Digital Marketing Trends in the Benelux 2015: the year of customer experience

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1 Digital Marketing Trends in the Benelux 2015: the year of customer experience

2 Introduction The ever widening range of available digital marketing technologies, coupled with a staggering change in the way buyers tend to make their purchasing decisions means that each year, marketers have to be even more vigilant to keep up the pace. For the frontrunners, it has never been a more exciting time to be a digital marketer, because there are tremendous opportunities to be gained for brands that can capitalize on combining these techniques to create the ultimate online customer experiences. The world is becoming increasingly digital, and marketers are certainly aware of this, but how successful have they been in keeping up with the latest trends? At Sitecore Benelux, we ve conducted a survey of 169 digital marketing experts in November and December of 2014, to find out what they had to say about the upcoming trends in But before we can take a look at the results, we need to first understand the state of digital marketing right now and what the outlined trends will mean going forward. Digital maturity in 2014 In collaboration with Forrester, Sitecore has developed a comprehensive model that looks into a brand s digital maturity state. Dubbed the Customer Experience Maturity Model, it is a roadmap to achieving lifetime customers by focusing on a step by step approach regarding the techniques marketers should master.

3 The reality is that 85% of companies are in the first two stages of the digital maturity model, the Initiate and Radiate phase. In 2014, this coincided with still having a simple brochure website, non-targeted campaign blasts and basic web analytics in place along with a social media presence and a mobile friendly website. Change is on the way Even though the figures above suggest digital marketing is not yet mature in the Benelux, our recent survey results show a huge leap forward for Marketers are ready to embrace a bevy of new techniques and invest in new technologies. Consuming content through digital media and channels is certainly not a new phenomenon for In our survey, marketers acknowledged that the rate of adoption and consumption will only grow. They know that the need for a seamless online experience across devices and continuity in customer interactions has never been more important. The global digital marketing software market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 16% between 2015 and 2019 So how do marketers drive conversations forward? The answer is pretty simple: they invest in digital marketing software more and more. In fact, the global digital marketing software market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 16% between 2015 and Marketers who understand the importance of delivering personalized content to their audience, by using all the marketing techniques available to them from one single connected platform, will rise head and shoulders above the competition.

4 Top 5 trends in the Benelux for 2015 When asked about what the top trends in the Benelux will be for 2015, marketers put predictive analytics, content profiling, personalization, integration to CRM and social media integration as their priorities. Compared to last year s trends, we notice a decrease in focus on the mobile version of websites and more importance placed into social media. This should come as no surprise, as marketers don t consider mobile websites a new technology. However, this doesn t mean that a responsive web design should be an afterthought in a brand s digital strategy, because while not considered an upcoming trend anymore, it is still very much relevant especially when coupled with geo-location targeting and social media advertising. Consumers are far less likely to engage with a brand who doesn t offer the same easy to use and intuitive experiences on a mobile or tablet as they do on a desktop. With the explosion in the penetration of smartphones on the Benelux market, it should come as no surprise that more and more people are moving away from the consumption of content on traditional devices. Predictive analytics as the leading trends Brands can t simply look at predictive analytics without first thinking of Big Data and the full customer experience cycle, because predictive analytics is the practice of extracting information from various data sources and determining patterns and trends. Predictive analytics lets marketers use that collected data to anticipate customer preferences and needs. With this insight, organizations can deliver a more personalized experience to drive higher loyalty and conversions. Marketers in the Benelux seem to have their eye on the bigger picture, looking at the full digital customer experience. They understand that a siloed approach to digital marketing is detrimental to their business objectives and serving their customers needs. With the explosion in the penetration of smartphones on the Benelux market, it should come as no surprise that more and more people are moving away from the consumption of content on traditional devices.

5 When Big Data leads to Big Experiences Big Data, just as the name implies, takes a lot to process and to understand, but it makes all the difference in creating successful marketing campaigns. And yet, are the challenges of data and analytics really as overwhelming as they seem? Feeling overwhelmed by the information overload is a reaction many marketers experience when confronted with all the data they ve collected. But the ones who have the right technology and the right digital strategy, embrace the possibilities. A good rule of thumb is, if you don t need it, don t collect it. Prioritize your data by need, and spread out the amount you re trying to gather, without losing consumer interest. Data allows you to understand who your customers are, what their needs are and personalize the buying journey accordingly. As a customer yourself, you can relate to being frustrated when you re presented with irrelevant content. Big Data is not the new marketing currency, understanding the collected data and connecting it is. Personalizing with context With personalization being in the top 5 trends in the Benelux, it s worth noting that it hasn t gained nor dropped any spots compared to last year s survey results. This simply goes to show that marketers still consider it a very hot topic and that they are willing to invest in this even further. And why shouldn t they? Creating a relevant and personal customer experience not only lifts customer satisfaction and revenue, but it also decreases costs and time for companies. Coupled with predictive analytics, marketers can truly understand what phase of the buying cycle a customer is in and present them with relevant offers accordingly. Think about this way. In the physical world, if I go into a store and buy a new pair of pants, I wouldn t expect, or want, the clerk to try and sell me the same pants I just bought the next time I come around. The same is true of digital personalization, where we need to look at customers as individuals rather than just blasting them with the same indiscriminate and irrelevant offers. We can create a sense of user-driven experience that is just intelligent enough to emphasize content and offers based on personal context.

6 Not hot: marketing and web analytics These two have been digital marketing pillars since the 1990s; they are certainly nothing new and the majority of respondents didn t consider them to be trends for 2015 as they ve been around since the dawn of the digital marketing age. While they may not be trends moving forward, they will remain the building blocks of a successful customer experience journey. Coupled with marketing automation, CRM integration and personalization, is still one of the most powerful tools to drive conversations to conversions. With Big Data becoming even bigger in 2015, relying on analytics to provide real-time responses to a customer s need will be a vital integration in campaign management. Creating a relevant and personal customer experience not only lifts customer satisfaction and revenue, but it also decreases costs and time for companies Conclusion: digital marketing is growing fast in the Benelux It seems that for many, 2015 will be the year of customer experiences. Marketers understand that no two experiences are the same and they re willing to capitalize on it by investing in the right digital marketing technologies for the future. Furthermore, the top trends that marketers have identified are independently very powerful, but together, used within a unified approach to digital marketing, will create compelling online customer experiences that will be able to anticipate and deliver contextually relevant content and offers to customers even before they know they want it. Sitecore s unified approach to Experience Marketing is able to deliver this much sought after customer experience excellence, by equipping marketers with the most powerful digital marketing system and technology available. This will enable businesses to turn their digital marketing strategy from moving parts to a cohesive system working towards an optimum customer engagement.

7 Want to know more? If you d like to learn more and have an in-depth look at digital marketing and customer experience management, don t hesitate to download the following assets: Sitecore Book of Wisdom: our most complete asset about personalization yet The future of personalization and digital marketing according to Dietmar Dahmen Sign up for a demo of the Sitecore Customer Experience Platform

8 About Sitecore Digital Marketing Trends in the Benelux Sitecore is the global leader in customer experiencemanagement. The company delivers highly relevant content and personalized digital experiences that delight audiences, build loyalty, and drive revenue. With the Sitecore Experience Platform, marketers can own the experience of every customer that engages with their brand, across every channel. More than 4,000 of the world s leading brands - including American Express, Carnival Cruise Lines, easyjet, Heineken, and L Oréal - trust Sitecore to help them deliver the meaningful interactions that win customers for life. Customer Engagement Digital Transformation Marketing Agility Social Marketing Connecting Commerce Mobile Marketing I d like to learn more about Sitecore and Experience Marketing Sitecore Nederland B.V. Barbara Strozzilaan 101, 1083 HN Amsterdam (NL) Phone: +31 (0) Sitecore Belux Jan Emiel Mommaetslaan 20A 1831 Diegem (B) Phone: +32 (0) sitecore.net

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