Leading research and advisory firm Gartner conducts several annual studies, attempting to provide insights for global industry leaders. I recently asked some of Gartner’s leading analysts and advisers to weigh in on the hot marketing issues based on research and conversations with leading CMOs. As a bonus, we also have some CMOs who are providing their own insights. Below are 7 priority issues.
Why the customer’s digital journey never ends
Brent Adamson, Principal Executive Adviser, Gartner
Perhaps today’s single biggest B2B buying trend is customers’ heavy use of digital channels at every stage of their buying journey – even long after engaging sales reps in in-person interactions. This trend holds equally true across millennial buyers, Gen Xers and even Baby Boomers. As a result, suppliers must ensure consistent, simultaneous buying support and information across both digital and in-person channels at every stage of the purchase, creating for customers a seamless view of their organization, irrespective of channel.
With GDPR, pressures mount to get CX right
Tom Libretto, CMO, Pegasystems
With GDPR in effect, the stakes have never been higher for marketers to get customer engagement right. Studies show most European consumers will exercise their new rights to view, limit or erase personal data companies have on them – especially when marketed to for irrelevant products or services. Marketing teams can combat this by using AI to take the most relevant action possible with each customer. Bad marketing in the GDPR era will ultimately lead to less data to inform future interactions, a clear loss for marketers.
In a data-driven world, customers are still people
Jaime Punishill, CMO, Lionbridge
As marketers race to harness recent exponential advances in artificial intelligence and automation, data-driven thinking and experiences are becoming commonplace. But savvy marketers know that their customers are still people – not segments, archetypes or the sum of their latest actions. The more we use data and technology to communicate and interact with our customers, the greater becomes our need to understand and incorporate context, state of mind and customer pain.
In marketing and automotive innovation, personalization is key
Ralph Santana, CMO, HARMAN
It’s all about personalization. The intersection of physical, digital and cognitive design – along with the power of AI and machine learning – is enabling marketers to create intuitive, adaptable and immersive end-to-end experiences that emotionally engage consumers. Nowhere is this more important than in the car – with shared mobility and automated driving, and sound, with smart audio driving the most productive and entertaining user interface.
More data = more customer insights = more customized experiences
Shonodeep Modak, CMO, N.A., Schneider Electric
As businesses digitize their operations, the velocity, volume and variability of data will become a bigger opportunity for marketers. We’ll see data be used to guide the business’ approach to a stronger customer experience. For instance, our dedicated customer experience team works closely with our brand team to deliver personalized campaigns, while our vertical marketing team drives sales enablement creating a consistent experience across areas that directly touch the customer.
Personalized marketing isn’t a strategy, it’s a mandate
Melodye Mueller, CMO, CloudHealth Technologies
The inception of GDPR has been grabbing headlines around the globe. The real story is not GDPR itself, but how it serves as a forcing function for businesses to rethink how they approach privacy. Marketers need to reevaluate how they nurture individual relationships and ultimately take an opt-in approach to ensure they are respecting the rights of the consumer. No more broad brushstrokes – in today’s climate, personalized marketing isn’t just a strategy, it’s a mandate.
Opening the Black Box
Andrew Frank, Analyst, Gartner for Marketers
One of the biggest puzzles facing marketers today is the rise of digital platforms like Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple that are mediating more and more of our digital experience. They’re giving marketers powerful new ways to reach and interact with consumers, but their inner workings are opaque. Marketers need new ways to understand how these platforms are shaping their customers’ experiences and expectations.