Enterprises must analyze and use huge amounts of data in their marketing efforts.
According to Ian Michiels, former CEO of Gleanster Research, most CMOs indicated that mobile, social media and the web are their usual marketing channels. However, they also stated that using these channels is a manual and disconnected process.
All of this is complicated by the fact that consumer preferences are constantly changing, meaning that enterprises must constantly look for an accurate and personalized approach to their target audience.
Effective enterprise marketing can be achieved only with the introduction of the latest technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.
If CMOs do not adapt their businesses to suit modern realities, they will not achieve an efficient and measurable marketing approach. In a world of big money and tough competition, one cannot afford to be left behind.
CMOs of the biggest corporations need to quickly change their marketing processes, and this includes looking at digital marketing transformation.
According to statistics from the report “The 2016 State of Digital Transformation”, CMOs spearhead transformation efforts, leading the process 34% of the time, while the figure for CIOs and CTOs 19%.
What Is Digital Marketing Transformation?
Digital transformation is a fairly broad concept, and even experts have varying opinions.
Brian Solis, Principal Analyst at Altimeter Group, defines digital transformation as “the realignment of, or new investment in, technology and business models to more effectively engage digital customers at every touchpoint in the customer experience lifecycle.”
In essence, this means adapting entire enterprises to modern digital realities. This affects the most diverse aspects of business, from product to finance and marketing.
“For many organizations, digital marketing transformation is about catching up with the reality of today’s customers, marketing, and business,” says Erwin Jansen, Co-founder of These Days.
There are several reasons why top managers carry out transformation.
According to the “2016 State of Digital Transformation” report, 55% of people responsible for digital transformation in their companies consider the core reason for the process to be “evolving customer behaviors and preferences.”
However, “the number one challenge facing executives (71%) is understanding behavior or impact of the new customer.”
We see that many executives believe that digital transformation leads to improvement of provider-customer relations. They also think that it helps to predict new clients’ behavior.
Why Is It Important to Know the Latest Digital Marketing Transformation Trends?
First, it is important to understand that digital marketing transformation is itself a trend.
Tim Howell, a writer and digital marketing strategist, states: “Transformation continues to be both the biggest buzzword and the biggest trend that any industry will face right now.”
Many enterprises are currently engaged in the process of digital transformation. Corporations that delay it will find it very difficult to defeat their competitors.
“Marketers need to transform their businesses, as their competitors are having the same conversation,” adds Tim Howell.
Knowledge of the latest innovations in transformation will permit businesses to adapt to modern market realities.
“Knowing the trends, you’ll be able to consistently create exceptional customer experiences, along with transparency, agility, and accountability at all levels,” says Paul Roetzer, founder and CEO of PR 20/20.
This will allow expanding the company’s area of influence within the market, bringing undeniable benefits to the enterprise itself.
The latest Altimeter Group’s report confirms that 41% of leaders surveyed said they’ve witnessed an increase in market share due to digital transformation efforts. In addition, 37% cite a positive impact on employee morale.
Main Trends That Drive Digital Marketing Transformation
- Big Data
The McKinsey Global Institute’s report says that data volume is growing 40% per year. This means that between 2009 and 2020 it will grow 44x.
Big Data is having an increased impact on inner organizational processes and its role is also growing. Working with and analyzing Big Data will be very important in 2017.
Oracle believes that “when big data is distilled and analyzed in combination with traditional enterprise data, enterprises can develop a more thorough and insightful understanding of their business, which can lead to enhanced productivity, a stronger competitive position and greater innovation.”
Daniel Newman, Principal Analyst of Futurum Research, says that measurement plays a critical role. In 2017, Big Data will be essential to understanding how your business operates; all important decisions should be based strictly on data and analytics.
Big Data is necessary not only for successful competition, but also for rapid identification of users’ preferences, which becomes extremely important, for example, if the enterprise wants to improve its presence in social media.
As it is said in CMO’s Guide to Big Data & Social Media by Magic Logix, “The potential for companies to collect data and actionable business intelligence from social media is enormous. The smartest of these companies are already learning how to harness this potential in their respective industries.”
Microsoft believes that companies that base their insights on data can improve customer engagement and differentiate their businesses.
“Processing Big Data efficiently and understanding the meaning of it will be key in the digitalization of companies in the next few years,” concludes Asier Sarasua, Chief Marketing Officer at MainTool.
- The Internet of Things
According to “IDC’s 2016 Global IoT Decision Maker Survey”, 31.4% of organizations surveyed have launched IoT solutions, with an additional 43% looking to deploy in the next 12 months. Furthermore, 55% of respondents see IoT as important to their business competitiveness.
Rolls-Royce asserts that due to IoT technology, they can now focus on working on end solutions and delivering real value to customers, rather than on managing infrastructure.
Another consideration when it comes to IoT is that wearable computers are becoming more and more common.
IoT can help collect raw data from devices and track their performance. Company executives can use the data to create personalized user experiences and improve the device’s functionality.
This is especially important for enterprises that create wearables or provide software for them.
Daniel Newman considers that the Internet of Things drives digital transformation. IoT helps to create more efficient cities and leaner enterprises. He also adds that, “with an estimated 50 billion IoT Sensors by 2020 and more than 200 billion “Things” on the Internet by 2030, it is no question that the IoT will be not only transformative, but disruptive to business models.”
- Virtual and Augmented Reality
Andrew Johns, founder of Larkswood Digital, says that, “Virtual (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) will transform the workplace and open up exciting new ways to deliver products and services to customers. It will help immerse users into their surroundings and allow them to appreciate the scale of things.”
Both of these technologies are especially useful for retail enterprises.
They allow customers to examine and even “touch” the product before purchasing. For example, people can remotely measure clothes and shoes so they can make purchases more confidently.
Augmented reality platforms such as Google’s Tango, allow the creation of a very realistic and innovative shopping experience, and will have a big impact on marketing.
The opportunities created by augmented and virtual realities change the very essence of interaction between customers and service providers.
Some experts predict that by 2017 these technologies will go from supplementing marketing strategy to essential considerations.
Enterprises can also incorporate these technologies into their inner processes. For example, training can be improved by using a training augmented reality device that walks new employees through a task step by step with the help of a virtual assistant. Staff can also make colorful presentations in a virtual environment to present to customers.
- Artificial Intelligence
Stacy DeBroff, CEO and founder of Influence Central, predicts that “2017 will be the year when we will look more to artificial intelligence (AI) to lend a helping hand.”
AI is already well-established and can provide a variety of benefits.
Machine learning technology uses different algorithms that allow dealing with data efficiently. Unlike data mining, it doesn’t require human analysis, but rather can make conclusions based on collected information. AI can help to automate and optimize marketing processes.
Enterprise executives are also putting a lot of attention into chatbots. Such giants as Microsoft sometimes experiment with this technology.
Jesus Rodriguez, a technology expert and executive investor, states that, “Chatbots can be considered the apps of voice interfaces. In the near future, we should expect enterprises to adopt chatbot platforms in the same way they are currently embracing mobile and IoT platforms.”
However, while it has great potential, enterprises should be careful when it comes to the implementation of AI technology. Even the best can have problems with it.
A hilarious article from The Verge describes how Microsoft’s Tay chatbot went mad and began to offend Twitter users.
It was assumed that Tay would talk to people and learn new words and sentences from them. But troublemakers couldn’t resist tinkering with Tay, teaching the bot rude language, which Tay began to use in conversations with other Twitter users.
Digital marketing transformation is becoming very important in 2017, with many enterprises incorporating it into their marketing processes. To keep up with competitors, CMOs should start adapting their businesses to these new realities, beginning with staying abreast of the latest digital transformation trends.
Here is the summary of the principle ideas from our article, which may be helpful for executives responsible for transformation within their corporations:
- Digital marketing transformation is a process of adapting your enterprise to modern digital realities. It is the realignment of marketing technology and models to improve marketing effectiveness.
- CMOs carry out digital transformation to understand the behavior of new customers. Transformation leads to improvement of provider-customer relations.
- It is important to understand that digital marketing transformation itself is a trend.
- Enterprises that delay transformation will find it very difficult to defeat competitors.
- Digital transformation will expand corporate market share and bring benefits to the organization.
- The main digital marketing transformation trends in 2017 are Big Data, The Internet of Things, Virtual and Augmented Reality, and Artificial Intelligence.