Already planning for 2014?
The end of the year is the perfect time to reflect on the past 12 months and to look ahead.
As you think about your 2014 marketing strategy and tactics, consider these insights from 21 respected business leaders. (All images were created by our in-house graphic designer, Carolyn Laihow. Scroll down below for an embeddable Slideshare presentation with all the quotes.)
1. Oli Gardner
Since an Unbounce blog post inspired this post, it's only appropriate that we include a quote from the Vancouver startup's co-founder. Your customers won't be able to answer all your business questions (especially if you don't ask the right questions), but if you'd like to provide real value, then you need to understand them. How do you plan to listen to your customers in the New Year?
Tweet this: "The customer isn't always right. But if you don't listen to them, your product won't be either." - @oligardner http://ow.ly/rRidx
- Joe Chernov
Content marketing was a hot topic for marketers in 2013, and Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProf's annual report suggests that marketers will continue to invest in it in the New Year. Joe Chernov (VP of content at Hubspot, and previously VP of content marketing at Eloqua) reiterates the need to focus on content distribution as much as content production. Reaching the right people begins by knowing your target audience intimately.
Tweet this: "The right question is: 'How do I get my content in front of the right people?'" - @jchernov on #contentmarketing http://ow.ly/rRidx
- Ramon Baez
This quote from HP's CIO was featured in a Slideshare presentation about business advice from the world's top executives.
Baez's thoughts on creativity show how co-creation can bring tremendous value to brands by bringing external voices into the innovation process.
Tweet this: "Creativity needs to come from everywhere, not just the C-level." - @RamonfBaez. Part of this @visioncritical blog post: http://ow.ly/rRidx
- Mark Zuckerberg
In a talk given to the Y Combinator Startup School, Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg explained how his company figured out that users want to share photos on the site. Today, Facebook is the biggest social media site, with 874 million monthly active users. Recently, Facebook launched a panel, suggesting that the site plans to continue listening to the insights of its users as its business grows.
Tweet this: Mark Zuckerberg (@finkd) on how @Facebook figured out that users want to share photos: http://ow.ly/rRidx via @visioncritical
- Sheryl Sandberg
If you want to know where social media is headed in 2014, just watch what the biggest player is doing. Talking about the future of social networking, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg emphasized her company's big bet on mobile. From branded apps to delivering a more seamless mobile experience for people who participate in research, companies are doing a better job of leveraging mobile technology. You may not need to make a dramatic shift towards becoming a mobile-first company, but mobile's impact on your business will be hard to ignore.
Tweet this: Facebook makes "dramatic shift" to a mobile-first company. @sherylsandberg insight part of @visioncritical roundup: http://ow.ly/rRidx
- Brian Halligan
Pondering on his company's 2012 performance, Hubspot CEO Brian Halligan blogs about helping customers reap the benefits of inbound marketing.
This quote highlights the first step in providing great content: understanding the lifestyle, needs, and interests of your customers.
Tweet this: Want to win the hearts and minds of customers? Follow @bhalligan's advice: http://ow.ly/rRidx via @visioncritical
- Jay Baer
This year, digital marketer and author Jay Baer released YouTility, a book that proposes "a new marketing approach for the age of information overload and mobility."
Baer's point is that it isn't enough to address your customers' needs; brands need to go further and figure out their habits to truly deliver value.
Tweet this: To provide utility, brands should know how customers access information: @jaybaer quote in this @visioncritical roundup: http://ow.ly/rRidx
- Brian Solis
When you work in marketing, it's easy to be distracted by shiny objects. A new social network! A new app! A meme! In a guest blog post for Hubspot, Altimeter Group's Brian Solis makes a solid case on why marketing professionals should "lean forward" and re-evaluate what they think they know about their profession.
Tweet this: "The future of marketing is not about technology" - @briansolis quote part of this @visioncritical roundup: http://ow.ly/rRidx
- Marissa Mayer
At the recently concluded Dreamforce 2013, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer sat down with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff to chat about design, mobile and leadership.
Her comments about design reiterates the need put your customer first in everything you do—especially in your design.
- Larry Page
During his keynote at I/O, a Google Developers conference, Google CEO Larry Page discussed technology and innovation. This quote from his speech explains why Google dabbles on innovations such as self-driving cars and Glass, things that its competitors aren't working on yet. What is your company doing to figure out the non-existing products and services that your customers will find valuable?
- Ryan Holmes
Digital tools help marketers accurately measure the success of their efforts. But ROI calculations alone can't capture the success of your marketing efforts. This quote from Hootsuite's CEO highlights the need to build long-term relationships with customers.
- Howard Schultz
In his 1997 book, Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time, Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz writes about the role of authenticity in establishing a successful global brand. Building a brand that people love begins by understanding the values of your customers and ensuring that your marketing activities genuinely reflect those values.
- Steve Jobs
The late Steve Jobs remains a huge inspiration for marketers - and for good reason. The former Apple CEO was a visionary, bringing to life products that consumers can't live without today. This quote highlights Jobs' passion for customers and suggests how he might have approached market research.
- Meg Whitman
Marketing is now a technology business.
That's the main message from Meg Whitman, chief executive of Hewlett Packard, when she made a surprise appearance at Dreamforce 2013. Technology has become such an important part of marketing that CMOs are now on track to outspend CIOs in tech expenses by 2017.
- Jeff Bezos
From announcing that his company is working on delivery by drones to buying the Washington Post, Jeff Bezos was one of the main headliners in tech this year. His obsession with the customer experience - which is captured in this quote from his interview with 60 Minutes - is something that many global brands should emulate and learn from.
- Marc Benioff
During his keynote speech at Dreamforce, Marc Benioff talked about the third wave of computing (a trend he calls the Internet of Customers) and what it means for marketers and business leaders. Benioff encouraged his audience to think ahead and consider how the hyper-connected future might impact the way they engage with customers.
- Jeremiah Owyang
- Rand Fishkin
In a speech he gave to SMX Sydney, Moz co-founder Rand Fishkin shared 11 pearls of wisdom to marketers in attendance. This quote from that talk demonstrates why community engagement and marketing efforts go hand-in-hand. In 2014, make it a priority to build and engage your customers.
- Tyler Douglas
We're probably a little biased, but we definitely agree with this quote from Vision Critical CMO Tyler Douglas. With big data, social media and, soon, wearable technology changing the face of marketing, CMOs need a solid team who can execute efficiently more than ever.
- Andrew Reid
From product innovation to advertising, more and more marketers are helping their organizations embrace customer-centricity by using consumer insights. But while marketers are getting a better job of using surveys and insight communities to get to know their customers, there's still left to be done to make sure the experience is great for respondents. In a speech given to Re:think ARF 2013, Andrew Reid discusses how marketers and researchers can leverage new technologies to deliver a more relevant and enjoyable experience to people who participate in surveys and communities.
- Mary Barra
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times about her new position, Mary Barra, GM's incoming CEO and who is slated to become the first female head of a major U.S. car company, emphasized the need for the automaker to deliver durable and reliable products. As you think about innovation in 2014, start considering how you can use the voice of the customer to inform where you invest.
Tweet this: "We have to make sure every aspect of product meets the customer's needs" - @mtbarra, part of this @visioncritical roundup: http://ow.ly/rRidx