9. Planning, executing and measuring across channels: MarketingProfs published an article of mine on the traditional hurdles that marketing organizations face (or impose on themselves) in achieving relevance in direct digital marketing communications. While achieving fluency and consistency in cross-channel communications (from the consumers’ point of view) is a stated goal of exactly 100% of marketers, many labor in an environment where out-dated management or organization philosophies inevitably keep departmental silos rigid. The struggles of these organizations to maintain communications relevance, effectiveness, and overall customer satisfaction across digital (and non-digital) channels will be more difficult to hide as more consumers become firmly planted in the social web in 2011. To stay competitive (and avoid consumers publicly pointing out the failings of their enterprise communications capabilities) marketers will increasingly focus on restructuring the organization, strategies and processes so they can plan, execute and measure marketing and non-marketing communications with customers and prospects across channels.
10. The interactive marketing suite Organizations that begin to and become fluent in planning, executing and measuring marketing communication campaigns across channels increasingly see the need for comprehensive software and data solutions. Simply put, as the organization jells, so too must the technology framework on which those campaigns are executed and measured. Marketers, driven by the CMO and CFO, will be less interested in 2011 in allocating large budgets – whether for outsourced platforms and resources, or internal resources – to make problematic patchwork solutions appear seamlessly integrated. The promise of the interactive marketing suite is delivery of a platform where data, content, targeting rules, channel deployment, and measurement and analysis capabilities are largely unified or integrated. When truly cross-channel marketing efforts are designed, the interactive marketing suite delivers the framework for organizations to execute on that design, without the burden of fragmentation and redundancy for transferring profile data or campaign selects, creating or storing content in distinct repositories, or trying to bring metrics together from disparate systems for analysis.
11. Consumers own your brand The ten previous trends for 2011 all have two things in common: each will impact the business of direct digital marketing this year, and each is a direct result of quickly changing consumer behavior and attitudes. Each of these trends is driven by three consumer realities:
- The fascination and promise of mobility is driving nearly ubiquitous adoption of mobile technologies among consumers worldwide, propelling a sea change in how people communicate and consume information.
- The socialization of the web is sea change #2. Impossible as it seems, there have been no two greater sources of influence in consumer behavior since adoption of the internet than the mobile and social paradigms, and both are happening virtually concurrently. How connected individuals source information, and who they listen to, is shifting now and is not likely to shift back. The voice of the marketer now represents simply a share of the information – correct or incorrect – readily at hand for consumer consideration. This creates a new context of real and immediate accountability on marketers, who must be vigilant about being accurate, consistent, relevant, credible, timely and responsive.
- Consumers still expect marketers to respect permission and privacy. It is a challenging time to be an effective and ethical marketer. Consider that consumers have a plurality of resources easily at hand in the connected age, the inherent measurability of digital media places onus on marketers to demonstrate their effectiveness conclusively, said digital media providers are devising increasingly sophisticated capabilities for tracking a connected consumers’ every move, yet consumers and legislators (rightfully) expect to be marketed to only with permission, and with personal privacy ensured.
The consumer is at the head of the table, having the greatest influence over how a marketer’s brand is perceived, how its goods and services are evaluated, when and how purchases are made, and then providing the final, conclusive, and very public opinion of the overall experience of being a customer. If marketers from the coordinator to the CEO don’t have this worldview deeply ingrained in their personal and professional DNA a brand’s relevance or existence could be at risk.
What 2011 direct digital marketing trends are you keeping an eye on?