Key areas to focus your future thinking
Make sure your future thinking has the right kind of leadership and culture are in place. Little ever happens by chance. While luck may occasionally come into it, never rely on it. It takes a highly coordinated approach across the whole organisation. With a commitment from management, in fact, everyone in the business, to put the customer at the heart of all problem-solving and decision-making good things happen.
It is incumbent on owners and managers to ensure they are allocating sufficient resources and prioritising efforts to improve digital marketing skills.
Know your future customers
Know your market segments and the problems, frustrations wants and needs of each one. Delight customers and prospective customers with the right content at the right time. If you’re going to delight your customers, you need to know who they are, based on both quantitative and qualitative data.
Recognise the different stages of your customer’s journey. Carry out extensive testing to see what types of communication and messaging at different touchpoints result in the best outcomes.
Try to target content and messaging based on individual customer preferences and behaviours. Ensure you have the right content readily available, which is reliable, practical and helpful.
Future customer experiences
To be serious about future thinking and prioritising experience design needs with the right organisational structure in place, with integrated teams. The right culture depends on rewarding the right types of customer-focused behaviour. Improving collaboration and cross-functional working comes naturally to your employees. When the right culture and strategy in place, employees will be more inclined to follow the proper process. Provided they become sufficiently empowered and trained to deliver the promise on time every time.
Future design, creativity and innovation
The growing impact of globalisation and technology and big data requires a more systematic approach to digital marketing. It has become clear that design, creativity and innovation are the keys to success in the modern world.
Design-driven organisations are more likely to exceed their business objectives by a significant margin, where these design, creativity and innovation are highly valued.
Be in no doubt, the importance of a design-centric approach, or about the fundamental requirement for creative talent to complement excellence in data and analysis. The best talent needs to be found, supported and rewarded.
Invest in integrated technology
You will struggle to provide a consistent cross-channel experience to your customers and prospects if employees are continually frustrated. Wrestling with a host of tools and sources of data which aren’t connected. Integrated customer experience and marketing technology is increasingly a prerequisite for success. Management and employees need to work together. You want them thinking about solutions which deliver against their customer experience and marketing objectives.
Budgeting for future thinking success is critical
Companies making the necessary investment will reap the benefits. Those who are becoming more competitive are more likely to make a significant investment in digital marketing. Digital skills, education of their employees, and are more likely to meet their expectations.
Spend money to keep an eye on the latest trends and the more innovative techniques likely to become commercially attractive in the medium-term. A good example is Artificial Intelligence (AI).
AI can make your marketing more efficient. It can enable you to focus on higher-value activities, letting machine learning can take care of some of the heavy liftings. Education opens the doors to the future, as tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.