2017 could be a landmark year for marketing innovation. With more than two thirds of marketers citing continued growth as a priority, they know they need technology innovation to power their goals, according to new data from cross-channel marketing and analytics solutions provider Yes Lifecycle Marketing.
In the 2017 Yes Lifecycle Marketing Channel Report, more than 300 marketers were surveyed online and in-person at the National Retail Federation‘s recent Shop.org Digital Summit to identify their priorities for 2017. Brands emphasized the top most important goals for 2017 are: 1) increase sales, 2) improve customer engagement, and 3) improve customer acquisition. To support these goals, marketers are looking to implement cross-channel initiatives—40 percent of respondents say they will implement cross-channel attribution, 38 percent will implement test tools for channels and content, and 25 percent will work to implement data-fed, consistent views of their customers.
Data from the survey consistently shows email remains a strong channel for consumer communication, with 68 percent of those surveyed saying email would receive an increase of attention/budget in 2017. Marketers are looking to step up innovation, yet they still struggle to master personalization, which may be considered a basic tactic. Even with 70 percent of marketers noting they use ’email engagement’ data for personalization, half of marketers admit their personalization efforts are weak, and nearly half (46 percent) do not personalize email subject lines. Nonetheless, more than two thirds (68 percent) said they wish they could improve email personalization, and 59 percent said the same about their websites.
Although marketers plan to continue investing in traditional marketing channels like email, social media and display advertising, many have an interest in implementing more advanced tactics—for instance, nearly half of respondents said that while they’re not using dynamic offers currently, they are interested in doing so this year. Additionally, 38 percent said they are interested in incorporating user-generated content into their marketing communications.
Responses from the marketers surveyed suggest they are looking to marketing technology and service providers to help get them achieve their goals. When asked which offerings they look for in a marketing service provider, 31 percent of respondents ranked “technology innovation” as most important. Marketers also ranked ease-of-use, reporting, and integrated analytics as, respectively, their top three most important characteristics when using a marketing technology solution.
“When it comes to implementing new technologies, marketers must learn to walk before they can run,” said Michael Fisher, president of Yes Lifecycle Marketing, in a news release. “Before focusing on advanced tactics, marketers should focus on mastering the basics, such as deploying emails with data-led personalization. To drive sales with more technologically advanced tactics such as dynamic offers or beacons, marketers must first gain a holistic view of the customer.”
In spite of the hype, the report shows a very low percentage of marketers surveyed are currently using virtual reality (8 percent) or augmented reality (7 percent). Similarly, only 21 percent are interest in implementing virtual reality and 25 percent augmented reality. Just as noteworthy, more than half of marketers said both virtual reality and augmented reality do not apply to their organization (57 and 55 percent, respectively). This may indicate marketers are skeptical about how advanced tactics such as these will help them reach their goals.
Additional findings include:
- Only 1 percent of marketers cited reducing marketing costs as a priority for 2017
- Fifty-four percent of retailers said social media will receive an increase in budget in 2017
- Half (49 percent) of respondents described their marketing efforts as still “one-size-fits-all”
“Brands are looking for partners who will help them become insights-driven businesses,” said Mike Iaccarino, CEO and chairman of Infogroup, parent company of Yes Lifecycle Marketing, in the release. “As marketers want to implement more advanced, innovative tactics, the right technology and services partner will provide the cross-channel capabilities needed to be able to execute highly-personalized marketing communications.”
Source: PR Newswire; edited by Richard Carufel