What Media Trends Matter to Direct Marketers? 3 Questions With Forrester's Robert BrosnanAugust 1, 2012 By Thorin McGee
Note: Robert Brosnan will be the keynote speaker at the Integrated Marketing Virtual Conference 2012 on Aug. 16. To hear more of his insights into multichannel marketing in today's media environment register today for free!
Robert Brosnan is Forrester Research's senior analyst serving customer intelligence professionals. His research credits include "Campaign Management Customers Get Personal"; "The Forrester Wave: Cross-Channel Campaign Management, Q1 2012"; "3 Approaches to Marketing Technology"; "The State Of MRM In 2011" and "How Listening Informs Campaign Management." We had a chance to ask him a few questions about direct marketing in today's evolving media landscape during preparation for the Integrated Marketing Virtual Conference 2012:
Target Marketing: What media usage trends are going to be the most important to marketers?
Robert Brosnan: The first trend to watch is a meta-trend: that consumers are increasingly always addressable. The always addressable consumer is someone who owns and uses at least three connected devices, goes online multiple times per day, and connects from at least three physical locations—like home, work or school. Second, consumers increasingly engage with digital media well before and after the point of purchase. And third, consumers are rapidly adopting mobile devices and social media to conduct product research, engage with brands, and share their experiences in non-traditional contexts.
In the end, the only sustainable source of competitive advantage is to build relationships with customers, in part, through capturing, analyzing and acting on insights from customer data.
TM: How should marketers approach the current media environment?
RB: Today's marketers literally can't afford to focus on acquisition to the exclusion of other methods of engagement. While spending on display and search dwarfs email, mobile, and social, the return on investment (ROI) is flipped. And not only can marketers deliver much higher incremental revenue from shifting spend to this type of engagement media, they can also deliver on other corporate goals, such as improving customer experience and satisfaction.
Acquisition is still critical in today's environment, but marketers must use relationship marketing techniques in interactive media in order to drive marketing ROI.
TM: What is the most important element of a multichannel marketing strategy?
RB: Well beyond technology and interactive media, the most critical element is to establish the value customer intelligence as a corporate strategy. Those firms that build true differentiation and advantage do so by establishing an executive level customer officer or strategist. From there, firms build out the resources and processes that enable them to build relevant, responsive, and adaptive multichannel strategies. These resources include customer data repositories, cross-channel campaign management systems, and analytically minded customer strategists. These strategists then lead their firms to create processes underlying the collection, analysis and application of customer insights to each marketing program, channel and touch point.