Five Digital Marketing Predictions for 2014

December 18, 2013 Merlyn Gordon

We’re distracted, demanding, and unpredictable in the eyes of the companies we’re engaging with. Our expectation for relevant experiences that deliver value at the time of our choosing has never been higher.

With the added complexity that we’re always connected, starting and ending our journey across different channels has made the marketer’s dilemma of figuring out where to invest their marketing budgets an incredibly difficult challenge. Therefore, expect to see leading companies working to eke out a competitive advantage by tackling these five priorities in 2014.

1. Brands will embrace map-making to create a consistent customer experience

There is a growing imperative for brands to deliver consistent customer experiences across all of their online properties and digital channels ,and this will have brands embracing historically esoteric concepts such as the customer journey.

Brands will begin to embrace journey mapping and related frameworks to document and identify how their customers engage through different stages in their journey (search, react, evaluate, decide, and convert) in order to direct sunlight into pathways fraught with blind-spots and incomplete pictures of engagement.

2. Design will become more of a verb

Marketers will embrace design as a verb (in addition to a noun) as they map their customers’ journeys across all brand touch-points.

Once customer journeys are better understood, brands will begin to design optimized experiences specific to channel, device, and audience segment.

3. A segment of one takes on new meaning

Brands will finally be able to understand a segment of one like never before.

As a result of the opportunity to now have a complete view of a customer (past and in-the-now engagement), experiences tailored to an individual will mature beyond basic personalization. Personalized experiences will be designed with the context of the customer journey in mind.

4. Whether your real time is faster than my real time will no longer be the problem

Marketers will begin taking advantage of new capabilities that enable them to act on insights in the very moment they need to act. Speed of delivery will no longer be the problem. The real opportunity is whether an experience can be delivered when it counts for the business—and when it matters most for the consumer.

Time has always been a luxury in short supply for marketers. With maturing Big Data platforms and streaming data capabilities, marketers will be able to reduce the costs, risks, and time to market of their online initiatives and campaigns.

5. Better data leads to better optimization

Optimizing online marketing campaign spend through the use of hard metrics such as sales, revenue, lifetime value, and cost of acquisition will continue to play a significant role in justifying investments.

Hard metrics will be programmatically baked into testing and targeting strategies, with new technologies able to ingest pre-defined outcomes, and execute against these objectives.

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