Get ready for the ultra-connected customer to upturn marketing in 2013

Are you thinking hard about what you should be on the lookout for as a marketer in 2013? We think it will be a transformative year. Here’s why.

The biggest change we see underway is the amazingly rapid increase in the number of people who access the Internet multiple times a day, from multiple locations, with at least three devices. They’re ultra-connected and always addressable, and by the end of 2012, these perpetually connected customers already made up 42% of online adults in the US and 37% in Europe, up from much less than that just a year before. By the end of 2013, we predict that almost half of online adults globally will join this revolution.

As a marketer facing this surge of perpetually connected customers, you need to seize the opportunity and:

  • Master multichannel marketing now more than ever.
  • Make ads more personal, but stop short of creepy.
  • Get smart about what happens before the last click.
  • Learn about new, exotic breeds of marketing tech vendors.
  • Rethink how you work with other functions and outside agencies.

For more specifics about what we mean by these recommendations and what we believe this year has in store for marketers, read our February 11th "2013 Interactive Marketing Predictions" report. And let us know what you think, will you?

Can Marketers And IT Work Together To Master The Flow Of Your Customer Data?

Marketers, how are you getting along with IT these days? It matters more than it used to. The job your company expects you to do is more and more entwined with technology. And so are the people in your target market.

Our research at Forrester shows almost half of US adults say technology is important to them.  And the ecosystem of suppliers of marketing-centric technologies and services is ballooning.  So whatever your aim as a marketer — whether it’s listening to the market, engaging with potential customers, or measuring the results of those efforts — you can’t do your job without these many technologies of new channels, new services, and new products.

This technology entwinement is especially tight when your company tackles the challenge of mastering the flow of customer data throughout the organization, from inputs across customer touchpoints, to the many ways you subsequently engage those customers. The struggle is not only in how to do this but also in how to do it sustainably: How to remember what data’s been collected, how it’s been used, what the outcomes have been, and on and on.

Where it gets messy is that marketers and IT often sing from different hymnals when it comes to making the most of all the relevant technologies. You’re eager to get to market with exciting new tools for engaging with potential customers, and you’re willing to experiment. But your IT colleagues often seem to be focused above all on cutting costs and avoiding risk — goals that rarely mesh well with what you’re trying to get done as a marketer. Not surprisingly, one marketing exec that Forrester interviewed recently called IT the “Department of No.”

Whereas in the past it may have been possible (even expected!) for marketing and IT to work at arm’s length, it’s not an option anymore.

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