MIMA kicked off the New Year with ‘Trends of the Modern Marketer’ at The Nicollet Island Pavilion. The event focused on tying the digital customer experience to the physical world.
The open discussion event featured the following panelists:
- Julie Scheife, Director of Digital Engagement at Land O’Lakes, Inc.
- Mitch Hislop, Digital Strategy Lead, fjorge digital
- Laurie Blum, Associate VP, Digital, Regis
- Kate Boeckman, Senior Manager, Strategic Product Management, Applied Innovation, Thomson Reuters
Each spoke to their most influential learnings from 2016 and how they envision it will shape 2017, followed by a Q& A.
The Age of the Customer:
Julie Scheife explored the concept of the customer. As more consumers use digital as a primary source of information, ask questions, and interact with brands, we need to be ready, responsive, and receptive to their needs. We can no longer rely on dated consumer stats – we need to learn directly from our consumers by reaching out, being available, and readily optimized.
Laurie Hislop at Regis expanded upon the customer experience. At Regis, the goal is for customers to get a haircut – not online, but in store. So, how do you branch the gap between digital engagements and brick and mortar visits? Focus strategies to fit the purchasing habits of consumers through research and insights. In this instance, Laurie touched on the progress they’ve made within the digital space to offer coupons, push notifications, and ultimately cater to the specific individual to create a smoother, more enticing, experience that gets consumers in store.
AR and Technology:
Mitch Hislop and Kate Boeckman touched more on how newer technology is influencing our everyday lives and will continue to do so in 2017. Need to know if your wash is complete? Ask Alexa. What is that obscure fruit you’re holding? Ask Blippar with a simple touch of your phone. Furthermore, these devices quickly acquire personalities as we depend on them, which strengthens connection and brand loyalty.
Whether or not Augmented Reality will drastically affect 2017 was the controversial topic of the morning. Most agreed that its presence will continue to emerge, but not make the impact marketers are projecting. On the contrary, Kate Boeckman praised Culver’s for occupying her kids with an interactive AR game on the side of a soda cup. The game’s only needs? Mom’s mobile device. So even though AR ceases to be omnipresent, we are starting to see brands experimenting with the technology.
As we take 2016 learnings to predict 2017 trends, we can expect that catering to the customer and their experience will become an increasingly powerful tool. A shift towards direct outreach to create a personal, helpful experience will become the expectation. We can also plan to see more development in the AR and VR space to continue to bridge the gap between the online, digital experience and the physical world.
2017 will be sure to bring a new wealth of learnings and as long as we can “embrace change as an opportunity – not a nuisance,” success shall come to those who are curious enough to seek it.