What’s on your marketing to-do list this year? According to a presentation Sheryl Pattek, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester, gave at a meeting of the NJ chapter of MENG (Marketing Executives Networking Group) last month, these are the key priorities and initiatives that are—or should be—on every CMO’s 2013 to-do list.

1. Mapping a buyer’s journey. Marketing today is more than pushing people through your funnel—it’s about taking a journey together with your customers. Buyers may talk to up to a dozen non-supplier sources of information before they get to you. With so many options to choose from, customers can take a very long journey from discovering a product/service to making the purchase. At different stops along the journey, they’ll interact with you in a variety of channels including your company web site, your mobile site, your social media, a branch office/store, your call center, etc.

Is the quality of each of these touch points up to par? Are there places where your customers would like to interact with you but can’t because that touch point isn’t being properly managed, or even worse, because you aren’t even present?

Do you know how and where your customers research and buy your products or services? If you don’t you should!

2. Invest in your mobile presence. Why should you invest in providing a top-tier mobile experience for your customers? Because your customers are visiting your website on their mobile devices. Recent research from the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 55% of American adult cell phone owners use their phone to go online and 31% of these cell internet users go online with their phones more than any other device (including desktop or laptop computers). The average person has and uses 3.3 different devices and your site needs to be optimized for several possible viewing possibilities.

Customers expect full functionality on your website on their laptop and their tablet and their phone and a fast way to lose potential customers is to offer a poor mobile experience. So, how’s your mobile presence right now?

3. Make “snackable” content. Attention spans are shrinking and more and more things are competing for your customers’ attention. You have roughly eight—that’s right, only eight!—seconds to pique your customers’ interest before they move. How do get someone’s attention in eight seconds or less?

The key is to make your content “snackable,” meaning it is packaged in bite-sized pieces that are relevant and interesting and can be easily digested. If you can create content like that, then not only will you engage your customers, but they will return the favor and share your content with their networks for you. That makes the $64,000 question, “how do you create such content?” The answer is to think visually.

Infographics (visual representations of data) are a great way to share your content because let’s face it; while your stuff is interesting to you because you wrote, it probably isn’t very interesting to everyone else. However, if you can present your information in a visual format, suddenly, even the most snooze-inducing topics suddenly become fascinating. Take the example of concrete polishing: by itself, but with cool graphics, suddenly, it’s amazing!

4. Think of your social and content strategy as one and the same. Because they are. Social media is just another tool in your marketing toolbox. It may be the newest and shiniest tool in the box, but it’s still just a tool and the basic marketing rules that govern your other tools apply to social media as well. Just as you would integrate your print and broadcast marketing efforts, add social media to the mix and don’t treat it as a separate entity. In fact, while you’re at it integrate your social strategy into all of the communication strategies your company has (PR, crisis communication, etc.)

What do you think? Did Pattek miss anything important? How will you implement these initiatives this year? Sound off in the comments.

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