3 Things Marketers Will Love on Valentine’s Day and Beyond
In 2015, we'll see some marketing trends transform into more entrenched best practices. Marketers should always have a pulse on the latest marketing tools and broader trends, especially any that help them work more efficiently, offer personalized messaging and drive social engagement.
In honor of the upcoming day of professing one's love, let's take a look at three trends marketers will be swooning over in 2015:
1. Opening a Big Heart for Big Data. For 2015, Big Data will continue its march from "trend" to something that will be integrated into many marketing decisions. Marketers love Big Data for many reasons; including its ability to reduce content clutter, connect systems, and bring people together (just like Valentine's Day). Marketers are bombarded with data, and using Big Data is a great way to identify useless information and focus on top performers.
It also helps connect systems that previously were not on speaking terms. Social site postings, marketing emails, e-commerce interactions and CRM data can all be combined through automation and reviewed through Big Data analysis. Marketers love "the big picture" and Big Data provides a clear window into unexpected relationships between disparate data sources. The final part of the Big Data love is its ability to connect people across geographic, cultural and platform-based lines. It helps marketers to treat customers as a global whole, and encourages the use of visual content-based campaigns with universal appeal.
2. Giving Automation a Warm Hug. Various facets of marketing and customer interactions are being automated, a trend that will continue to give markets the "warm and fuzzies" in 2015. According to a report from industry analyst firm Gleanster titled "Gleansight Benchmark Report, Marketing Automation," 79 percent of the top-performing firms have been using automation for more than two years.
Marketing is increasingly driven by automated rules, and these rules are often backed by Big Data. Consider email marketing, which is an ideal channel for automation. Customers are receiving personalized emails not just in response to their actions, but also based on predictive analytics and other data. One key for implementing marketing automation is to get other departments on board, such as sales and IT. Marketers need to get these other groups to "feel the love" that can come through efficient automation in order to get everyone on the same page and ensure widespread adoption.
3. Sending Flowers and Chocolates to Social Media Users. In 2015, social media channels will confirm their place as the preferred broadcast platform for the current generation of younger consumers. Consider a Facebook page for the average business. It provides an image-rich communication tool (videos are also poised to explode) for both broadcast and one-on-one communications. Messages can be tailored to real-time events or promotions, and it also offers analytics so marketers can see broader trends. Companies are also encouraging consumers to complete transactions through a Facebook interface, such as hotel bookings and other similar tasks. This is another efficiency improvement—providing visitors with fewer required clicks to complete a desired action.
In my opinion, Twitter is cementing its status as a preferred customer service tool, which is being adopted by several global brands. Nike is mentioned frequently as a model user of Twitter, as the company quickly responds to inquiries and even has a support-focused Twitter handle. New software tools are also coming on the market that allow marketers to handle customer service requests from multiple social media sources, allowing marketers and customer service to work more efficiently.
Marketers who want to fall in love with some dynamic trends in 2015 should look to Big Data, automation and social channels as three of Cupid's arrows. Each one is more than just a passing fad; they represent generational shifts in how customers expect to be reached and the efficient tools needed to capture their attention.