Heath Barlow
Heath Barlow 11 March 2022

Fact vs Fiction: Marketing unPredictions

The arrival of each new year is always accompanied by a flood of vague marketing predictions, packaged up as hundreds of articles, reports, and corporate blog posts. If it wasn’t bad enough that marketers were required to separate the signal from the noise here, some of these predictions — in the style of your favourite horoscope — are vague enough to be unfalsifiable. Other predictions happen to be correct, seemingly by chance, with the veracity of a broken clock. However, a significant portion are demonstrably untrue.

Emarsys research analysing thousands of 2021 marketing predictions found that a quarter (more than six-hundred articles) failed to come to fruition. 

It's vital that the nature of these predictions is acknowledged. As exciting as it is to discuss the metaverse, NFTs and cryptocurrency, marketers ought to be focused on the practical challenges they’ll be facing every day in 2022 and the technologies that will help solve them. 

Delete the Data Siloes 

In 2022, there are countless businesses still struggling with disparate data that sits in siloes throughout their organisation. eMarketer has reported that while 84% of CMOs believe that collection, management and analysis of data is integral to consistent success, only 49% think they are delivering in this area.  

Too often, separate departments fail to consolidate their data into a single source, which means there isn’t a single picture of the customer — and, simply put, that’s just bad for marketing. In order to create a truly personalised marketing campaign, all customer data needs to be unified. Otherwise, how will you know who you’re marketing to?  

The easiest way to centralise your data is to rid yourself of the disjointed technology platforms — replacing them with a single solution. A single platform, with an open architecture that can accommodate all data sources across the business, means that marketers will have everything they need to maximise their personalisation for customers. 

Personalise Everything  

If there’s a single thing that elevates good brands into great brands, it’s well-executed personalisation. While almost all marketers personalise their efforts to some degree, only a few are using every tool at their disposal.  

Liveclicker has found that those businesses which use ‘advanced personalisation’ see every $1 of budget invested produce a $20 return — a dramatic ROI which highlights the significance of personalised marketing. That’s why it’s absolutely necessary to have access to high quality data which details customer preferences, purchases, and browsing behaviour. 

The goal is to provide tailored product recommendations and create incentivised loyalty across all sales channels, in real-time. To achieve this, you need to have the right technology.

In 2022, that means AI. An AI-enabled platform automates and fine-tunes the customer experience (CX) more quickly and efficiently than even the most nimble marketer ever could – which buys them the time and the energy they need to invest in the more creative, strategic elements of marketing. 

Stay Customer-Obsessed  

This personalisation is required to meet the ever-rising expectations of the modern customer – business as usual is not what it used to be.  

Customers expect more than ever from their interactions with brands — making high quality CX an absolute necessity. The explosion in ecommerce, following the uplift in home shopping during Covid, has created wide-reaching opportunities for retail brands willing to optimise their online CX practices.

McKinsey recently showed that paying special attention to CX can increase revenue by up to a half, and boost customer satisfaction by nearly a third.     

Of course, CX sits on a foundation of personalisation. Being truly customer-obsessed means using a data-backed picture of each individual customer — with a 360-degree view of their behaviours, demographics, and preferences — which is key to developing a genuinely unique experience for them.

As I’ve already mentioned, AI is the most effective way to consolidate all customer insights and offer a unique CX — driving repeat purchases and creating long term customer loyalty.  

Be on Task, Not on Trend 

Marketers have a hard enough job without being bombarded by the latest fads and trends claiming to define their direction of travel. Their time, energy, and expertise are valuable enough without such distractions — let’s focus on the tasks at hand before we start speculating about the future.  

When it comes to successful marketing campaigns, the story remains one about technology, data, personalisation and CX. Stick to the fundamentals and embrace a single technology platform that will see you through from start to finish. 

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