It may be unusual for an identity and access management company to make predictions about marketing, but we have a compelling reason. Aside from the fact that predictions are entertaining, it's because in the digital era, we're seeing identity management becoming a critical marketing success factor. You may have noticed it too. As customer engagement moves from face-to-face interactions to more online, mobile and device touchpoints, effective marketing revolves around digital consumer identities.
Identity management's growing role in marketing is creating new trends--and diving into trends and predicting what they mean is simply too tempting for marketers to pass up. So here's our four identity-centric marketing predictions for the year ahead:
#1 Marketing Gets More Personal and Contextually Relevant
While in many ways, digital business increases effective marketing outreach, some recent digital developments create marketing obstacles. Ad blockers and algorithms that narrowly define audiences make it harder to reach customers. That's why one-to-one marketing strategies will become even more important.
Organizations will be able to drive personalized interactions only if they have an integrated customer view combined with contextual awareness, like location, time of day or special event. Centralized identity management capabilities that orchestrate multi channel customer engagement as well as enforce security and privacy across channels will be critical in enabling businesses to serve up relevant content, offers, promotions and pricing based on what they know about the customer.
#2 The CMO's World Expands
As companies make digital transformation progress, the CMO's influence will grow to encompass a more focused emphasis on driving growth. Their responsibilities will touch all aspects of business and operations that advance revenue growth, improve product design, increase customer engagement, and encourage innovation.
The growing scope of the role will mean that CMOs will need to forge more collaborative relationships throughout the C-suite with particular emphasis on the CIO to ensure a highly automated and intelligent technology stack supports marketing, including foundational technologies like identity and access management systems. CMOs will also form partnerships outside the organization to strengthen positioning in the fiercely competitive marketplace.
#3 The CMO's Pockets Grow Deeper
In many organizations marketing will command a growing proportion of the budget to invest in tools and resources that enable compelling, seamless and secure customer experiences. Digital business will require significant investments in new technologies, and not just marketing technologies. This also includes infrastructure technologies like identity and access management. In fact, Gartner says that 2017 is the year that CMOs will outspend CIOs with 33 percent of marketing budgets going to technology and 28 percent going to infrastructure.
#4 Predictive Analytics Reveals Its Human Side
As we gather more information about customers through a growing number of channels, CMOs will have deeper insights into buyers' digital footprints, and they'll use this data to improve engagement and conversion. Identity management that aggregates identity data across digital channels into a single view will enable predictive analytics and give organizations a more accurate understanding of their customers.
Companies will have the necessary knowledge to improve the marketing funnel and nurture customers through each phase of the buying cycle, particularly in different contexts. For example, if a customer is researching a TV on a website, the retailer can use this identity intelligence to increase relevance and continue the interaction in the physical store by offering a personalized in-store coupon for the same TV.
We've seen monumental change in both the marketing and identity management industries in the last few years alone. As these two disciplines converge to drive digital business, we know that 2017 will bring more unexpected changes. When we look back next year, hopefully we'll be impressed with how wise our projections were; or we maybe we'll laugh at what we got wrong. Either way, one thing we know for sure is the next twelve months won't be boring.