Key Lessons for the New Year

Barclays’ recent announcement that it was laying off 1,700 employees across its branch network due to an increase in ‘smartphone based banking’ is a stark reminder that most industries are struggling to keep up with the accelerating shift toward digital channels. Black Friday this year was disappointing for bricks-and-mortar, while online commerce set new records. As we head into 2014, one thing you can count on is that brands and agencies that are driving change instead of reacting to it are the ones who will come out ahead.

Here are some guideposts to help steer your 2014 strategy:

  1. Mobile shift: According to a recent study by mobile click-to-buy company LighteningBuy, mobile purchases were up 80% on Cyber Monday, yet only 35% of retailers (that were analyzed in the study) had sent email during Thanksgiving week that was mobile optimized. Marketers and agencies have to develop and execute campaigns and platforms that work seamlessly across connected devices and screen sizes. Marketing is no longer about your brand. It is about the customer’s experience.
  2. All brands need an omnichannel strategy. This requires top-down leadership that will break down internal silos and create incentives for different departments within your organization to share data. If your agency isn’t helping you to do that, both within your organization and in your consumer-facing marketing activities, you need to find an agency that will. Your agency should combine the insights and technology of data-driven marketing with the ideas and experiences of next generation storytelling.
  3. Social customer service is now a must, particularly during critical holiday shopping periods: seven in 10 consumers report being more likely to be loyal to a brand that provides real-time one-to-one assistance at critical moments during their purchase journey, according to a survey released by LivePerson last month.
  4. Manufacturers and retailers have to create and provide content that supports in-store decision-making. Research shows that consumers use smartphones in-store principally to confirm a choice or narrow down multiple options, not to make a purchase from an alternative retailer such as Amazon (AMZN).
  5. Your marketing platform must be agile and performance-based. Every component should prove its value in key performance indicators – bottom line, customer retention, average order value, conversion, loyalty, lead-to-revenue conversion, qualified leads…etc. And whatever KPIs you’re using, make sure you’re constantly plugging new intelligence into your marketing engine and optimizing your efforts at every point in the process.

If you embrace these guiding principles, you’ll be set up for success in the upcoming year and beyond. Here’s to all that 2014 has to offer!

About the Authors

Jason Tabeling is a Partner at Rosetta responsible for all things paid, owned, and earned media. Jason has a deep understanding of digital marketing, including paid search marketing and online display advertising.

Ned Elton leads the Financial Services vertical for Rosetta. He joined Rosetta in 2001 and has been a key figure in building the Agency’s personalized marketing capabilities. His deep content expertise comes from over twenty years running businesses and managing marketing in consumer package goods and financial services.

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