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In 2014, The Future Of Marketing Relationships Is Personal

Valentine Ellen SilverpopAs we look to the coming year, Demand Gen Report will publish a series of predictions for 2014 from industry leaders.

By Ellen Valentine, Product Evangelist, Silverpop

Audiences, segments, and targets are not going away, but, with buyers privy to more information, greater access and more choice than ever, the future of marketing relationships is personal. As it becomes more sophisticated, marketing will reflect the individuality of each customer.Consider the customer revolution underway.

In 2014, marketers need to create compelling and fulfilling customer experiences by leveraging every touch point and interaction to create an experience that is convenient, fun and meaningful.

Valentine Ellen SilverpopBy Ellen Valentine, Product Evangelist, Silverpop

Audiences, segments, and targets are not going away, but, with buyers privy to more information, greater access and more choice than ever, the future of marketing relationships is personal. As it becomes more sophisticated, marketing will reflect the individuality of each customer.Consider the customer revolution underway.

In 2014, marketers need to create compelling and fulfilling customer experiences by leveraging every touch point and interaction to create an experience that is convenient, fun and meaningful.

So what can we expect in the coming year?

Abandonment remarketing moves up the funnel

Cart abandonment campaigns can yield off-the-chart conversion rates, since the contacts are so close to purchasing.The downside, however, is that the number of people filling up carts is likely to be low compared to those just visiting a site.

In 2014, marketers will consider a move up the funnel to “browse remarketing.” Most companies have a huge number of people browsing their site each day who have previously established an email relationship with the company. The best marketers will initiate browse abandonment campaigns aimed at nurturing select web visitors toward a purchase.

Digital acquisition meets the physical world 

Most marketers have been focusing on online acquisitions and database building: optimizing web forms and landing pages, employing popovers and progressive profiling, using search and social to drive opt-ins.In 2014,they’ll turn to the next untapped opportunity for database growth: physical locations.

Although physical store opt-in opportunities have always been there, mobile and POS technologies have evolved to the point where it’s easier for company employees or consumers themselves to opt into email programs.

Actionable data makes the difference

It’s all about being able to “listen” to customer and prospect behaviors so you can respond at the right time and place with the right message. To accomplish that, you’ve got to have some pretty serious data stored on your marketing platform — not just sitting in a data warehouse in aggregated, siloed form.

If the data about a given contact is lacking, marketers will be limited in the tools they have to connect on an individual level. Your marketing is only as good as your data.

Personalized web sites move beyond Amazon and Netflix

The days of the static corporate web site are numbered. Companies like Amazon and Netflix have set a high bar for providing a personalized customer experience on their web sites. Shoppers see customized content based on their unique viewing history, ratings and purchases.

Today, technology has made the personalized web site available for all marketers to deploy. No longer are you stuck serving up generic content for every person; now you can filter out the noise and make the experience more relevant to the visitor as an individual.

Location marketing 2.0 arrives

Knowing where your customers are is an immensely powerful part of delivering the right message at the right time. In recent years, marketers have communicated with customers based on whether they crossed a geofence or checked in via Facebook or Foursquare.

In 2014, location marketing will get even cooler: Apple’s announcement of the iBeacon functionality as part of its iOS7 technology is a game-changer for location-based marketing. Think of iBeacon as a form of micro-location geofencing that makes it easier for retailers to use a person’s exact location within a store to deliver targeted, relevant content.

Buyer intelligence is no longer limited to the elite

In 2014, savvy marketers at companies of all sizes will use buyer intelligence to build smart programs that engage customers. Using deep data-driven intelligence might involve simply changing the way information is collected, or it could mean tapping a predictive analytics or business intelligence partner, such as AgilOne or Windsor Circle.

Either way, the goal is to use data to start modeling behaviors, and then deploy these models to help deliver the right message at the right time.

Marketers become the architects of the customer experience

Successful businesses will need to engage with each customer when and where that customer prefers with content that is perfectly tuned and individualized. Of course, this has always been the case to some extent, but now the technology has caught up.

With the right technology in place, a wide range of customer behaviors can be captured – via email, company web sites and mobile apps, and at physical locations – and attributed to individuals.

Marketing faces two choices: one is to keep marketing for ourselves, delivering generic promotional messages when the company has an offer to push out, and focusing solely on driving customer transactions. Or, we can start running marketing for customers, delivering content uniquely tailored to each individual’s needs and expectations, and focusing more on discovering what and why the most engaged customers love – and then doing more of that.

In 2014, choosing the customer-centric highly personalized marketing will be critical to achieving success.