Key Moves to Improve Your Digital Marketing Fitness
Plan your 2016 digital marketing strategy with the capabilities necessary to deliver exceptional customer experience.
Contributor: Heather Levy
Imagine if your 2016 marketing strategy meeting started with the question, “What are the top five customer needs we should serve this year?” Many organizations take a product or service-first approach to planning, thus anchoring their approach in the mindset of, “Here’s what we have, come and get it.” Alternatively, customer-centered organizations start with what is at stake for the customer and seek to earn the right to a customer’s attention—and their business.
Competition has heated up, and to win, it’s paramount that marketers create an exceptional customer experience that involves every marketing discipline and channel, noted Jake Sorofman, vice president for Gartner for Marketing Leaders.
To deliver on this mandate, you’ll need to orient to an outside-in view of the customer, develop effective measurement and analytical skills, and further invest in disciplines that enable marketing agility.
View customers from the outside in
The first move is to flip your orientation from what you have to sell to a deep understanding of how the customer defines success. Brett Pitts, EVP and head of digital at Wells Fargo, noted, “When you are trying to design end-to-end customer experiences, you need to really understand and define success in customer-oriented ways.”
Examples of how to take an outside-in approach include:
- Move commerce experiences beyond the storefront. TopShop’s #LIVETRENDS campaign pointed real-time social feeds and user generated fashion selfies to their own curated catalog, generating a 75 percent sales uplift in featured trends.
- Personalize mobile experiences. Google’s internal data showed in May 2015 that smartphone searches outpaced desktop searches in the U.S. and other markets. Marketers need to use mobile marketing analytics to extend “personalization” in a more holistic way as well.
- Democratize voice of customer insights to the right roles. GE Healthcare compressed a 30-day lapse between insight and action to turn around negative experiences in a timeframe adequate to remediate issues and restore the customer relationship.
Master measurement and analytics
Leading data-driven marketers invest in building world-class analytics capabilities because it is a cornerstone of a customer-centric approach. Analytics’ share of marketing budgets is rising fast as two-thirds of marketers surveyed plan to grow their analytics teams.
In 2016, focus on the following techniques:
- Pivot from “batch and blast” to coordinated, event-triggered engagement. Your goal should be to have a relevant customer “conversation” at the right moment within a specific context, significantly increasing the probability of a favorable interaction.
- Share social insights. Ensure that stakeholders in product development, customer experience and other business units have access to relevant and actionable social analytics.
- Invest in world-class analytical skills. Create a center of excellence to build internal expertise and deploy resources, as needed, to coach and train other associates.
Become agile and adaptive to change
Agility is about advantage, and advantage is often earned or lost in the moment. Zara, the fast fashion pioneer, shredded its legacy ”Christmas Tree” org chart in favor of a more networked model with flexible roles, fluid responsibilities, and fast sign-off processes. In 2016:
- Design an organization that’s capable of responding to change faster than competitors.
- Structure agency relationships as strategic partners to get better results, sharper differentiation and increased ROI.
- Create a virtual talent bench by tapping into more flexible expertise models enabled by the “gig” economy.
- Build a robust content supply chain to help feed the beast that fuels all multichannel initiatives.
View the interactive version of the 2016 Watch Report.
Gartner for Marketing Leaders clients can read more in the report “2016 Watch List: Key Moves to Improve Your Digital Marketing Fitness.”
For more articles visit Smarter With Gartner website.