Avoid Marketing ‘Blindfolded’

Tim Armstrong said at Advertising Week: “in the future the disruptor will be some company that figures out how to do advertising differently.” What this boils down to is marketers need to avoid marketing blindfolded, without real, actionable customer insight. Marketers now need to drive closer customer engagement, with ongoing conversations which add value every time. These conversations can only happen as a result of using actionable customer insight derived in real-time from actual customer journeys.

At Thunderhead we define Customer engagement as an on-going, value driven relationship between a customer and a business, which is consciously motivated according to the customer’s reasons and choices. Actionable customer journey insight is the fuel driving this engagement model. This insight is what Forrester describes as the core of insight-driven businesses. Forrester claims by 2020 insight-driven businesses will be making over $1.2 Trillion a year, a huge annual growth rate between 27% and 40%**. This can only happen as a result of understanding customers more deeply to improve customer engagement and using that insight and better engagement to add more value and steal customers from their competition. Insights-driven businesses will focus on implementing insights – (actionable knowledge in the context of a process or decision) into every aspect of their business.

For marketers this means:

  1. Make real-time customer insights the beating heart of your living marketing strategy.
  2. Stop talking to customers from silo’d departments. Start having seamless, ongoing conversations with customers from all parts of your business, based on the insights you know about them, to give them what they want, and drive further real-time insights, which drive more relevant conversations…(and so on).
  3. Choose media based on a clear understanding of the customer journey and customer preferences. Knowledge of the customer’s journeys is the cornerstone to the new marketing mix, as understanding the touchpoints that influence consumers along their journey means the difference between success and failure. Marketers need to understand the customers online and offline behaviours, attitudes and preferences in order to be able to master marketing mix choices.
  4. Marketers also need the right mix of research tools and insights resources to analyse and interpret the mounds of data available. Shifts in customer behaviour are impacting the insights needs of marketers. Marketers can expect to embrace tools that measure ROI, capture behaviour and measure content effectiveness. All three are linked to uncovering the customer journey, reaching customers along the touchpoints that matter the most, and driving measurable results.
  5. To be truly effective, marketers have to be able to integrate data. Last year only 14% of brands felt confident in their business’s use of data, which has grown to 41% this year*. However, over half of marketers still aren’t confident in the usage of data, leaving significant room for improvement.
  6. Marketers need to elevate insights, making them a bigger higher priority. Measuring ROI means having the right mix of analytics to capture insights along the entire customer journey. As an industry, marketers haven’t yet fully mastered an integrated, dynamic approach to measuring ROI, especially omnichannel.
  7. Unlocking insights with improved measurements means unleashing marketing impact. Most (71%) of marketers would increase spend on cross-channel marketing if they had better ability to measure the impact*.
  8. Stop thinking marketing funnels and internal marketing processes and departments. Instead think about the customer’s journey as theirs, and enabling them to make choices according to their preferences and what’s motivating them, where they’re seeking value, and for you to understand enough about them to be able to enable that.

Torch-bearer marketers, those who adopt an insights-driven marketing strategy which they ensure is at the heart of an insights-driven business, are far more likely to be the CMOs of successful brands in the future.


Getting Digital Right 2016 Report, Millward Brown Digital

Forbes: Insights – Driven Business Are Stealing Your Customers

Forrester: Insights-Driven Businesses Set The Pace For Global Growth

Forrester: Insights-Driven Businesses Are Stealing Your Customers