Happy New Year to you! For many of us, not only is it a new calendar year, but a new fiscal year as well. And that means new initiatives, budgets, and goals for the next four quarters ahead.
It’s also a time of year where everyone, yes including me, is making predictions about the year ahead.
And while it’s tempting to want to invest in the predictions you’re seeing in the headlines right now, a lot of what you’re seeing is what Marketing Week’s Mark Ritson calls “future porn.”
He says, “Marketers take their foot from the brake pedal of reality and put all their pressure on the accelerator of horsesh*t in order to get noticed, and future predictions provide the ideal place to drive as fast as possible.”
This week we look at why customer and consumer insight isn’t the most glamorous new trend to invest in for 2019, but it might just be the area that leads you to the most success.
At the risk of pressing even further on the ol’ sh*t pedal, let’s take a look at this week’s topic.
Getting to know the customer is one thing all marketers can agree is a good thing. But how and whether we actually do it is another story.
Some simply call it consumer insights. Others apply a more specific label of customer relationship management (CRM). And there are even people who specialize in a thing called customer experience (CX) management.
While each of these areas come with their own concepts and jargon, ultimately they’re all about the same thing: trying to understand and explain customer behavior as it relates to your company’s revenue.
Here are three examples from three very different sources that demonstrate why investing in consumer insights in any form may just be the best bet for marketing success in 2019.
First, from IBM’s 2019 Marketing Trends report, they predict that customer centricity will drive marketers to own more and more of the business model itself.
They point out that in the past, marketing has been judged by new customers, awareness, and sales. But more and more, companies are investing in deeper and longer customer cycles. And marketing has been department tasked with overseeing this expansion.
As we move from just historically being responsible for acquisition and now also in charge of lifetime value, knowledge of how to keep the customer happy will become increasingly important.
Second, Marketing Week recently predicted that 2019 will be the year brands stop talking about focusing on customers and actually do something about it.
They claimed 42.5% of marketers think their organizations should be built around the consumer entirely and cited a 46% increase in the instances of Chief Customer Officers (CCO) replacing Chief Marketing Officers (CMO) in the UK in the past year.
More customer-centric organizations are going to need what? More customer insights.
And third, Trust Insights recently published their 2019 Key Marketing Trends Forecast, too. In their approach, they analyzed the top marketing blogs over the past year and extracted nearly 4,000 topics and ideas from the contents of the headlines.
What are the fastest growing ideas out there in the past year?
Three out of the top four fastest growing topics (i.e., Tableau, Hubspot, and Salesforce) were related to technologies that help us manage and understand the customer’s behavior.
Even from a technology perspective, 2019 is going to be about using customer and consumer data to understand and grow the business.
So there you have it. Three different perspective about the year ahead of us but all with one common thread in consumer insights.
What do you think? What’s the number one thing you’re looking forward to spending more money on in 2019? Is it something practical and traditional as good old-fashioned market research and consumer insights? Or will you be investing in new technologies like machine learning, chatbots, etc.?
Share your thoughts in the comments and you may end up winning a puppy. I mean t-shirt. Not a puppy.