While the general population resolves to work out more, eat less, and quit smoking, marketers, too, are busy debating which bad habits they’d like to kick to the curb in the new year.
Here are some of the resolutions industry experts told us they have made for 2017.
1. Marketers should resolve to strive for greatness:
Creativity continues its marketing comeback, following back-seat status as marketers focused on collecting, analyzing, and making actionable the mountains of data at their disposal. Indeed, marketers have arrived at the notion that great marketing must be both part art and part science.
General Electric CMO Linda Boff told CMO.com her New Year’s resolution is: “Kill good ideas in favor of great ones. And start boxing!”
2. Marketers should resolve to prioritize the mobile customer experience:
Statista predicts that the number of mobile phone users in 2017 will reach 4.77 billion worldwide. The latest “Internet Trends” report from KPCB shows that mobile digital media time in the U.S. is now significantly higher, at 51%. With desktop at 42%, the gap between the two is expected to grow over the next few years.
“In 2017, marketers will recognize why mobile has transformed consumer behavior and will make the necessary adjustments to capture their attention and their business,” said Jamie Gutfreund, global CMO at Wunderman. “Consumers do not get excited about average experiences. They now want 24/7 global access to the best of everything—the best prices, the best stories, the best quality products, which means that brands will need to do more than meet expectations. They will need to find ways to raise the bar and deliver extraordinary at every step in the customer journey.”
3. Marketers should resolve to stretch and exercise more:
The idea of micro-moments is going to be very important this year, according to Kirk Thompson, senior vice president of marketing at IHOP Restaurants.
“Like all good New Year’s resolutions, I’m on a great regimen, and my marketing resolution is simple,” Thompson told CMO.com. “Stretch and exercise more! I plan to stretch IHOP into great new places for our guests to enjoy more IHOP moments, being flexible about how and when our guests enjoy the best pancakes, bacon, coffee, waffles, and more, and exercising our guests’ love of eating up IHOP moments and sharing pictures, snaps, tweets, posts, and inviting others to join us.”
4. Marketers should resolve to stop combatting ad blockers:
Approximately 30% of Internet users say they find traditional banner advertising distracting and will actively avoid sites where they interfere with the content too much. Additionally, a 2015 report from PageFair and Adobe (CMO.com’s parent company) reported more than 198 million active ad-blocking users around the world, costing publishers nearly $22 billion in lost revenue last year.
“Marketers need to focus on experience in 2017,” said Mark Asher, Adobe’s head of market intelligence and strategy. “Want to avoid ad blockers? Want to drive real ROI? Make sure your creative is personal, fresh, device-specific, and innovative. Why solve for viewability when you can create lasting brand loyalty?”
5. Marketers should resolve to create seamless experiences:
A seamless customer experience was once reserved as a must for the retail industry. Today, however, it is imperative for all industries to provide continuous, consistent, and high-quality experiences across channels and platforms, according to Jeannine Falcone, managing director, marketing lead North America, at Accenture Interactive.
“Marketing needs to enable better connected customer experiences for brands,” Falcone told CMO.com. “This will be even tougher to achieve in 2017, with the increasing complexity of channels and interaction points, but the surge in marketing technology solutions and data will empower marketers to create the seamless experiences consumers expect. Marketing should help drive bottom-line business results by delivering adaptive, connected brand experiences that are world-class—not just best-in-category. Breaking down organizational silos is key to fulfilling that goal, as is finding the right talent.”
6. Marketers should resolve to partner more closely with the startup community:
Marketers will see a greater demand for innovation in 2017 than ever before. Anticipating where a brand needs to be next will be crucial and, according to Steven Cook, that means building better ties to the entrepreneurs already making strides in our industry.
“CMOs increasingly need to own, orchestrate, and operationalize disruptive revenue and brand growth,” said Cook, managing partner at FortuneCMO and a CMO.com contributing editor. “As a former Fortune 500 CMO and now a startup CMO, I see significant innovation intersection opportunities for enterprises to accelerate their growth-focused innovation pipelines by connecting with innovative entrepreneurs who have relevant, scaleable, monetizable IP. My 2017 resolution is to create more effective ways to commercially connect enterprises and entrepreneurs.”
7. Marketers should resolve to spend more time actully interacting with customers:
There’s no question on the power and insight that data can deliver to marketers, but, according to Mack McKelvey, CEO of SalientMG, nothing replaces true customer engagament.
“I recently spent seven weeks in Colorado as a marketing and entrepreneurial experiment,” McKelvey said. “I listened to residents and fellow travelers from all over the U.S. and across Europe. In those weeks, I learned more about customer attitudes about travel, retail, dining, finance, sports, and wellness and the brands that serve those industries. I spoke to dozens of people about practical uses of technology, apps, and what really drives efficiencies and happiness in their lives. In many ways, the seven weeks was some of the best accidental market research I’ve conducted in a while.
“As a marketer, data drives so much of what we do, but nothing, and I mean nothing, replaces true consumer interaction——and I don’t mean in Times Square or on the Third Street Promenade. Listening and engaging with consumers and businesses in the areas outside of the major metros Steve Case talks about in ‘Rise of the Rest’ will define my 2017.”
8. Marketers should resolve to leverage mobile location data:
Most marketers use location data for social and search, and now more than half are also using location for targeting as well, according to a recent report from the Mobile Marketing Association. Marketers value location for driving brand equity and customer experience versus just leads and sales.
According to Gladys Kong, CEO of UberMedia, mobile location data will define 2017 as the year of a more intelligent, informed market strategy.
“At UberMedia, we believe that data won’t change the world without the people who understand it,” Kong said. “Harnessing the power of mobile location data to inform smarter, more strategic business decisions is the most critical component in today’s competitive arsenal, as all industries grapple with an omnichannel world in which customers are more educated, competition is fierce, and media is incredibly fragmented. Mobile location data can provide in-depth population and demographic insights, allowing retailers to analyze real-world visitation trends, assess demographic and psychographic profiles for site analysis, and forecast and measure cannibalization.”
9. Marketers should resolve to invest more in video:
Online video viewership will surpass traditional TV views by 2020, making 2017 a vital year for marketers to implement goals around online video, said Michael Avon, co-founder and CEO of ICX Media.
“With more than 6 billion hours of video watched per day on YouTube and 4 billion hours watched per day on Facebook, this doesn’t mean that marketers need to create more videos. Instead, marketers need to look at the data that can tell them where their audience is and what content their audience wants to consume. Then they will be able to create better video content that drives far better engagement and results,” Avon said. “Marketers need to take a page from their own book and use analytics to their advantage in order to drive video content results they will need. From views to growing their subscribers, in the upcoming year marketers must resolve to create amazing videos with the data and analytics to back up their online video success.”
Recently, StubHub conducted a survey that revealed a universal truth about consumers: Live experiences make them happy. What also makes them happy is receiving messaging from companies on their own terms, via the channels and platforms they prefer.
“In a world of distractions, it’s easy to get lost in the daily grind,” said Jennifer Betka, CMO of StubHub. “It is my priority to reach consumers across their preferred channels at their convenience, deepening their access to live events that matter most. I strive to inspire consumers to live in the moment–there are thousands of concerts, shows, and games every weekend, and we think everyone should be there live.”