I’m a sports and exercise nut — although my waistline, calorie-counting app and cholesterol could make a solid argument in the other direction. I’m also an analyst, so the data aspect is as addictive as the sport itself. My Fitbit Surge knows so much about me. It shares my data with other Fitbit friends, who compete with me mercilessly and send me taunts when they pull ahead in weekly mileage. Its about this time of year, however, when people start to slow down, taunt me less, and drop off the grid. Holidays, parties, cold weather, 16 hours of darkness and bulky clothes all take their toll on motivation and suddenly the most raucous and competitive of friends go mysteriously silent. I think the same is true at work for many of us. Despite the pressure to close out the year with a bang, the reality is that people are harder to reach, meetings tougher to schedule and commutes just seem to take so much longer. All the more reason to look for new ideas to keep the motivation up and rally into the new year with renewed energy.
For marketers, the budgeting and planning tournament of champions is now in the hands of the judges. You’ve shared your goals and needs for the upcoming year and justified those investments with insights from 2015 experiences and put in the time to get aligned with the business initiatives that will drive the business in 2016. Now you wait for them to hold up the scores. Maybe its a good time to give yourself that swift kick and start looking at some ideas to carry your though December and motivate you for next year. Start with our 2016 Watch List: Key Moves To Improve Your Digital Fitness (subscription required). If you aren’t a subscriber to our research, click here, fill out a form and you can get a copy. To keep the exercise theme going, here are a couple of highlights from the watch list that I like:
- Flip your orientation and view customers from the outside in. Abandon the inside-out perspective that emphasizes your goals to an outside-in view that emphasizes customers’ motivations, goals and needs. Average organizations focus on what they have to sell. Customer-centered organizations focus on serving customer needs. When you start with what’s at stake for your customer, you earn the right to their attention — and their business. To succeed, you’ll need to make sure that they are heard by capturing, filtering and funneling voice-of-customer (VoC) data, then delivering it to the roles that impact customer experience. High-performing organizations democratize voice-of-customer insight without delay or fear to the roles responsible for delivering customer experiences. Remember customer experience is the new competitive battlefield.
- Master measurement and analytics and make it a team sport. Data-driven marketers establish key performance indicators (KPIs) and other measures of what good looks like. Analytics is booming as marketers staff up and skill up to take advantage of the deluge of information thrown off by marketing systems, amid the rampant imperative for insights and accountability. But too often, we focus on the metrics and outcomes that justify our own efforts — rather than those that move the needle for the broader organization. Take responsibility for outcomes, but cross the finish line and share the spotlight as a team with the functions you depend on for overall success. Learn how the best data-driven marketers focus their time, tools and teams.
- Invest in agility to stay one step ahead of competitors. For marketers, the opportunity to create competitive advantage and customer value is earned or lost in moments. Leading marketers design an organization that’s capable of responding to change faster than competitors by assembling the right talent in-house, dipping into freelance talent pools, and making more effective use of agency partners. Devote some of your team’s cycles to understanding the impact and opportunities create by digital business, disruption and Internet of Things (IoT).
These are just a few of the ideas in the Watch List for 2016 but I’d love to hear what ideas and opportunities you are tracking for next year. What are you doing to get moving on them now? Pretty soon the holiday season malaise will pass and it will be a new year and then its back in full gear. Don’t miss this opportunity to step outside the holiday box. And from all of us here at Gartner for Marketing Leaders, we wish you the best of holidays and a happy new year!