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Sarmistha Tarafder's Articles

Brand Trends — Driving Satisfactions & Acquiring  New Customers


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I have started the year keeping in mind the 2 challenges that face marketers from any and all business segments — driving satisfaction and acquiring new customers. I started the year studying the cultural revolution that is creating evolutionary changes that way we communicate and the way we market. what we expect. Then, while doing this piece for #CES2016, I jotted some design trends that are worth minding and best followed up. This year just might be the right year to freshen up your band and heighten your game. Read the book 'Disrupt Yourself' and know how it is done.

Now that you have an idea as to what is taking shape in the industry, here are some expounding trends that will define the very existence of your brand. Moreover, if you embrace it and become a champion of it, you are bound to expand your trade and make your mark in your industry. 

Analytics and Measurement will influence every facet of your marketing strategy. Make no mistake, event managers will be required to demonstrate ROI every step of the way. In Forbes magazine’s marketing predictions for 2016, Fintech expert Kevin Brown says:

"Marketing and data science will be the new dynamic duo."

Data visualization has gained traction, and your marketing success will depend on how you integrate data with the process of customer segmentation. 
With the advent of agile technology, you are now expected to provide a tangible report on the performance of your marketing campaigns including, events and trade shows.

Read more, on how you can measure. An IBM research performed in 2013, demonstrated that, acquiring new customers and driving satisfaction were the biggest challenges facing marketers. Moving on to 2016, measurement will become a staying trend and brands have to devote creative ways to drive satisfaction.

As data becomes the fountainhead of information, marketers will become dexterous at discerning between the data that is a “nice-to-have” and "intent data"— data that actually drives business.

"Data that can anticipate when prospects are in-market, or that understands the topics they are researching, will become essential for b2b marketers looking to get an edge on their competitors."

As data takes a wild ride through a “sales funnel cake” (Forrester Research) or a “sales pretzel” (LinkedIn), marketers are struck with the realization that the buying process has expanded and the ecosystem has changed to include, meaning, interaction and energy in every single touchpoint.  

Therefore; we see a rising trend for humans to experience humanism. 

And, this move towards humanism is paving the path for hyper-personalization. The trend started by Amazon and Netflix, is well on its way to be established as a requirement for the brands that wants to make a mark. At the marquee technology trade show, CES 2016, we noticed how Whirlpool and Under Armour used personalization to deliver products and services in a way that is intentional and hyper-personalized.

Needless to say, personalizaiton is also good for building your business and making your mark. For example, using it's own unique data, Spotify showed “Come Together” was the song most streamed by users — and this kind of information differentiated Spotify from the other streaming services, who also launched the Fab Four’s cherished catalog.
 

FACE-TO-FACE Flies in the FACE of SCREEN-to-SCREEN

In an age of Face Time, Skype and other video conferencing, we see trade shows and events enjoying a steady growth. Contrary to the data-driven approach for driving satisfaction, Alan Hart, founder of marketing consultancy avidimpact.com, predicts, "Being human will return to marketing" because "consumers want to be inspired and have meaningful and personal connections with brands to move them to buy products and services."

The Greek historian, Plutarch had it right; way back in 45 AD, when he said that ‘the mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled’.

Use your events as the perfect launchpad to personalize your interaction with your prospects and find ways to expand their personal knowledge horizon.

Don't stop here.

HYBRIDIZE YOUR EVENTS

Imagine a dishwasher that syncs with Amazon Dash to automatically order detergent when it is running low, a smart backsplash that automatically suggests recipes based on learning your preferences ... all while the entire kitchen itself syncs to your families' schedule and uses GPS to let you know when the kids will be home... That is the experience that Whirlpool #EveryDayCare demonstrated at CES 2016. Furthermore, to illustrate this experience to the vast audience who were not present at the show, they virtualized the presentation thus creating meaningful conversation and expanded exposure.
 

SHARING AND CROSS POLLINATING IS DEFINITELY THE DEFINING TREND

Consulting firm PwC predicts that the sharing economy globally will grow from a value of $15 billion in 2013 to $335 billion in 2025. Within the travel sector, Airbnb, Uber, Bookalokal, Vizeat, the concept has made enormous inroads among consumers. For example, Airbnb partnered with Concur, a business expense tracking system, to help accommodate business travelers who want to immerse themselves in a unique local experience. On the other hand, Uber engages event audiences through a variety of partnerships and promotions. The basic Uber Event Package includes customized discount codes to give to guests, with VIP options too.

Now, imagine how you can use these brands to provide an authentic experience for your key clients and prospects. 

EMERGENCE OF 'YOURS BY DESIGN'

Crowdsourced innovation plus empowerment from the factory floor is fueling leading-edge ways to drive satisfaction and acquire new customers.
"From prototyping to customizing—acceleration in design has w

idened exponentially the scalability between consumers’ inputs and market feedbacks: big data, more diversified products. Xiaomi, the Chinese wondermaker of the namesake smartphone, is taking the small out of the big and capitalizing on it. With a community of 40 million feeding into MIUI (its very own operating interface) and a connected ecosystem of smart devices including air purifiers, TV sets, and wearables, it is nurturing a cult of host technologies where users are codesigners in a rapid-response manufacturing process from the bottom up (software updates are released every Friday on Xiaomi social platforms for users to review). The company also invested in the real estate project YouPlus— communities of integrated work and living spaces for the myriad of ultra-young start-up makers sprouting around the country." More on the rising design scene.

Imagine how you can roll out your product development in stages , o your tribe. When your prospect or client, or employee feels a part of something their sharing & advocacy rises at an exponential rate. 

The 400 BILLION DOLLAR OPPORTUNITY

It is common knowledge that (or not) that angel investors and venture capital firms in the U.S. pumps in $400 billion in fresh capital to 10,000 startups each year. (Source: SEC). This is a big potential market for you. And again, thanks to technology, now there is an #app that you can subscribe: to download real-time, customizable funding notifications that you can tap into before your competition does.

Here, it gets even better. Study demonstrates that we significantly prefer the first sales person encountered, when we decide to buy, because we experience the world serially and we usually choose the first option when given a choice. So, why not be the first person representing your product or services to engage with the company and find out for yourself if you fit the profile.

If I have not lost you yet, one last word, make this year, the year of doing one thing different and you will notice the difference. Now, scale that difference to disrupt your existing way of bringing your product to the market place.

"Disruption IS powerful force transforming organizations, communities, and ultimately the world. But it starts small, as an individual choice to change. Companies and organizations don’t disrupt unless their people do."

 

© 2016 by Sarmistha Tarafder