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The ONE thing marketers need to do in 2014

The run up to Christmas sees a slew of blogs, comment, infographics and videos hitting the web. Many of them claim to offer either a crystal ball into the year ahead or, alternatively, a ‘top ten’ of the things that happened in the last year.

Everyone loves reading these easily digestible nuggets, despite the fact they are almost entirely pointless.

This piece, however (of course), is different. Instead of listing a top five or top ten, I’m highlighting just one thing you should think about next year. I think it dwarves everything else, even the obligatory nods to ‘social coming of age’, ‘everything going mobile’ and – even – ‘addressing the big data elephant’.

The one thing you need to think about next year is: customer centricity. All the hotly tipped tools, channels, techniques, trends and fads are meaningless if they don’t allow you become more customer-centric.

If you look at the hottest marketing technology out there, you can see how big an issue customer centricity has become. Marketing automation, data analytics packages and social platform management tools are all, essentially, technology solutions offering marketers the opportunity to understand and deliver what it is their customers are hoping to receive.

Similarly, the race to deliver engaging content, websites that perform well on search pages, responsive mobile sites, apps, personalisation and social spaces populated by real humans are all, at their core, attempts to deliver for the empowered buyer that looms so large over the digital realm.

So, with this watertight thesis in mind, I think the one thing marketers should do throughout 2014 is make sure their prospects and customers are placed at the centre of all decisions made. The rest should follow.