What’s on Marketers’ Minds?

I spend a great deal of time at conferences, attending briefings, and nosing into conversations about industry trends. There are always juicy bits to share from sessions and discussions. Here are a collection of thoughts, advice, and insights from my latest jaunts.

“There’s a transformation going on in retail and I think we’re all feeling it. And it’s pretty exciting.” For American Eagle Outfitters, that transformation includes eliminating gaps in the omnichannel customer experience, resolving attribution, increasing and sustaining mobile app views and downloads through mobile reviews and other enhancements, and expanding globally.
David McBride, senior director, omnichannel analytics, American Eagle Outfitters

“We don’t believe in digital marketing. We believe in building brands in a digital world.”
Mayur Gupta, global head, marketing technology, at Kimberly-Clark

“When you look back over the past 20 years it will look very small as compared to what’s possible [over the next 20]. Most [online ad] campaigns are still done manually…. ‘Mechanization’ [in terms of fully automating online advertising] will be the best of human creativity with the best of machine scale.”
Tim Armstrong, chairman and CEO, AOL

“Companies need to think about how they use their data to transform themselves into a service for their customers to help them at any point along the buyer’s journey. Most companies offer a ‘catalog’ experience online. When you use analytics to see patterns of behavior and predict future behaviors, you can change the experience based on deep personalization. The Internet of services, that’s where we’re heading.”
Martin Rugfelt, CMO, Expertmaker

“Omnichannel marketing is about understanding behavior and context, as well as implicit and explicit customer information, and then using it across channels omni-directionally. Personalization is the glue for the omnichannel experience. The more we know the better, richer, and more accurate picture we can paint about a consumer. The nuance is that you may use five channels, but you may not use them all equally. Consumers always have a preferred channel. If you deliver a more individualize experience to the customer, everything else will come [in terms of sales and revenue].”
Meyar Sheik, CEO and cofounder, Certona

“Marketing needs to align its change initiatives to the buyer journey and its outcomes. And marketers need be proficient in and leverage analytics to drive investment decisions and measure results.”
John Neeson, managing director and cofounder, Sirius Decisions

“You have to make digital and software central to your business. Bring business and IT together to improve your competitive position.”
Alan Trefler, founder and CEO, PegaSystems

“One of the responsibilities that come with marketing enablement is providing the same level of information across channels. You can’t have misaligned messaging across channels. That’s no easy task. But customers have no patience for poor experiences. Retailers set the bar; we have to adhere to it.”
Robert Schwartz, VP, global marketing platforms, IBM

“We have a proliferation of channels, power shifting into the hands of consumers, and a transformation based on customers’ research prior to purchase. The real thing that’s changing, though, is customer cadence.  Consumers expect immediacy, but business process cadence is out of synch with consumer action. To be fast you need to be agile, not depend on technology projects that [take a year to implement or update]…. The cadence issue is also due to latency that’s due to fragmentation. Most companies have multiple databases of customer information that are records for a specific purpose—CRM data versus email or call center data. The only way to stay agile is to create one record by bringing together all the data as a record of engagement. It’s all about the data.”
Dale Renner, founder and CEO, RedPoint Global

“The convergence of marketing and technology is upon us. [But,] no platform will ever substitute for human instinct; instead technology should enhance it.”
Bob Lord, global CEO of AOL platforms, AOL

“The alignment between sales and marketing teams will determine whether marketing automation will succeed or fail. Key marketing people need to attend sales meetings and key sales leaders need to align with marketing. If those two groups act independently, there’s no room for success.”
Lawrence DiCapua, director, Global Marketing Center of Excellence, GE

“Our focus was on simplification: We looked at most the critical customer journeys, took difficulties out of the processes, and reduced costs as a result. Now it’s about digitalization.”
Bruce Mitchell, CTO, Lloyds Banking Group

“How do you move from data to analysis, from analysis to insight, and from insight to action? How to you find the moments that matter to customers and then act on that to drive value for customers? Turning data into insight and then into action is marketers’ biggest challenge.”
Kyle Keogh, industry director, telecom, Google

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