In 2014, Forrester outlined a new approach to marketing that requires brands to harness customer context to deliver self-perpetuating cycles of real-time, two-way, insight-driven interactions. In 2015, we’ll see more marketers obsess over customers’ context. As more interaction data floods customer databases and marketing automation systems, customer-obsessed marketing leaders will strive to orchestrate brand experiences that drive unprecedented levels of engagement. For example, we predict that:
- Digital marketing investments will drive brand experiences across the customer life cycle. By the end of 2015, spend on digital marketing will top $67 billion — growing to 27% of all ad spend. In fact, we believe this will surpass TV spend by 2016; there’s more to the story than ad spend. We believe marketers will branch out of expected digital media buys to stimulate more insight-driven interactions with customers throughout the entire customer life cycle. Supported by new streams of situational customer data and powered by the ability to precisely target audiences with programmatic media buying, marketers will deliver highly engaging brand experiences rather than just feed the top of the funnel.
To check out more specific predictions such as how marketers will shape their efforts across mobile, social, and other digital touchpoints, be sure to check out the full predictions report for Marketing Leaders. Is there a common theme through it all? You bet there is, and that theme rests with your Customer Insights (CI) teams. As part of the marketing organization, CI professionals are in a unique position to help their firms navigate the journey toward true customer obsession. Why? Because they enable their firms to close the gap between the abundance of customer and marketing data available today and the insights needed to win, serve, and retain customers. In 2015, we expect CI teams to:
- Bridge the gap between marketing and customer experience. In 2015, customer insights teams will break out of their classic role of serving inbound and outbound marketing to drive value in other parts of the business, beginning with customer experience (CX). CI pros who embrace this change and enable their businesses to act quickly on customer knowledge will transform their firms into intelligent enterprises and drive better customer experience across all touchpoints.
As brands take their initial steps toward contextual marketing in 2015, they will realize that their current marketing technology portfolio doesn’t yet deliver what they need. Marketers and CI pros alike will pressure their vendors for more sophistication, while will drive the big suite vendors to:
- Emphasize application integration and agency packaged solutions. Our evaluation of the Enterprise Marketing Software Suites showed a vendor focus on the arduous process of knitting together the components of their applications in 2014. In 2015, this effort will continu,e and we expect several competitors to follow Adobe’s example of “core services.” We also expect marketing technology vendors to refine their existing agency partnerships — like the ones HP has with Critical Mass and Organic — into packaged applications that are customized specifically for agency delivery models.
For more predictions and recommendations tailed for your CI teams, including the role they will play in driving the business technology agenda, see the full 2015 predictions report for Customer Insight professionals. See the complete list of Forrester's prediction reports here.