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Marketing Trends

What Smart CMOs Are Focusing On in 2018: Gartner

2018 has already been a big year for CMOs. Between advantageous new U.S. business tax laws and the growth of multi-channel marketing, many brands and CMOs are tackling new opportunities, as well as new challenges. That’s according to Chris Pemberton at Gartner, who shares several of the key lessons and takeaways that the research and advisory company has identified for CMOs in 2018. 

Let’s take a look at some of the major trends and opportunities facing CMOs this year, and how to position your marketing department for success!

Man holding tablet with icons popping out - CMO

Marketing Budgets Tied to Results

According to Gartner, 75% of CMOs in the “Leaders” category expect their marketing budgets to increase in 2018. That’s despite the fact that Gartner reported that marketing budget growth stalled in 2017. The reason? 70% of CMOs who expect their budgets to increase predict those increases will help support advanced marketing analytics and customer intelligence.

It is due primarily to a growing need for more concrete marketing KPIs and metrics that more closely tie into the organization’s business goals. Things like conversion rates and MQLs/SQLs will be key for CMOs to prove their impact and justify their budgets. CMOs should prioritize revenue attribution and strategic partnerships that feature robust analytics and results tracking.

Marketing Technology (Martech) Grows in Importance

Gartner also found that marketing technology (martech) will grow in both strategic value and budget expenditure, among leading CMOs in 2018. According to the firm, far more of their designated “Leaders” than “Laggards” are leveraging martech, with 26% of the latter claiming they are not effectively acquiring or using it, compared to just 16% of the formerFurther, more than twice as many Leaders (65%) as Laggards (31%) plan to increase martech spending this year.

It is primarily due to several factors. Organizations that are rapidly growing need the scalability that martech automation provides. Plus, the efficiencies in both cost and time that martech offers deliver greater attributable revenue and profit, the ultimate goal of CMOs everywhere. CMOs should perform skills assessments and technology audits to determine whether an increased investment in martech is right for their organization.

three female shoppers-retail

Increased Focus on the Entire Customer Journey

From acquisition to retention to growth, leading CMOs understand that the customer’s journey is a long one, with the need for specific and personalized marketing materials that capture and resonate with the customer each step of the way. According to Gartner, leading CMOs emphasize analytics in all aspects of their marketing operations, from supply chain to ultimate asset performance, to measure the customer’s journey.

This attention to detail allows savvy CMOs to anticipate and prepare ahead of time for what marketing materials and activities they will need, and equips them to be ultra-responsive to shifting customer demands and requirements. It is this understanding of the customer journey as a long and changing one that will set successful CMOs and organizations apart from those playing catch-up.

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For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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Top Emerging Challenges Facing CMOs in 2018

Man pointing finger on the marketing materials on the desk in the meeting

As Summer 2018 approaches and brands are preparing to make their marketing pushes to capitalize on the summer spending season, it’s not just sunscreen and cook-outs on the minds of marketers. That’s according to Emily Cross at the World Advertising Research Center (WARC), who explains that there are five (5) main areas where CMOs are facing new challenges, exactly what potential dangers those challenges pose, and how savvy marketers can overcome them. So let’s take a look at some of the challenges CMOs are facing in 2018, and how smart brands are dealing with them.

Digital Transparency: the Real Numbers

Digital is the hot word on the lips of CMOs right now. Omnichannel expansion and the Internet of Things are revolutionizing how marketers target and reach their audiences. But there are some pitfalls with digital as well. Namely, that ROI and revenue can be much more difficult to attribute with digital versus print. That’s why WARC says that most brands cite “digital measurement” and transparency as the number one issue in their marketing plans. In fact, 30% of those polled expect to cut their digital spend in 2018 if these issues aren’t alleviated.

So, how can smart CMOs protect themselves and their brands?

  • Take proactive steps to minimize risk
  • Prioritize ad visibility over duration
  • Explore more traditional channels

Customer Experience: Superior and Competitive

In increasingly crowded marketplaces, more and more brands are setting themselves apart by delivering a superior, highly personalized customer experience. And the reasons are obvious. Modern consumers will actually give preference to brands that offer them personalized experiences. In fact, 80% of consumers state they are more likely to engage with a brand if it offers personalized customer experiences, and customers will shop 3x as frequently if it provides experiences personalized to them. That’s why, according to WARC, 53% of brands will prioritize CX in their marketing strategy for 2018.

So, how can CMOs position themselves to compete – and win – on the customer experience?

  • Understand CX is a whole customer journey, not one touchpoint
  • Structure teams, operations, and supply chains to execute
  • Use data intelligently to create a full view of the customer
brand idea poster - onsite services

Defining Your Brand Purpose

Everyone is searching for a purpose in life. But according to WARC, many brands are, too. As the lines between politics, world events, and marketing continue to blur thanks in part to social media, many CMOs are seeing purpose-driven advertisements as a powerful way to associate their brand with issues that matter to their customers, winning their loyalty.

Which explains why WARC reports a 300% increase in purpose-driven ads from the top 100 global brands in the last five years. But when purpose-driven marketing misses the mark, its backlash can be loud and damaging. Authenticity is key.

So, how can CMOs leverage their brand purpose wisely?

  • Keep it rooted in your brand’s current, actual values
  • Support long-term brand building and customer loyalty
  • Respond rapidly to popular trends; don’t wait too long and miss them

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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Top Trends in Hospitality Marketing for 2018

napkin-on-table-hospitality

The hospitality and travel industry is a trillion-dollar business, according to Deloitte. As with any lucrative industry, hospitality has become highly competitive, with large chain brands and independent boutique hoteliers competing for customers’ time, attention, and dollars.

And while the way that brands across all industries market themselves begins to change with the rise of digital and other channels, the hospitality industry would be wise to keep an eye on a few trends. That’s according to Jason Dent at Campaign Monitor, who explains some of the biggest new opportunities for hospitality marketers.

Personalized Customer Experiences

The more data you have about your customers, the more you can tailor their experiences in ways that truly wow them, add value to their stay, and win over their loyalty. For example, by leveraging information about their booking dates (are they near a specific holiday or anniversary?) their check in information (are they newlyweds with a single room or business colleagues with a double?), and any host of preferences they can opt-in to providing to you, you can offer them customized onsite experiences.

Whether you want to make the newlyweds aware of the couples massages available at your onsite spa, or let the business travelers know you have a fully-stocked internet café and lounge, when you understand your customers, you can market to them in the ways they love. With a highly responsive marketing supply chain, you can make it a reality.

gen-z-holding arms together

Point-of-Sale and Moment Marketing

The unique thing about hospitality marketing is that it’s one of the only industries where, generally speaking, you know exactly who is going to show up where and when. This gives brands with agile marketing operations a powerful opportunity to create compelling moments at check-in and at the point-of-sale. For example, if you know you will be hosting numerous attendees for the same conference or convention, signage and banners in the lobbying welcoming them and promoting certain amenities are strong ways to show you value their business.

This also enables highly agile cross-selling and up-selling opportunities. If your data shows that John Q. Guest often likes to have a drink at the hotel bar, or order room service, a personalized gift card waiting at check-in entitling him to a free drink or appetizer is a great way to encourage him to continue to spend money, and return as a loyal customer.

Millennial Loyalty

According to Forbes, Millennials now make up a bigger portion of travel and hospitality customers than any other generation. That means that understanding and catering to this demographic is of major importance. Millennials feel very strongly about the brands they love, and they are actually more prone to join and actively participate in consumer loyalty programs than other demographics.

To turn this fact into revenue, smart hospitality brands are investing in better integrating their loyalty programs into their marketing materials. Kiosks in the lobby where customers can easily opt-in; offering additional loyalty rewards points for activities Millennials prefer; using new technology like RFID scanners and QR codes to allow guests to link purchases to their loyalty accounts; these are all savvy ways that smart hospitality marketers are capitalizing on Millennial loyalty.

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Hospitality is big business, and that business is changing. By prioritizing the health, agility, and efficiency of your marketing supply chain, your brand can capture more revenue, and win more customer loyalty, than ever before.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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Top 2018 Healthcare Marketing Trends

stethoscope on keyboard-healthcare-orginal

The healthcare marketing landscape is shifting rapidly. New laws have changed how hospitals and healthcare networks are organized, and many have undergone significant mergers or acquisitions in the past several years.

As a result, healthcare organizations are now making efforts to re-establish their brands with patients, and to differentiate themselves from the competition with their marketing activities. Key metrics they seek to compete on include quality of care, and specific quantifiable outcomes like speed of discharge, rate of infection, and in-patient versus out-patient capabilities. That’s according to Peter Do at Health Care Success, who explains that by embracing some of 2018’s major trends in healthcare marketing, hospitals and healthcare organizations can stand out from the crowd and establish a clear, effective brand with their patients.

Location-Based Marketing

Mobile technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) have put a computer in nearly everyone’s pocket. Location-based marketing, like geofencing and geoconquesting, can help solve some of the challenges facing healthcare marketers.

Geofencing

Geofencing using GPS technology to establish a very specific area where your ads are appropriate to show. When people enter this customizable area, whether they live there or because they frequently travel through it for work or to visit family, your ads will display. This is promising technology for marketers struggling to build brand recognition in a specific neighborhood or region, and well as those looking to cut waste costs and improve targeting efficiency.

Geoconquesting

Geoconquesting is similar, but works specifically to win market share back from competitors. Like geofencing, it allows you to designate a specific area for your ads to appear. However, that area is meant to be around the hospitals, facilities, or deeply entrenched markets of your competition. This is a powerful tool for marketers looking to establish themselves in competitive areas, or win back market share from specific regions and patients.

elderly woman at the hospital counter - full

Technology and Telemedicine

As it has for many other fields, technology has created many possibilities for replacing costly in-person healthcare services with cost-effective virtual and digital versions. Customers demand omnichannel access to brands in industries like mobile banking, shopping, and insurance. They want a customer experience that is deeply embedded with video, chat, and easy-to-use apps – all the ways they are comfortable communicating in an increasingly digital world. Whether for video doctor’s appointments, booking and billing, or prescription questions, healthcare organizations that invest in technology and telemedicine can offer a truly superior, modern patient experience.

Patient Experience

“The connection between patient satisfaction, hospital reimbursement, and continued growth and development is a marketing picture that will expand significantly,” Do says. But, as he explains, “the concept of improved patient experience has been slow to gain traction with some facilities.”

Industry leaders like Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic, for example, have begun to offer truly personalized customer experiences to their patients. This is due, in large part, to the connection of reimbursement and HCAHPS scores. Today’s patients are increasingly sophisticated consumers, and they have come to expect the same level of customer experience in healthcare that they do receive in their daily retail and service interactions.

Healthcare Marketing Supply Chain

To capitalize on these trends and make their brand stand out, healthcare marketers need clarity and efficiency in their marketing supply chains and operations. They need to know exactly what’s being produced and inventoried, what the budget impact is, what employees are involved, what the project timelines are, what the returns on investment are, and more. That’s why it’s so crucial to partner with a trusted expert who can provide simplicity, cost efficiency, and reliability to healthcare marketing organizations. That way, your team can remain flexible and responsive to changing patient demands while maximizing every dollar of your marketing budget and delivering powerful customer experiences.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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GlobalShop 2018: Top Retail Trends

The NVISION team had a fantastic experience at this year’s GlobalShop 2018. From the inspiring keynote to the innovative breakout sessions, the future of retail – and the minds of those creating it – is bright. And speaking of experiences, several of this year’s most important trends centered around the ways that brick-and-mortar retailers are transforming their stores into customer experience centers, and the technologies that enable them.

Couldn’t make it to GlobalShop 2018, or didn’t catch all the sessions? Don’t worry. NVISION has identified the five major industry trends retailers should be focused on this year, and why each is so important.

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1. Retail is No Longer About Transactions, But Experiences

Far from being “dead,” brick-and-mortar retail is evolving to better suit modern, changing customer demands. 90% of transactions still take place inside brick-and-mortar stores, but that percentage shifts more towards online revenue every day, and more and more smart brands are realizing that selling products within their retail spaces is only one of their functions.

In ever-more saturated markets and industries, brands need to stand out from the noise. They need a way to make meaningful, lasting connections with their customers that go beyond just a product. They must transform their retail spaces into experiences that build loyalty. By using retail spaces to create experiences, not transactions, retailers can actually create repeat business and renewable revenue streams that result in multiple, repeated transactions over time.

2. AR, VR, and AI Are Part of Retail’s Future

Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and artificial intelligence (AI) are poised to give brands a whole new array of options for creating more engaging, dynamic customer experiences. By properly leveraging them, retailers can position themselves “at the forefront of experience by turning imagination into reality.”

And the reasons are obvious: AR and VR provide a powerful way to do two things: let your customers more fully imagine how your product might improve their lives, and create deeply immersive experiences that resonate and build brand loyalty. From in-store AR “smart mirrors” like those at Nordstrom which allow shoppers to “try on” different outfits without lifting a finger, to interior design VR apps that let customers stroll through a virtual “living room” to test-drive furniture, this technology is set to explode in 2018.

Indeed, analysts in China predict investment in AR/VR in the U.S. will grow by $8.5 billion by 2020, and VR apps are already experiencing 184% growth domestically. With further studies suggesting 59% of customers would prefer to use AR for furniture shopping, it holds real promise for retail. Other tech showing promise in the retail sector is in-store apps and AI, which can not only suggest items a customer might like based on their prior shopping activity, but thanks to the Internet of Things and the increasing availability of RFID chips (now as a cheap as $0.06 per chip at volume), it can even ping store employees to instruct them to bring an item directly to the shopper.

But beware! If not deployed properly or with a specific purpose, AR and VR are little more than shiny new toys to distract your customers. They should add value and/or simplify some process for your brand or your customer. Otherwise, an investment in this tech has little hope of showing returns. These technologies should clarify your brand, not confuse it.

3. Turning Showrooms Into “Do-Rooms”

With the rise of digital channels and the continued optimization of e-commerce storefronts, online purchasing transactions are just as simple – if not simpler – than buying from brick-and-mortar stores for many customers. Which is why retailers are realizing their physical spaces must offer something that online never will: tangible, physical interactions with the product.

One popular way to do this is to hold “unboxing parties” for new product launches. Named after the popular online video trend of removing a new product from its box, unboxing parties are store events where customers can come and check out a new product. They are invited to touch it, hold it, try it out, and perhaps most importantly, ask any questions they might have about it.

Other brands are specifically designing their retail spaces to be perfect places to test drive their products. Whether it’s sports equipment retailers installing batting cages and virtual driving ranges for athletes to try out gear, or audio/visual retailers designing the perfect “man cave” setup complete with couches and popcorn, “do-rooms” are set to be a major trend.

woman writing on a note pad over coffee

4. Recognizing the Value of “Return on Experience”

Sure, forever, the king of all marketing statistics has been return on investment (ROI).  But in 2018, more and more retailers are beginning to understand the value of Return on Experience. The fact of the matter is simply this: customers are having an experience with your retail brand, whether you’re thoughtfully curating that experience or not. The emotional connection – or lack thereof – that your customers feel to your brand is being formed as we speak.

The memory of their experience is coloring their perception of your brand, and their decision whether or not to return to your store is being made right now. To that end, there are three key customer connections retailers should focus to create powerful emotional experiences:

  1. Physical. We are social, touchy-feely creatures. We imprint memories on objects, and we deeply recall tactile sensations. If you can incorporate physical interactions into your retail space – whether with the product itself or with a display – you can boost the emotion of the experience for your customers.
  2. Sensory. We have five senses, yet many retailers stop at sight when designing displays.  Ambient music, as in films, powerfully creates moods, while diffusing scents throughout the store not only adds to the narrative power of your displays, but links your retail space with the most deeply-rooted areas of your customers’ memories, boosting recall and loyalty.
  3. Cognitive. Give your customers something to think about. Engage their minds by creating narrative, intentional displays that will last longer in their memories and make a more powerful emotional connection.

Technology like Emotibot is making it easier for brands to create personalized, emotional experiences for their customers at scale.

5. Invest Time and Budget In Your Innovation Teams

As digital disruption creates a shorter and shorter shelf life for any given business process, many forward-thinking companies are investing in “innovation teams,” designed to study, predict, and adapt to future trends.

At GlobalShop 2018, we identified four keys to a successful innovation team:

  1. Adequate Funding. If you are asking your team to re-think a critical problem, especially at the enterprise level, their funding should be commensurate with the importance of the task before them. Innovation is not an area where you want to skimp, because an underpayment now may become an overpayment down the road.
  2. Autonomy. They must be able to make decisions for themselves. You are asking them to innovate, not to kowtow to existing corporate processes and hierarchies. Give your innovation team room to spread its wings.
  3. License to Fail. Innovation is experimental, and not every experiment is successful the first time. But that’s all right, because the process of innovation is iterative, and only the big risks that may result in failure have the chance of resulting in the kind of game-changing success that brands dream of.
  4. Time to Succeed. Big ideas take time. Innovation is a forward-focused science, and the fruits if your innovation team’s labors may not reveal themselves until some time down the line. Patience is a virtue, and by allowing your team time to work now, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy their success later.

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Getting ahead of these five trends will be important for retail brands moving forward, both now and in the future. Having the agile, responsive marketing supply chain to actually execute these plans will be absolutely critical to making it possible.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

LEARN MORE