Marketing's in constant flux. Marketing professionals know that ours is a role requiring frequent evolution. The next big thing to alter the industry is always just around the corner – except for when it’s already here.
It’s often a challenge to know which innovations will reshape the marketing industry and which will simply make promises that fizzle out, but we suspect the trends on this list have real staying power. Some of them have already begun to take hold in marketing departments around the world and some are still in their infancy, but all are likely to play a role in how marketing works in the years to come.
Better (not more) marketing analytics
Marketers already have access to a lot of marketing data. With the right technology, virtually everything that consumers do online in relation to your brand can be tracked. The problem marketing departments face now isn’t lack of data; it’s difficulty turning the wealth of data available into truly useful insights.
A few years ago, the rise in marketing data would have been a solid prediction on any list of trends likely to shape the marketing of the future. Today, the innovation of note is the rise of tools that help marketers use the data they already have better. Comprehensive marketing dashboards that make it easy to make sense of your marketing metrics and draw connections between the actions performed by specific leads and personas will turn marketing data into something much more valuable.
In a related development, more and more marketing groups are starting to take a data-driven approach to marketing. Access to better tools for collecting and understanding marketing data finally makes it possible to put the information on past performance to use improving future outcomes.
Data can clearly show marketers which marketing activities are working and which aren’t actively contributing to the department’s overall goals. Real-time data even equips marketing teams with the knowledge needed to course correct mid-quarter to cut out marketing fat and focus resources on the campaigns yielding results.
The more data-driven a marketing team becomes, the better they’re able to meet their departmental goals and demonstrate value to the c-suite. With the right approach, those marketing analytics can therefore lead marketers to greater budget security. No marketer can argue with that.
Recent research from Aberdeen has found that 75% of consumers prefer to receive personalized offers from businesses. It’s no surprise that so many marketers believe personalization is critical to success.
As much as personalized marketing is discussed though, marketers still struggle with doing it well. As a consumer, how many successful examples of personalized marketing have you encountered?
We still have a ways to go, but advancements like automated journey maps that make it possible to stay on top of precisely where a prospect is in the buyer’s journey can begin to help marketers do a better job of delivering marketing materials that are specifically tailored to the person on the receiving end of them.
How good are you now at predicting how your marketing campaigns will perform for the next quarter or year? If, like most marketers, you find this a difficult exercise, you can trust that things are about to get better.
One key benefit of data-driven marketing is that technology can take all the data from your marketing campaigns past and turn it into increasingly accurate predictions of the months, quarters, and years to come. Sophisticated marketing technology will let you see what kind of results to expect with your current plan, and make it possible to simulate how the results will change based on specific variations to the plan you’re considering.
While the future is still unknowable, accurate forecasting can enable marketers to make much stronger marketing plans that better achieve the goals you’ve set.
Increased integration between departments
One of the big trends that shows up in recent marketing research is a growing emphasis on integration. The marketing teams that work with other departments – sales and customer service, in particular – consistently get the best results.
When a business is plagued with silos, nobody benefits. Organizations that manage to break those silos down so different departments can start working together are better able to provide customers with a consistent experience.
That’s the list of innovations we can predict, but naturally there will be changes in our future none of us know to see coming. In the meantime, make an effort to stay on top of all the changes you can see coming, and keep your eyes open for what’s next.Icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com is licensed under CC BY 3.0