right foot in doing mobile research this year check out my article in DM news on getting mobile visitors to talk.
2. Intent will become the new persona
Personalization has made its way into just about every aspect of digital marketing, but this year according to Clickz it will bring a heightened use of algorithms to hyper-personalize ads. But personalization often begins with the assumption we need to know as much as possible about ‘who’ the visitor is. Sites demonstrate they know a visitor’s location, what the visitor did on their last visit or even what they’ve done elsewhere on the web. Personalization can then seem less about the visitor’s needs and more about the person themselves. This creates user discomfort without necessarily helping them accomplish what they want to do. Jeff Fuhrim in his post Advantage and Limitations of Implicit Data said that, “To evaluate the usefulness of profile data ask yourself, does this information put me in touch with what the visitor wants and needs today?” This year the focus will be on the purpose, not the person with intent playing a much bigger role from creating targeted marketing campaigns to powering personalization engines.
3. The emergence of different types of 1st party data
This year will be the year of 1st party data. Recently, in AdExchanger, Peter Kim said that, “More than ever, first-party data represents a critical foundation for future marketing plans because it’s the only data that your competition will never have.” This was backed up by Josh Manion, CEO of Ensighten, who said, “[In 2015] Companies will realize the power of leveraging their own rich first -party data to drive omnichannel experiences across all customer touch points to provide a richer more profitable interaction with their customers.” With 1st party data representing so many benefits, companies are increasingly looking for first party data to increase the performance of their marketing initiatives. Recently, I wrote an article- Retargeting 2.0 – Leveraging First Party Intent - on how first party customer feedback such as intent can be leveraged in real-time to create more relevant and engaging retargeting campaigns. With advertisers set to spend $592.43 billion in 2015, according to new figures from eMarketer, personalizing the experience leveraging first party customer feedback will become a crucial differentiator.
4. Customer feedback will scale to the speed and velocity of behavioral data
According to eMarketer, only marketers who adopt real-time, responsive marketing - being fast, flexible, fluid and contextual – will succeed in 2015. Customer feedback is one of the key data sources to responsive marketing. Yet, it has traditionally been focused on the past. 2015 will see the emergence of customer feedback scaling to the speed and velocity of behavioral data to deliver personalized experiences to individual customers in real-time. As said famously by Jack Welch, (former CEO of General Electric); “ We have only 2 sources of competitive advantage ― learning more about customers faster than competitors and turning that learning into action faster than the competitors.” Marketers who take customer feedback and scale it to behavioral data will have a clear competitive advantage in 2015. iperceptions is leading the way with its Active Recognition Technology which scales customer feedback to the speed and velocity of behavioral data - essentially evolving market research from its traditional role of explaining customers past experiences, to recognizing immediate customers intentions in real-time.
5. Customer centricity will become more than a tag line but a reality
Last year, there was a lot of buzz around being customer centric but in 2015 this will become a reality. According to Forrester’s Customer Index, customer-centric companies gained 43% in performance compared to a 33.9% decrease for companies who have neglected customer experience. Research from eMarketer shows that new marketing technology investments this year will be centered on improving customer satisfaction, customer retention and the customer experience. This means that being customer centric is now moving from a nice idea to companies investing in making it become a reality. One of the most effective ways of achieving this will be through integrations. By feeding customer experience insights directly into marketing technologies, marketers will be better informed on how to deliver better experiences to their customers.
The year of…
2015 is going to be an exciting year for digital marketers as they create more personalized experiences for customers from adapting to the customers’ device to the customer’s intent to being completely customer centric in everything they do. This will be the year that marketers put the customer center stage in all things digital.
Image source: NASA