What challenges lie ahead for marketers?

The innovative chief marketers of tomorrow will be faced with a whole new set of challenges to meet, say these marketing chiefs of today.

What challenges lie ahead for marketers?

ON WHAT WILL KEEP ME AWAKE...

Nick Mercer, commercial director, Eurostar

"Digitalising the business. Our customers are international travellers and whether they interact with us through digital devices or our staff, they expect us to provide relevant contextualised information and support that relates to their particular stage of the journey. This relates to researching and buying; starting their international journey; in-journey help; support at destination; and looking after them if something goes wrong. They expect all this to be in real time. This means rethinking our processes, what information we provide and how it should be contextualised, presented and adapted to the digital channel used, as well as how we ensure staff in customer contact have the same information. This has to happen, as customer expectations and the technologies at their disposal constantly change."

Andrew Warner, senior marketing director EMEA, Expedia

"Expedia has phenomenal insight into travellers. So rather than building a 'mobile strategy', I want to figure out how we build a 'contextual' strategy. How can we use our data advantage to deliver more relevant options to our customers, depending on where they are, what they are doing, and what they need, when? I want Expedia customers to search less but find more, regardless of the device they are using."

ON DIGITAL INNOVATION...

David Pemsel, chief commercial officer, Guardian News & Media

"We will see steps toward further automation in the home, with web-enabled appliances and email systems that are responsive to needs. More likely to make waves next year is wearable technology - the true potential of Google Glass will become evident with a dedicated app store due to open. Then we will see how brands and consumers can engage with wearable technology, and to what extent it will be embraced and widely adopted beyond Silicon Valley."

Frances Ashcroft, UK marketing director, Intel

"Digital technology has always been more about what innovation it inspires rather than as innovation in itself. As Facebook and Twitter become the 'establishment', it will be interesting to watch how brands adopt other social channels and innovate around them. 'New social' combined with more wearable connected 'things' has the most potential, not just to engage with people, but to enrich their lives."

ON MARKETING TRENDS...

Celia Pronto, Marketing and ecommerce director, Ford Retail Group

"Although by no means new, personalisation will be a continuing trend. The growing number of tools, and ability to connect user and social-media data, coupled with a vast amount of user data, enables brands to deliver increasingly sophisticated and personalised customer engagement. Given consumer appetite for tailored experiences, this trend is set to continue - delivering a win for all parties."

Tim Stone, Marketing vice-president EMEA, Polycom

"Content is king. As the effectiveness of outbound marketing continues to decline, attracting customers through thought-provoking, engaging content on the web is critical to the success of our marketing campaigns. In my industry, we constantly need to challenge ourselves in this area; customers are anything up to 70% through their sales cycle, and have read many assets, before they engage with sales. We need more great content in the places in which people are looking."

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