The connected customer is very much going to dictate terms with marketers in 2016. Certain transformational ideas business must consider to leverage this trend. Marketing research conducted by Forrester has pointed out that self customer service is now more popular than all other such forms including phone. Thus customer service agencies must consider such methods in-fitted with video based instructions. Instead of large corporations, majority of customer facing mobile apps will be developed by individual developers. Marketers will increasingly invest in e-commerce platforms. IT firms will get more aligned with business needs by developing capabilities in cloud computing, social analytics and Big Data. HR departments must encourage employees to improve health and engagement by using wearable technologies. Chief Marketing officers will invest more in automation by developing buyer personas and buyer process maps. CEOs on the other hand will focus more on innovations. Finally, data driven sales organizations will do better than others in the market.


There seems to be a plethora of software tools to help professionals with sales, manufacturing, finance, engineering and customer support yet almost none for marketing. Even the handful of tools that are available are mainly targeted at advertising. This is what makes the job of the CMO really challenging and as a result usually short lived. Marketers are instead using business analytics to measure click-through-rates and recording customer views using traditional spreadsheets. For this a marketing mix has been developed to yield best results over digital media. It follows the chain of ideas then work resulting in results. There is this need to develop marketing technology which can store memory or customer data, sales and trends.

Some truly compelling statistics on digital marketing have been found that are quite thought provoking. As per survey conducted, 98% of respondents feel that leaders must possess digital skills but very few are actually good at it. Surprisingly SMS delivers six to eight times greater level of audience engagement than does email. Over the Christmas weekend, searches via mobile phones increase by a whopping 500%. This in spite of half the shoppers in UK feeling fearful of getting ripped off during the Christmas period. This was also a period when searches on eBay rose by 50%. Unfortunately for some of the stand alone retailers, their stores get overlooked during this festive season. Several companies’ websites though have bombed due to their under-preparedness to handle such large traffic on Fridays. Business intelligence gathered by Capgemini confirms that sales finalized using smartphones has increased exponentially recently. A negative trend of retailers though is the failure to allow smooth checkouts. Also more than two-fifths of shoppers in the UK are using their mobile phones to find beast deals while present at the concerned store. Instagram has been found out to be the most engaging social media for the B2C segment. In terms of user experience though, it is non-profit firms that are lagging behind.



An online publication has provided is a list of marketing goals that must be targeted for this year. There must be an increased focus on the quality of content not its quantity. A content marketing plan must be well in place. This content must be dispersed in innovative patterns. While Facebook has to be the anchor social media, others such as Pinterest or Twitter have also proven to be ideal channels for digital marketing initiatives. Beyond online modes, companies must renew their efforts at face-to-face sales pitches. It is also important for organizations to find strategic partners who share a similar philosophy. Goals set must be realistic to align with trends. Some firms have even started doling out freebies since it attracts attention but also lets potential customers sample the products on offer. Organizations must themselves execute only such activities that they are really good at, while outsourcing the non-core business operations. Marketers must be proactive to seize opportunities but also be prepared to face unforeseen challenges. Business innovations must be experimented with periodically. It is important to find right mentors in the industry but one can start by being a mentor towards some others as well. Data must be utilized to track market movements. Most importantly, marketers must have fun as there is no point without the element of enjoyment. 


There seems to be a disconnect between the investment on social media by businesses and its impact. Certain factors are responsible for this divide. A large number of organizations are guilty of not aligning their social media campaigns across various channels. This generates a disjointed digital marketing footprint. This also reflects the lack of clear goals regarding social media. Customer use of social media needs to be better captured using relevant data. Only about a tenth of respondents on marketing research anchored by CMO confirmed they were satisfied by the marketing impact of social media. A set of marketers are not leveraging the potential of their business partners or outsiders to brand their products on social media. Marketing leaders need to possess cross-functional abilities in order to best leverage platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. Also as social media is a relatively new phenomena, number of marketers are struggling to develop competencies for the same. Similarly a lot of marketers struggle to attune the social media marketing with the financial side of the organization, using the platforms for only branding where final sales must also eventually generate.

The highly respected Forbes publication has detailed a list of tactics every firm must add to its marketing campaigns this year. Several companies these days are good with attracting viewers to their website but fail to convert due to lack of relevant content on the site itself. Increased usage of data backed business analytics needs to be done. Such analytics will also enable real time marketing where promotions are pushed at the right time to the concerned audience using such metrics from captured data. Customer experience needs to be paid top priority on. Videos are amongst the best ways to catch young audiences and they must be made liberal use of. Buyer personas need to be tagged and segmented targeting needs to executed accordingly. Instead of going all out individually, it will always be beneficial to attach the firm’s social media pages with others groups so that influence based marketing can take place automatically. In current circumstances the mobile phone remains among most potent sales cum branding tools and thus no digital marketing will be complete without a mobile friendly interface in addition to the web. Content must also be well dispersed to the maximum population using a combination of paid and organic methods. A number of firms these days are guilty of working relentlessly yet without proper direction. This needs to be rectified using proper thought leadership from the very top.

There is so much talk regarding digitization in business, yet the customer experience needs to be kept simple. Digital technologies must seamlessly merge with daily chores. Business intelligence gathered by Salesforce points out two important trends which are creating a balance between the physical and digital spaces. The first one was the integration of mobile phones in the buyer journey. Then there is the increased use of CRM. Wearables are also adding to the list of technologies making lives easier. This way technologies as well as its vendors remain agile and adaptable to circumstances.

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