Or, as CEO Jack Welch once said:
An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.
The more you know about your customers, the more of an advantage you have. And the more you can adapt your messaging, your products and services, and your sales and customer support to those customers, gives you more advantage still.
There are plenty of ways to do this.
Some ways are low-tech, like simply talking to your customer service staff and your sales reps. Or ‒ ahem – actually talking to your customers.
Then there are medium-tech ways, like setting up a simple listening station or doing customer surveys.
And then there are the high-tech ways.
These usually involve one of the bigger buzzwords and trends of the last few years: Big Data.
And increasingly, these high-tech approaches also involve the “scary” big new trend: AI ‒ artificial intelligence.
None of this is going to go away. In fact, our job titles are more likely to go away than Big Data, AI, and super-sophisticated customer knowledge systems are likely to go away.
Marketers are increasingly data-focused and data-driven. At our best, we are data conductors – maestros who can stand in front of our analytics dashboards like conductors stand in front of their orchestras, leading our data feeds through our campaigns and strategies, skillfully balancing the different inputs to create something truly artful.
That’s the vision, at least. Getting there will require a lot of practice. And lots of technical skill.
Some of us may have to improve those technical and data management-type skills.
I know, I know. Every year people say: “This is going to be the year of mobile.”
I’m not saying that. I say that, if you’re smart, 2018 will be the year you become genuinely mobile-first. So, when you block out big projects, large campaigns, and messaging strategies, you don’t think about the desktop. You stop seeing people receiving your messages on a desktop.
You see them holding a phone in their hand.
You build for that, and then circle back to expand and adapt the mobile version for their desktops.
“Video is eating the Internet.”
This is another trend, like mobile, that’s been rising for years. But in 2018, video will probably tilt from a “nice to have” to an essential part of your content marketing program.
Fortunately, video is not as hard to do as it might first seem to be.
Want an example of a completely Oscar-worthy B2B marketing video? Watch Conductor’s hysterical video, SEO and Content Go to Couples Therapy.