Customers are more informed than ever and marketing needs to evolve to match those smarts
Earlier this month I heard from Christine Jacobs, Director of Demand Programs at IBM North America. She spoke on marketing transformation – how marketing is changing and how marketing departments need to focus on social, content and ROI to meet the growing demands of customers. She focused on the need to make digital mainstream and shared that 40% of IBM’s marketing spend is now digital. Here’s what I took away from her presentation:
Social is the way of the future
- Christine talked a lot about social engagement and pointed out that for many organizations, this is a key area of under-preparedness. Recently there has been an explosion of data and social media and most companies aren’t prepared to tackle these changes.
- It’s time for marketers to redefine the customer. We’ve talked about the need for personas in the past and Christine touched on this too. Instead of looking at customers as one buying group, we need to focus on micro-segments so you can build experiences and make marketing more relevant. In fact, each micro market needs specific objectives. As building product marketers, we need to appeal to the empowered customer through a differentiated experience.
- So how do we do this? Social media is on-demand intelligence and engagement. We need to be listening. Social media should help guide media buys, social media strategy and so much more. Especially for CMOs, social media will be a key engagement channel moving forward. Are you ready?
Content and assets should align to the buyer’s journey
- How do you create, package and distribute your content today? We need to provide a seamless experience for our customers across all touchpoints, whether they’re paid, owned or earned.
- The best way to do this and prepare for the future? Embrace new technologies through testing. Testing can be a great way to try out things like text ads, retargeting visitors from your website, targeting niche audiences in LinkedIn, mobile marketing, etc.
ROI: Measure impact by applying the science of analytics to your marketing
- Analytics are the future of marketing. There are a finite set of KPIs. Make sure you are measuring business outcomes (not volumes) and move from the historical to the predictive.
- The best thing about analytics? You can optimize all the time, on the fly and operate in real time to ensure you’re making smart business decisions.
So what does this mean for your marketing department? Make sure you understand your customers in real time and anticipate their needs. Where do you start?
And work with your CIO. The CIO and CMO are the power team of the future. When looking at your 2013 marketing plans, consider: are you ready with a plan for social, content and analytics? Because if not, it’s time to reconsider. For more information on marketing transformation visit IBMconnectedcustomer.com or IBM.com/smartermarketing.