Halloween is coming, even earlier than usual this year, judging from all the retail displays already in the shops! Although it is now more associated with children dressing up in scary costumes and dem anding “Trick or Treat”, it is actually a Christian remembrance of the dead on the eve of All Saints’ Day.
So what does that have to do with marketing? Apart from the obvious effort of many companies to include the pumpkin shape, flavour or aroma in almost every product they make, at least in the US, marketing too has its scary moments doesn’t it?
What scares you marketers the most, or to put it another way, what keeps you up at night? One of the most recent studies on the topic, issued a few months ago, comes from The Marketing Institute (MSI) and was summarised by David Aaker of Prophet as seven issues, which he divided into three tiers:
TIER ONE: The hot topics
- Underst anding customers and the customer experience with particular emphasis on the impact of social and digital.
- Big data and analytics, with how they will impact predictive modelling and the marketing mix.
TIER TWO: The other concerns
- Following on from the opportunities of Big Data, the next concern is Marketing Accountability and its ROI.
- Developing marketing excellence and the new skills required such as visualisation and storytelling.
- Leveraging digital/social/mobile technology and linking it to CRM
- Creating and communicating enduring customer value and how to measure it in the social environment.
- Developing and delivering integrated marketing
TIER THREE: Previous concerns getting under control
- Innovating products and services
- Global marketing
- Optimizing social contracts
What I find interesting from this and similar studies that I wrote about last year, is the overlap between many of these challenges. Marketers are really concerned about the wealth of information that they have on their customers and how they can manage to turn it all into insights, for more profitable actions and engagement. I therefore thought it would be useful to summarise the “so whats” of all these current challenges and propose actions that will help marketers get these issues under control, so they can change their scares into solutions:
Underst anding the customer experience
SCARE: With the exciting new worlds of social and digital taking up much of the thoughts of marketers, they are struggling to find ways to think integration, but that is the only way to underst and today’s customers.
SOLUTION: Starting from the customers’ perspective makes looking at the bigger picture much easier. Instead of thinking single channels of communication, think connection and engagement. (>>Tweet this<<). Instead of thinking purchase and loyalty, think advocacy. Creating value for the customer goes way beyond providing a product or service these days. (>>Tweet this<<)
Knowing what to do with data
SCARE: We have gone from an information rich environment to complete data overload. This challenge definitely keeps a lot of marketers up at night. They feel as if they have to use everything available but at the same time are also aware that they are incapable of doing so. Continue Reading