It’s that time of year when newsfeeds are full of predictions for the year ahead. But with Emarsys research finding that over a quarter (26%) of 2021 marketing predictions never came true, I’d rather focus on trends that will help marketers in 2023 – so let’s take a look!
- Pressure makes diamonds
2022 was difficult for marketers and consumers alike. Goldman Sachs calculates a “35% probability that the US tips into recession over the next year.” JP Morgan expects “a mild recession in the back half of next year.”
Traditionally, that means tightened belts and reduced spends – but 89% of businesses will increase marketing budgets in 2023, investing in the power of marketing to bolster their bottom lines.
This is due to the scope of the modern marketer. Marketers are increasingly expected to balance customer experience, digital marketing, CRM, retention and brand reputation, with 29% doing so within a single role.
All this makes marketers a critical component of any serious strategy for tackling a recession. They are the most effective means of not only protecting, but growing a business through such a period and so investment is common sense.
- Seeing the wood for the trees
It’s 500% more expensive to acquire a new patron than to retain one, making loyal customers one of the most important assets to any business. To achieve true loyalty, being customer-centric is no longer enough – you must be customer obsessed.
In a study of 600 senior marketers, conducted by Forrester and commissioned by Emarsys, only 15% fit the definition of being ‘customer obsessed', which demands an understanding of customers both as market segments and as individual purchasers with unique preferences and behaviors.
By focusing on omnichannel strategies to build a customer-obsessed brand, creating unified goals throughout the whole business that reflect an ability to personalize the entire customer experience, marketers can develop a winning strategy for success.
For example, Replacements Ltd.’s pursuit of a ‘human-first experience’ saw them adopt the Emarsys platform in order to improve their personalized customer interactions through email and web browsing, as well as increase revenue with abandoned cart and browse abandonment campaigns.
Another great case is the sustainable clothing brand Reformation, which has grown from a small Los Angeles storefront into a leading fashion brand through its customer obsession. For Reformation, a data-driven understanding of the in-store elements that shoppers already loved allowed them to recreate these experiences across digital channels while empowering its marketers to manage them from one place.
This success relies upon the acquisition and use of good-quality customer data. Without it, marketing campaigns are guesswork – which no serious marketer or business can afford.
One in three marketers is battling an inability to use customer data that their business has already collected. Meanwhile, 50% of marketers are unable to accommodate new customer data because it’s siphoned away to inaccessible parts of their ecosystem.
Becoming customer-obsessed demands the use of customer data to personify individuals. Personalization is almost impossible without this frame of reference – and the best marketers can personalize everywhere.
This doesn’t necessitate a teardown of all the tools that a marketer has on hand. Rather, marketers must be enabled to examine the data they already have. Emarsys’ launch of ‘customer data platform integrations’ has this in mind – it’s not sexy for the consumer, but is transformative to the marketer desperate to smash silos.
- Pick n’ mix
Data is collected from every channel through which customers engage with a business – and there is always an emerging or resurgent channel to consider. Each new layer brings greater complexity, potentially overwhelming marketers looking to understand key audiences and interactions.
Despite this, marketers must engage anywhere, pre-empting customer journeys and accommodating them upon arrival. Emarsys’ introduction of ‘Conversation Channels’, for example, expands our personalization capabilities to channels like WhatsApp.
Marketers must also focus their efforts on avoiding carpet-bombing all channels with uncurated material. They need their own ‘channel mix’ – their weighting of the most important channels in their ecosystem, based on customer preferences.
Building loyalty is non-negotiable for 2023. Brands must be targeted, efficient and ruthlessly prioritize – which is impossible without the data and the technology to understand customers as individuals.
This demands the marketer to be ready to adapt, which requires the tools and the frame of reference to evolve as your customer does. It’s the year of customer obsession and you can become obsessed with the right preparation.
It’s time to give power back to the marketer – something Emarsys strives to do this year and beyond, supporting customers every day on their omnichannel journey. To find out more, visit Emarsys at SAP Booth 4323 at NRF 2023 Retail's Big Show.