More Than Just Buzzwords…What Experience Marketing, Budgets and Marketing Automation Really Mean
Why does James Smith of business2community.com say that customer experience marketing is the future of creating sustainable business?
For B2B marketers, experience marketing enables a whole picture of a customer to form based on every interaction, on any platform or channel, online or offline, that that person has with your brand. Then, predict what this person wants next “using a common set of metrics.” Smith calls this “win-win” because customers will receive personalized, specific information that coincides with their interest and engagement in the product (at their point in the buying cycle) and marketers gain loyalty and consumer trust.
So, aren’t we already doing this on many levels? We gather big data, we use predictive analytics, combine marketing automation with the personal touch, and advocate for sales and marketing departments to work together. Yes, but of course, there is always room for experience marketing to evolve to meet the changing needs of the market, and here are some ways Smith suggests it will happen:
- IT and Marketing must also work together. Both departments must communicate, identify strategy and share goals, and use a joint timeline to create the holistic customer experience. Data-driven results require marketing analytics to be integrated with IT infrastructure. IT budgets are already shifting to support CMO initiatives here; CMOs “must focus on customer experience metrics” too.
- Streamlining customer info to create a 360-degree view of customers. Rather than wasting time gathering data from various sources and serving irrelevant ads or tangential content, all data points will be filtered through that common set of metrics, to enable marketers to customize messages and deliver content that is relevant to the customers’ point in the journey.
- Creating customer loyalty through appropriate communication and information.
Experience marketing is about nurturing the whole customer and not just closing a sale; you want to create customers for life. As B2B marketers get better at harnessing all our data and working together, we will continue to serve our customers better.
Add good news to that message: A recent Forrester survey predicts more B2B marketers will have increased budgets. More than half (51 percent) of the 132 B2B marketing executives surveyed expect increased budgets. Here are some of the other stats:
- 48 percent say more money to go to digital marketing
- 45 percent see an increase in content marketing
- More to be spent on social media over the next five years:
- 19.9 percent of marketing budget for those offering a product
- 22.2 percent for those offering service
Current budgets are: 14 percent on trade shows and events; 10 percent on digital advertising and marketing; 9.4 percent on social media, although that is still trying to be quantitatively measured. This is just a summary of the results, but increasing marketing budgets in these areas will help overall growth.
While the trend to increase budgets in social media and digital marketing increase, not all of that money is going to go toward marketing automation. Why are only 13 percent of the 327 marketing professionals surveyed prioritizing marketing automation?
Tom Kaneshige, in cio.com, believes “The simple truth is that marketers are undergoing a crash course in emerging marketing technology that is upending their profession, and their education is lagging.”
So how can they step up to the plate? Marketers must have direct communication with their customers to build loyalty, create a holistic approach across all channels, and create experience metrics that allow them to improve and communicate more. Marketing automation helps filter customer data and best serve them at every touch point.
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