How will the digital transformation evolve in the coming year?

The three trends that will drive the digital marketing sector in 2016 are:

  1. Stakes in customer experience will be higher than ever before
  2. There will be no place for the old school CMO
  3. Consolidation of marketing platforms

Morgan believes that marketers are in a position to take action, heralding the dawn of a millennial CMO where digital disruption is brought to the board-level agenda. Delving into detail on each of the trends for 2016, here is where Morgan believes marketers’ time and money will be focused:

1. Stakes in customer experience will be higher than ever before

A new – heavily publicised – generation of businesses are popping up that have the customer at their core. For example, Airbnb and Uber are building businesses that put the customer directly in touch with the supplier. These start-ups are disrupting markets by improving certain aspects of the customer experience, and are raising the stakes in customer experience for other companies as a result.

Start-ups are delivering a world of new experiences that established, less agile players are struggling to keep up with. New players’ seamless customer experiences are raising expectations so it’s imperative that larger businesses look at the points of vulnerability in their own customer experience to ensure that they cannot be displaced in 2016. By embarking on a business transformation project, larger businesses can grow into the new world, ensuring that they are truly digital in all aspects.

2. There will be no place for the old school CMO

The emergence of best-in-class technologies, from personalisation tools to intuitive CRM databases, have brought the CMO success. Finally, they can prove marketing’s real value back to the business. This new generation of CMOs is anticipating and embracing consumer technology trends, and they’re seeing that they’re able to justify higher budgets for the marketing department.

There’s no place for the old school CMO anymore. The new generation of marketers are digital natives, who are well versed in the strategic rationale for technology use and can implement it more easily to impact the whole business. This puts them in a very strong position, between the theorists and the technical experts on the IT team, with an understanding of what technology can truly achieve for the business. The innovation in the marketing technology industry and the ability to showcase marketing’s impact is making the CMO more powerful than ever before within their organisations.

3. Businesses will consolidate their marketing platforms

At the start of the year, Squiz predicted that the growing number of marketing technology platforms available would drive consolidation over the next three years. Reflecting on customer behaviour in 2015, Morgan believes this prediction is still on track and will pick up pace into 2016.

Consumers now expect every touch-point to be seamless, relevant and effortless. This means that brands are managing numerous campaigns across many channels. Marketers are looking for one point of truth that provides clear and valuable insight into their campaigns and how they are affecting the business overall. Consolidation of IT will continue in coming years, as marketers simplify, while enriching their operations.


By Stephen Morgan, Co-Founder of Squiz. 

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