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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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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 Emerging Challenges Facing CMOs in 2018

man working on laptop

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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Digital Trends to Watch for Hospitality Marketing

As digital channels continue to disrupt more and more areas of everyday life, hospitality marketing is facing changes to its models, as well. That’s according to Modern Restaurant Management, who explains that digital travel sales are expected to hit $198 billion in 2018.

With more than 140 million adults slated to research their travel plans online, and half of those expected to do so via their smartphone or mobile device, agility and responsiveness in digital channels continues to become increasingly important for hospitality marketers. While print and promotional physical marketing materials remain crucially important, supplementing those streams with digital is now a foundational competency for marketers.

Here are five of the top trends in digital hospitality marketing.

Digital Channels Are of Primary Importance

As we mentioned above, digital travel sales are expected to reach $198 billion this year. That’s 140 million travelers primed and ready to engage with digital marketing campaigns. Through the entire buying journey, digital is now crucial each step of the way.  According to MRM, 71% of travelers use digital to plan their trip; 79% use digital channels to shop for their travel accommodations; and 83% use digital to actually book their trips.

What’s more, research shows that 61% of travel marketing spend is now committed to online channels. By working with a partner to optimize their digital marketing campaigns, hospitality marketers can capture an enormous amount of business.

Millemmial Marketing

To Win Younger Travelers, Leverage Search Engines

Search engines like Google and Bing are how most of us begin our quests for information these days, and travel planning is no exception. Research shows that 63% of travelers use a search engine at some point in their trip planning. However, search engine marketing is especially effective with younger shoppers.

As many as 57% of travelers ages 18-34 use search engines specifically to check accommodation prices, and 50% of those same travelers are able to recall the travel ads they see on search engines. Compared to just 36% for overall consumers, search engine marketing is a key piece for hospitality marketers.

Smartphone Use Is Rising

As smartphones become more powerful and prevalent, they are impacting every business vertical, including hospitality marketing. Recent studies suggest that 43% of consumers use a smartphone to search for travel accommodations. But when we segment that out into age groups, it becomes quickly apparent that Millennial and Generation Z shoppers have made smartphones an integral part of their buying journey. For shoppers ages 18-34, as many as 78% use their smartphones while traveling (an excellent opportunity for promotional on-site targeting), 67% use their smartphones to plan their trips, and over one-quarter (27%) use their smartphones to actually book their accommodations.

color light bulb illustration - design creativity

Visual Content Matters More Than Ever

Travel has always been a very visually appealing industry, and leveraging visual marketing materials is paying big dividends for hospitality marketers. 51% of consumers report that the visual imagery in travel marketing materials influences their decision to book. Not only are images influential, but they stick with shoppers memories much more effectively. 49% of travel shoppers recall a compelling visual image, compared to just 41% who recall a promotional price, and 37% who recall a targeted ad. If you can partner with a supplier who can keep production costs low and manageable, the ROI on visual marketing can be enormous.

Personalized Loyalty Programs Are a Critical Piece

Loyalty programs are a powerful way for hospitality brands to establish repeat customers and renewable revenue streams. In return, loyalty customers expect personalized experiences. 55% of travel loyalty program members acknowledge that program membership influences their decision-making process, so marketers would be wise to leverage it. But how? By offering truly personalized experiences, made possibly by an agile and efficient marketing supply chain.

In fact, travel loyalty program members are more likely to share personal information in exchange for custom-tailored offers, click-through on personalized online advertising, and recall personalized online ads from travel brands. These loyalty members want hospitality brands to leverage the wealth of information they know about the member to offer him or her truly unique, personalized experiences that are custom-tailored to his or her preferences.

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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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How Mobile Presents Big Opportunities for Brick and Mortar Retailers

man looking at mobile - opportunity

Brick-and-mortar retail spaces make it easy for customers to connect with brands via meaningful interactions and vice versa. Retail stores are in many ways more personal and direct that e-commerce transactions. That said, mobile still plays an enormous role in the ongoing success of physical retail spaces, and those stores that can adapt and position themselves to capture these opportunities can set their brand apart.

That’s according to Stephanie Vozza at Shopify, who points out that a recent study found that 92% of consumers want to shop in stores equipped with mobile solutions. And that goes beyond offering in-store WiFi. Here are three of the best ways brick-and-mortar retailers can make their stores more mobile-friendly.

Use Geotargeting, Beacons to Attract Foot Traffic

Location-aware beacon technology allows retailers to deliver highly-targeted mobile ads to users within a set geographic distance of the store. These strategic geotargeting plays provide promotional offers that encourage nearby shoppers to visit your store. They can be deployed around your store, around your competitors’ stores to lure them away and gain market share, or anywhere you prefer. They work, too: the same study found that 85% of respondents would like to receive more geotargeted promotions as part of their retail shopping experience.

mobile-pay

Offer Mobile Payment and Checkout Technology

Bring the speed and convenience of online checkout to your brick-and-mortar shopping experience. Retailers can use mobile wallet apps to allow customers to pay on the sales floor using their smartphones.

“This benefits retailers with long line issues, but also creates a dynamic that allows customers to truly be able to shop on their own terms in a way that is comfortable for them,” Vozza writes. In fact, 61% of shoppers prefer using kiosks and self-checkouts. Shoppers’ preferences are rapidly changing, and the ability to offer personalized experiences that fit their demands will set retailers apart from the crowd.

Welcome Shoppers in for Showrooming

“Showrooming” is a fairly recent ecommerce phenomenon where customers visit stores to check out products in person with the explicit intent of buying them online later. The value-add for brick-and-mortar spaces, in this case, isn’t lower prices or ease of checkout, but how immersive and convenient of a “test drive” experience they can provide with their “showroom.”

Clothing retailer Zara, for example, adds iPads to many of its dressing rooms so customers can quickly and easily request a different size or style to try on. “Fusing the physical and digital world can create powerful and lasting memories for customers and a brand,” Vozza writes.

Here are a few simple ways to get started embracing showrooming:

  1. Establish a reliable WiFi connection in-store so your customers’ mobile devices can link to your network.
  2. Put real customer reviews at your customers’ fingertips with quotes and scores next to product displays.
  3. Offer complimentary overnight shipping, so customers still get that “buy it now” satisfaction that can help them pull the trigger.

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Mobile is changing brick-and-mortar retail. But by planning for this change, and positioning yourself to seize the new opportunities it presents, brands can make sure their physical retail channels stay profitable for many years to come.

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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

Retailers and Consumer Brands: The Digital Divide

man holding tablet -digital

The rise of ecommerce giants like Amazon has begun to shake up the way retailers think about their relationships with consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands, and with their customers.

That’s according to L.E.K. Consulting, who explains that there is a growing “digital divide” in the consumer products world, wherein brands wish to adopt a direct-to-consumer (D2C) model, but are hesitant to do so because of concerns about their digital strategy and retail channels. Here are some of the most important areas of focus for brands looking to establish an effective digital strategy.

Different Consumers, Different Strategies

Not all advertising is effective for all buyers. Similarly, not all digital experiences appeal to all consumers or are right for all brands. Brands shifting to digital are wise to apply the same granular level of segmentation to their digital target audiences that they would to in-store shoppers. The marketing efforts that appeal to certain demographics will still appeal; they simply need to be “digitized.”

For example, Huggies, the diaper brand, designed its online rewards club to heavily feature educational materials for first-time parents, who comprise a large portion of its buyers. Burberry, the luxury fashion label maintains online communities where customers can share chic pictures of themselves sporting the iconic coats.

Similarly, home remodeling and interior design brands have begun to leverage virtual and augmented reality apps to allow customers to more fully visualize the brand’s products in their own homes. Digital should be responsive to your customers. It should fit who they are, and what they want.

woman shopping on tablet - CPG

Digital Should Add Value

Digital is about more than just ecommerce. It’s about adding a unique twist to your brand’s offerings that add substantial value for your customers.

To generate a new revenue stream from the resale of its used goods, for example, clothing company Patagonia created a stand-alone website where loyal customers can swap secondhand gear at a discount, and trade-in used gear back to the brand for gift certificates. Automaker Subaru, on the other hand, closely monitors its consumer lifecycles, and coordinates the delivery of highly-targeted promotions and advertisements that speak directly to their owners’ needs, whether it’s time for an oil change, or to renew a lease.

New Technology in Marketing

New technologies mean new opportunities to create engaging, compelling experiences for customers.

In addition to the interior design examples listed above, retailers and consumer brands are using in-store technology in dynamic ways. Fashion label Rebecca Minkoff, for example, uses wireless communication to send clothing items to dressing rooms, help customers locate different sizes and styles, and show stock availability in nearby stores. Some cosmetics retailers, meanwhile, are using apps that allow clerks to scan customers’ skin tones and deliver perfect makeup recommendations. These brands are using technology to provide better customer experiences.

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Digital is rapidly evolving from a luxury to a core competency for most brands. By partnering with a trusted expert, you can leverage the promise of a new digital future to create compelling customer experiences and realize a greater return on your marketing investments.

Subscribe to the Blog

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