Left arrow iconReturn to All Resources

New Year’s resolutions to help build a competitive advantage in 2020

6 Minute Read

CordialMake a connection.

It’s hard to believe that the new year is upon us. The holidays have come and gone and it’s time to start planning for 2020. For most marketing departments, January is a month of rest. The dust has settled from the frantic push leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and Valentine’s day is still a few weeks away. Because of this, January is often a time to reflect on the successes of the previous year and identify opportunities for improvement. It’s also a time to set intentions and goals for the upcoming year. 

It’s no secret that the market is becoming more and more competitive each year. It doesn’t matter which industry you’re in. Technology is lowering the barrier to entry which means more companies, more products, and more content for the consumer. In 2020 it will be more important than ever to identify ways to create and enhance your competitive advantage. Even small improvements or tweaks to technology, strategy, or team make up can have huge, long-lasting impact on company’s growth. We thought we’d share a few ways your marketing team can build a competitive advantage this year. 

Remove data silos and simplify your technology stack

Most marketers will tell you that data silos are the bane of their existence. That’s because siloed data makes it complicated to activate customer and business data, and use it in a timely manner. Data silos have become commonplace because of the sheer number of cloud platforms brands need to leverage to remain competitive. We have platforms for social, mobile, analytics, segmentation, personalization…the list goes on. 

One of the most impactful things you can do to build a competitive advantage in 2020 is get a handle on your data and the technology stack that supports it all. Try conducting an audit to better understand what each platform does and how it stores data. Then determine if there is any overlap to find opportunities to simplify. You should also consider talking to your development or engineering team to see if there are ways you can more efficiently pull data from various corners of your tech stack to use in your marketing strategy.

Invest in personal, relevant messaging

Personalization is a topic marketers have been hearing about for the better part of a decade, maybe longer. Everyone knows it’s important, but few companies have yet to build successful personalization programs that have demonstrated ROI. For many years personalization was thought of as “dear {first name},” and for a long time, that was enough for most consumers. Today, customers expect a lot more. Every brand touchpoint should be catered to each individual customer, drawing on past interactions and anticipating future needs. According to Epsilon, 80% of customers are more likely to purchase a product or service from a brand who provides personal experiences.

The good news is that it’s easier than ever to create personal, relevant experiences for your customers. Marketing technology has made huge strides, enabling you to build connected experiences across channels. If one of your goals for 2020 is to get serious about personalization in your marketing, check out our Personalization Maturity Assessment. It’s a short quiz that will help you identify areas for improvement and focus your efforts in the coming months.

Leverage push notifications to drive app engagement

As mobile usage continues to rise, 2020 may be the time to start thinking about how to extend your marketing efforts to the smartphone. Even if you’ve ignored mobile until now, your competitors probably haven’t. A solid mobile strategy is now a necessity to remain competitive. If you have an app, push messages are a great place to start. Push messages are a great way to provide customers with relevant information, offers, and updates directly on their smartphone. They can also be personalized with product and content recommendations, promotions based on past purchases, or real-time data from web or mobile browsing sessions. 

The first 90 days after a customer downloads your app are the most critical. If you create a strategy based on frequent, relevant messaging during this time period, you can increase retention between 2x and 10x. The four most important things to remember when building your push notification strategy are that messages should be timely, relevant, actionable, and personal.

Use SMS to augment email efforts

Smartphones are the hub for an increasing number of online experiences and people are using them more frequently and for longer periods of time. Building on this trend, marketers have embraced mobile marketing and are using it to engage customers more than ever before. Similar to push messages, SMS marketing is a strategy that capitalizes on the growing mobile trend and has distinguished itself as an important and powerful tool in the modern marketer’s toolbox. 

Marketers who leverage SMS in conjunction with other channels such as email, web, and social, will be able to connect with customers wherever they happen to be. This allows brands to capitalize on in-the-moment opportunities to engage their subscribers when they are primed for action. For forward-thinking marketers, SMS will become a key differentiator in 2020. For guidance on where to start with an SMS marketing strategy, download our SMS guide here.

Create shared cross-department goals to build alignment

Similar to data silos, department silos can cause communication issues and result in inefficient processes. To remedy department silos in 2020, try creating a cross-functional team to increase cooperation. Shared goals can also be a great way to foster a sense of teamwork and help disperate departments work better together. If your company is considering a major technology acquisition or rolling out a personalization program, do not overlook the importance of shared accountability. All relevant stakeholders need a say and will be able to provide valuable insight to the process.

This year, take some time to strategize and set measurable goals that will help you build a sustainable competitive advantage. If you would like to learn how Cordial can help you send a better message in 2020, reach out to us any time to request a demo.