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Top Marketing Trends in 2012

As a CEO for a digital marketing agency, I have observed and analyzed the industry trends in 2012 based on our experience in this domain and the feedback from our customers.

Here are my picks for the top marketing trends in 2012, = all of which are being based on a massive volume of structured and unstructured data.

1. Big Data

Most companies and big enterprises these days are depending more and more on big data. In the sales and marketing departments, we collect customer data in every touch point through various channels. These channels include phone conversation, filled forms online and offline, face to face conversation, and so on. All of this data is being stored on customer relationship management (CRM) tools. It is essential to have our past customers, current customers and potential customer’s interaction history in our CRM tool(s). As a conclusion, if we are not using big data, the potential for buying opportunity significantly decreases. As you may know, digital information is being increased every day in huge numbers. The growth of this information is what big data is all about. The information available about buying behavior across many channels constitutes real opportunities to engage potential buyers in different ways to drive revenue at every stage of the customer lifecycle at the right time. Investing in big data tools or databases for business intelligence greatly optimizes this process (Vectorwise from Actian is one of the best tools in the industry for this).

2. Right-Time Multichannel Marketing

Marketing agencies must invest more time and effort in understanding their customer lifecycle in their market. Sales and marketing departments certainly don’t lack data, however they lack the ability to integrate the data they have into their integrated digital marketing campaign, thus failing to extract more valuable and actionable insights. As time goes by, marketers are moving away from the unreliable traditional marketing approach and moving toward a more integrated path across multiple media channels such as website, social media, mobile, video, email, search, display, pay-per-click and PR. One of the important players of the current marketing media is social media. We can see our audience responses in real time, which enables the data part of the user’s profiles to be integrated into our CRM and marketing automation tools. The integration of audience data from multiple sources makes it possible to correlate customer attributes and interests to replace the wasteful shotgun approach to marketing with a more targeted, effective, and memorable multiple-channel campaign. In this way, we deal with multichannel marketing as a path of customer interaction history and experience and how it leads to refined forms of customer intelligence. As a result, marketers achieve right-time multichannel marketing and revenue optimization. When big data is transformed into customer intelligence and used across right-time multichannel marketing, the opportunities for driving revenue throughout the customer lifecycle become enormous.

3. Marketing Automation Integration with CMS and CRM

Last year, we worked with larger customers and had the opportunity to be work on projects that involve more complex integration between CMS, marketing automation, CRM, analytics and PPC systems. We had the opportunity to deeply analyze several marketing automation tools such as Marketo, Eloqua, Aprimo, Alterian and Leadformix.

These companies are really investing into their products and are building very intelligent functionalities to provide better data to their audiences. The most common questions I come across now are those about marketing automation and CRM integration. As a result, I have concluded that this type of integration creates a true closed-loop sales and marketing system between your marketing automation platform and CRM system that connects and extends your Big Data.

Here is a summary for some benefits of this approach:

• Higher rates of reporting and forecasting metrics

• Cohesively combining customer interactions, insights and resulting actions

• Improving demand generation and qualified leads

• Real-time and intuitive personalization

• Instant intelligence on prospects and deal influencers of site visitors

• Increasing efficiency and decreasing complexity

In conclusion, the application of customer intelligence to the customer lifecycle now creates marketing opportunities that have never been realized before. Marketers can now use the customer lifecycle as a dynamic means to engage prospects and customers at the right time, with the right offer, in the way they choose to buy.

The customer lifecycle brings the capability of anytime, anyplace marketing to the forefront in a nonintrusive way.

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