Attending NCDM 2010 in Miami capped off what will hopefully be recognized as a turning point in our industry. With increased attendance and a nice balance of senior level marketing professionals, the “Conference for Engaging Customers Using Data & Technology” focused on some emerging challenges and opportunities that marketers will face in the coming year. For example, according to DM News, one session positioned trends well, highlighting that marketers must focus on “turning mass marketing efforts into one-to-one initiatives; measuring campaigns with emerging technologies; and trying to make precise analytics decisions in real time.”
A theme that permeated throughout many of the presentations was social media’s influence on marketing data and strategy. From the keynote to analyst-moderated panels, the message was clear: the maturation of social media enables, and requires, marketers to listen, assess and interact with their customers in more ways than ever before.
In his opening keynote address, Don Peppers, founding partner of consultancy Peppers and Rogers Group, remarked that “people now expect their interactions with companies to be like their interactions with friends.” His presentation focused on how the social media revolution may be even more disruptive to business models than the Internet itself, requiring a re-write of the rules governing how marketing, sales and service execute their missions.
One well-attended panel session, “Integrating Social Insights into Your Customer Database,” was led by Suresh Vittal, Forrester’s vice president and practice leader serving customer intelligence professionals. Suresh discussed the ubiquity of social media and its increased influence on buying decisions, noting that long gone are the days of consumers trusting what they read in magazines, hear on radio or see on TV. According to survey results presented by Suresh from a 2010 Forrester Report, “Tapping the Entire Online Peer Influence Pyramid,” consumers are turning to their peers via blogs, social networking and review sites for more trustworthy opinions.
Another important theme reinforced by the show is the increasing need for best practices, both in terms of technology and processes. The event-triggered “3-Way Vendor Comparative” Neolane participated in is an excellent example. During the session, identical event-triggered marketing campaign requirements were addressed by three different marketing solution providers.
Jerry Kosmachuk, manager of sales and engineering, demonstrated the benefits of Neolane’s fun and easy-to-use point-and-click, drag-and-drop interface for creating, testing, executing and measuring event-triggered, multi-stage campaign across all marketing channels. Specifically addressing how to incorporate social media into an event-triggered campaign, Jerry showed how Neolane’s conversational marketing technology incorporates social interactions with other channels into a single platform to re-engage customers, enrich profiles, increase brand awareness, build loyalty – and ultimately improve effectiveness and ROI.
So, as we kick off the New Year, we reflect on our NCDM experiences and are committed to reinforcing key themes associated with the event including new expectations for customer engagement and one-to-one personalization. As part of that commitment, Neolane will continue to enable customers to benefit from incorporating more mature social marketing strategies into their mix, while benefitting from the promise of conversational marketing through establishing best practices that improve agility, results and efficiency.
Please share your NCDM experiences if you attended, and let us know how you think social marketing and customer engagement trends will evolve in 2011.