In 2017, identity resolution will become a strategic imperative for brands as the race for consumer attention and loyalty intensifies. Marketers will focus on making their customer identities both persistent and portable, providing the ability to recognise and connect with customers with immediate, consistent and contextually relevant experiences.
This forecast is among the findings outlined in Signal’s new special report, “How Digital Marketing Will Change in 2017: What Marketers Need to Know Now.”
Signal, a global leader in real-time, people-based marketing, developed the new report based on interviews with the company’s in-house panel of digital experts and thought leaders. The report details the growing realisation among marketers that building brand affinity relies on creating relevant and impactful experiences. Customer identity is the key to delivering memorable and personalised engagements in an always-on world, and will become a key business priority as a result.
“2017 will be pivotal in the race to turn customer data into action and competitive advantage,” said Mike Sands, CEO, Signal. “Highly engaged customers drive the business bottom line, and brands are rapidly shifting their focus from acquiring customers to keeping them. This shift requires a new customer-centric mindset and an end to the siloed, factory-model approach to marketing. Identity sits at the core, serving as a central nervous system for all customer dialogue across touchpoints and time.”
The predictions discussed in the report include:
- Consumers demand experiences that enhance their lives. In 2017, people will expect more than ever brand interactions that are friction-free and gratifying. If they don’t get these experiences from one brand, they’ll quickly move on to the next. Marketers will need to respond to consumer demand by not just meeting their customers’ needs, but anticipating them.
- Customer retention becomes the top priority.Because customer experiences will become the key differentiator for brands, marketers will understand that their strongest ability to create business value is by improving customer loyalty and lifetime value. Marketers will prioritise customer retention, and seek opportunities and solutions that help them serve customer wants at the exact right moment.
- Customer identity becomes the engine for all omnichannel engagement.Customer data is a brand’s most valuable asset. When connected across the enterprise, it becomes a strategic identity foundation that drives consumer engagement on all on and offline channels. Brands that stand to win in 2017 will prioritise identity resolution not just as a marketing initiative or one-and-done effort, but as an ongoing process and imperative for business success.
- Customer data powers next-generation touchpoints.In the coming year, rising technologies like the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and virtual reality will continue to create new channels for building customer relationships. Customer data will help brands deliver relevant interactions through these new technologies. Forward-looking marketers will prioritise identity infrastructures that will be ready to support new technologies and corresponding customer experiences.
- Marketers turn to second-party data to drive scale and performance.As identity resolution takes centre stage in marketing strategies, second-party data will also step into the spotlight. In the new year, sharing first-party data will become a necessity for marketers to achieve scale without forfeiting control of their data. The latest data sharing technologies will help marketers scale their view of the consumer journey while addressing privacy and security concerns that have previously held marketers back.
“The opportunity for marketers in 2017 is to become truly customer-obsessed. Connected experiences will no longer be designed by device, channel, or campaign, but by who the customer is, their preferences and past behaviour, and what they need at critical moments. This customer-first revolution begins with a centralised identity foundation that can power journey insights and relevancy,” said Marc Kiven, Founder and CRO, Signal.
To download Signal’s full report, “How Digital Marketing Will Change in 2017: What Marketers Need to Know Now,” visit here.