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    5 Ways to Market Smarter in 2017

    Mark Simon, Managing Director, North America/Managing Director, Toluna Digital

    Every year, marketers are tasked with looking into the proverbial crystal ball to identify the best ways to reach their customers in a rapidly changing landscape. In 2017, marketers’ “crystal ball” is data – if they use it to its full potential. Here are five recommendations to help marketers make smarter, more informed decisions this year:

    Study Cross-Device Behavior. Behavior tracking is well established on desktops. Capturing the mobile consumer, in cross-device behavior, will emerge as an essential marketing tool; looking at activity on mobile devices and within apps. This will help you and your brand better understand digital behavior and paths to purchase. In evaluating cross-device behavior, you will gain greater insights into the day-in-the-life of consumer activities and spend, helping you speak to the customer, not the device.

    Ask “But Why?” to Improve Customer Experience. The act of collecting data is no longer a challenge for marketers with the availability of transactional data, passive data monitoring and more. To optimize the quality of your research be sure to place greater focus on asking “but why” to gain deeper consumer insights that improve customer experience. Answering “why” can help you to pinpoint emotion which “is the core driver of customer loyalty and spending,” according to Forrester Research.

    Leverage Automated Concept Testing. Companies are launching new products more easily and quickly than ever. Predictive modeling is often not feasible in product development so quick survey data can be the best option. To back up your marketing plan, leverage automated concept testing to understand the strength of branding, product and advertising concepts. This will allow you and your brand to move from ideation to insight in just hours, something traditional concept testing methods can’t support.

    Learn to Navigate the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things brings about its own host of marketing challenges. While the Internet of Things is increasing the amount of information marketers can use to analyze consumers, it greatly complicates the path to purchase and will necessitate a more developed approach to data analytics and consumer research. To build a successful marketing strategy, you must embrace this change, instead of fighting it. Once the avalanche of Internet of Things data is mined for patterns, buying variances (as in lapsed buyers) and brand preferences, you will have a better understanding of consumer behavior.

    Address Your Business’ Need for Speed. Time is a scarce commodity for marketers so speed is king. Viral trends emerge and then disappear quickly. News cycles are short. There is constant pressure to make quick decisions. That being said, these compressed timelines are no excuse to fly blind – or make decisions with outdated consumer data. Instead, look to leverage online surveys – with do-it-yourself tools – for data and insights that keep pace with fast-moving business.

    We live in a data-rich world. So the challenge – and opportunity – is not about gathering as much data as possible but rather gathering the right data. It is critical to have an accurate, up-to-the-minute view on how consumers are making decisions and scoring your business. Leveraging these five action steps can provide marketers with the reliable, actionable and high-quality customer data they need to discern the consumer quest to purchase and make better decisions in an uncertain, fluid world.

    Read more at http://www.business2community.com/marketing/5-ways-market-smarter-2017-01764743#tytlgDVcZSWKSW5A.99

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