Five Trends for Marketers to Watch
In marketing, it can be hard to distinguish between a fad du jour and a real, game-changing shift. To help you cut through the clutter, the top minds at Landor have identified five major trends that will shape the industry for years to come.
1) Big data: A race to be first
Big data is unavoidable; as GE chief marketing officer Beth Comstock puts it, “If you don’t like data, you won’t like the future.” Every day we read new articles about how big data will help us track the customer journey, build loyalty, predict behavior, and ultimately help drive sales. For all big data’s promise, however, few are prepared to take advantage of it. According to IBM’s recent C-Suite Study, 82 percent of CMOs don’t feel ready to take on the data explosion. This leaves marketers racing to be the first to master the new resources available—whether this means building up an in-house team or partnering with an outside agency.
T-Mobile USA worked with a big data partner to integrate massive amounts of customer data. By combining and analyzing customer information, web logs, billing data, and social media engagement, the brand was able to identify which customers were likely to switch to another company. Using these insights, T-Mobile was able to cut defections in half in a single quarter.
2. Rethinking retail to battle showrooming
Showrooming is the retailer’s scourge. Shoppers are still visiting brick-and-mortar locations to sample wares, but they’re going online to buy the same products less expensively or determine if another store is offering a better deal. Retailers are making in-store experiences extraordinary in order to convince customers that it’s worth paying a little extra to buy their goods on the spot. Experience retail is here to stay.
BMW recognized that its customers were demanding better retail experiences and set about creating a more inspiring dealership. It opened its first reconceptualized BMW Brand Store in Brussels in 2014, introducing a multisensory interactive customer experience that is careful to be free of sales pressure. By highlighting BMW’s customization options, benefits, history, and post-sale services at all touchpoints, the new retail model lets customers know there’s no need to comparison shop.
3. Putting brand purpose into process
Since the 1970s, leaders have paid lip service to corporate social responsibility (CSR) by adopting an ideal, but supporting it only infrequently. Recently, a more authentic CSR strategy has come into vogue. Companies are weaving social and environmental solutions into the earliest stages of not only brand strategy, but also operations.
Although the tech industry has accomplished many incredible feats, its products rely heavily on energy, which saps natural resources. Google Green acknowledges this and creates a web “better for the environment” by investing in renewable energy and focusing on energy-efficiency projects. By utilizing cloud services and optimizing data center and server efficiencies, Google has been able to provide one month of products (such as Search, Gmail, Chrome, Drive, and YouTube) to an active user in a manner that emits the same energy as driving a single mile.
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