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4 Marketing Strategies for the Age of the Consumer

The marketing landscape has changed drastically since Peppers and Rogers released One-to-One Marketing in the 1990s. We are evolving from marketers who tell consumers what they want, to marketers who must listen to consumers and respond based on their needs. Marry this evolution with the growth and convergence of MarTech and AdTech, better known as MadTech. MadTech has left many marketers struggling to find the best tools and strategies to reach consumers and send personalized messages that will encourage them to purchase and grow their relationship with the brand.

These challenges (and opportunities!) are some of the topics discussed at the Marketer Roundtable we held last week. Attendees heard from Agile Chief Marketer’s Judy Gern, Digilant’s Alan Osetek, and Customer Portfolios’ Paul Welsh about changing consumer behavior, the convergence of MarTech and AdTech, and best practices to adapt your marketing strategy to meet the evolving needs of consumers. Below are four key insights from the industry experts:

  • Loyalty is an ephemeral concept. Loyalty can no longer be measured by the number of consumers enrolled in a loyalty program. In 2016, loyalty program membership grew 15%, but 54% of those memberships were inactive. With all the options available to consumers these days, loyalty is not guaranteed. Brands need to work to make their products and services part of a consumer’s initial consideration set to get them to purchase. In fact, brands in a consumer’s initial consideration set are 2x more likely to be purchased. The focus needs to switch from getting a consumer to enroll in a program to sending messages that ensure your brand is always top-of-mind.
  • Data drives all marketing. The role of the CMO is under a lot of scrutiny right now. It is no longer enough to “go with your gut” and develop marketing strategies off what feels right. With the amount of data marketers have at their fingertips, all decisions need to be backed up by data, or data-focused enough to test and see a clear result. This can be overwhelming for marketers who are not data-inclined, or brands that do not have “perfect data”. Marketers who are in this position shouldn’t worry; even if the brand is not data-driven right now, you can start to make decisions based off the data you have, and continue to stay data-informed. In a world where things change so rapidly, the best time to start is now.
  • Mid-brain marketing is key. With the growth of data comes the divergence of data-driven and creative-driven marketers. A good marketer, or at least a good marketing team, needs to have people who use both the left (analytical) and right (creative) parts of the brain. Most people think of marketers as creatives, but anyone who chooses to be informed by data can also be analytical. The convergence of left-brain and right-brain marketing will create data-driven strategies that resonate and evolve with consumers.
  • Expand your digital ad presence. One of the biggest hurdles with advertisers today is digital ad blocking, much of it coming from the ISP itself. This year, 1% of millennials will use some form of ad blocking technology. How can digital advertisers work around these ad blockers to reach this demographic? Social media channels like Pinterest and Instagram, and music-streaming channels like Pandora and Spotify, don’t have ad blockers. If brands stick with big names like Google and Facebook, they can guarantee that many of their advertisements will be blocked. By expanding into potentially smaller, more niche channels, brands will not only get more for their buck, but can guarantee their ad won’t be blocked.

The one constant factor that marketers can count on is having consumers to reach. However, the way we reach those consumers and build a lasting relationship changes rapidly, especially as technology evolves consumer behaviors and expectations. The marketers that are flexible, data-focused, and always work with the consumer in mind are the ones that will see higher customer retention and revenue growth.

With the marketing landscape changing so rapidly, brands must keep up by focusing on the customer journey and data, moving to a mid-brain marketing culture, and expanding their digital ad presence. To stay ahead of industry best practices and network with marketing peers, sign up for our mailing list to be the first to know about our next Marketer Roundtable.