Future Gazing 2020: The Future Of Marketing…or rather, the Engagement Economy

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Mike Handes is Director of Customer Success, Asia Pacific at Marketo – we love a good title these days! In this article in Marketing Mag he shows us how Marketo’s path to 2020 forecasts future developments in the ways technology, complexity and customers influence the profession of marketing.

Mike, “Perfecting the ability to understand the customer through personalisation has long been a focus of marketeers. By 2020 it is expected CMOs will match this understanding with direct action that drives engagement.” These findings outlined in a report The Path To 2020 Marketeers Seize The Customer Experience, look at how senior marketing executives worldwide see how technologies and customer trends are likely to change marketing organisations the most over the next five years.

The report and the elements of it show how personalisation with the customer experience lead to increased value for the customer and the marketing organisation. And further, that CMOs and Senior Managers believe they will own the end to end customer experience by 2020 – this is currently a hot topic of debate amongst internal marketing, digital and customer structures.

Mike, “As customer experience overtakes mass marketing, CMOs must learn to manage staggering complexities. Most believe that developments in technology, mobile connectivity and media and marketing channels will change the profession vastly by 2020.”  There is room to improve current channels where further development can take place in personalising the customer experience, social media, mobile apps and the mobile web. Customer experience will be the driver of brand equity and future innovations in technology will focus on small screens and no screens at all.

The strategy is to provide customers with complete marketing interaction during their tie in with the marketing organisation. Awareness, management and advocacy are the key elements of their experience. Mark, “The survey found that a personalised and relevant customer experience was considered by respondents to be the most important priorities for a winning customer experience. This was followed by a fast and efficient customer experience.”

We forecast that 86% of CMOs will be expected to own the entire customer journey and strategy…by 2020. For this to be realised, they will need to be more deeply and commercially involved in decisions that affect the entire organisation. It is believed marketing departments will be the drivers of this business strategy and marketeers will also influence the direction of the accompanying technology.

Mark, “Blending new areas of involvement within brands, as well as constantly evolving technologies and platforms with which to engage with customers has meant an increasing amount of complexity in defining the role and necessary skills.”  

Some key questions for CMOs:

Do you have a platform that can grow?

Do you have a platform that will be able to scale to a volume of customer interactions in 2020 that is in an order of magnitude greater than today?

Finally, as a CMO, do you have an engagement platform that has an organisation behind it that will continue to invest and innovate, and is this platform open so that it will continue to invest an innovate?

The study aimed at producing the best version of customer truth, built from information such as demographics, purchase behaviour, devices or locations and the content customers are viewing.

Mark, “To build the best version of truth, we recommend constantly evaluating data against the following criteria:

Uniqueness: Is the data specific to the user of common to a target segment?

Privacy: Does the data require a customer’s permission and consent?

Applicability: Does the data apply across marketing and business processes?

Value: Does the data help marketing meet goals?”

When the data is collected, then the best version of the customer truth can be collected and used as a strategy for developing the final program. Data contributes towards marketing analysis and insight, creative development and marketing automation capabilities. Mark, “Externally, this resource helps marketers be where the customer is in his or her path to purchase.”

Mark examines if personalisation is really a top priority. Personalisation was commonly believed to be the number one priority for CMOs in the survey when it came to perfecting customer experience. It is seen that personalisation blends a deep understanding of a customer’s needs and wants with a timely and tailored delivery of relevant content, products and services. Old media avenues of television, print and radio are falling by the wayside.

The last great CX sets the baseline for all future CX regardless of industry. Mark, “Leading disrupters like Netflix, Uber and Airbnb explicitly focus on CX, and they understand to win in the future, you have to master the engagement economy. The engagement economy is one where the organisation delivers value through authentic and personalised experiences to every customer at every touchpoint, and the reward for this is returned in revenue. This is the engagement economy, and if you aren’t delivering CX, you aren’t participating in this economy and you will fail as a business.”

Mark then looks at the future. Survey results show mobile devices and networks, personalisation technologies and the Internet of things are the three specific trends which will have a major effect on marketing organisations by 2020.

Mark, “For me it goes back to driving, owning and being accountable for CX. By taking accountability the marketer earns the right to orchestrate the CX. The environment is also important. An environment is the intersection of the communication medium (the device), the location and the time.”

This examination of the future direction of marketing, or rather, the customer engagement economy, is the final destination in this cycle of development. The entire focus is to be on each customer’s experience. The tools are technology blended in with establishing complete engagement with the customer. None of this can be built quickly, the timeframe is over the next five years. Small screens and no screens become the must have tools moving away from the single focus on expanding hardware designed to catch the eye. Now, this is all about examining the motivation of consumers through total engagement.

It’s still more than this. Harnessing the truth about what is driving customers will enable the best programs to be delivered. There will be an expanding market for CMOs because they will drive the businesses forward and in doing so will call for value to be delivered by discovering how to find the authentic and personalised experiences necessary to deliver the ultimate marketing strategy.

Hayley James.



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