Omer Artun, Ph.D., CEO of Mountain View, Calif.-based predictive marketing platform AgilOne, has a suggestion for what that big picture might be.
"I believe there is going to be a shift from focusing on marketing to acquire customers with campaigns—such as large, blanketed discounts—to marketing that focuses on retaining customers," says Artun.
"Acquiring new customers is five to eight times more expensive than retaining customers," he continues. "This goes hand-in-hand with customer personalization and understanding our customers through data. Once you understand who your valuable customers are and what it takes to retain them and keep them engaged, then it is easier to create marketing that is data-driven, cost efficient and effective."
Stephen Yu, president and chief consultant of Old Tappan, N.J.-based Willow Data Strategy, says the big idea comes down to individuals.
"There is no online or offline, but there are buyers, consumers and prospects everywhere," says Yu. "There will be no channel differences in the near future, and consumers will want everything all the time through every channel. And data and analytics can guide marketers through that maze, but only if the work is done properly."
Dan McDade, founder of Johns Creek, Ga-based PointClear, puts it bluntly.
"Campaigns are out, continuum marketing is in," he says. "There is not a starting place or stopping place. Marketing is personalized, timely, helpful and appreciated, rather than annoying and cloyingly repetitious."