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The strategy and operations arm of our Internet Statistics Compendium is one of the fastest growing documents within the ISC series.

Last month saw the addition of data published by ourselves in-house and a wealth of freely-available stats from a number of other research houses in the UK and beyond.

I thought I would use this post to share some of the most notable digital strategy trends according to business managers and employees as they reflect on 2015 and start planning for 2016.

Managerial behaviour should better reflect the needs of employees

UK-based research from The Candidate delves into managers working in the digital industry.

More than half of UK managers consider themselves at least ‘good’ at their job.

But perhaps the most insightful takeaways from this research concern what digital employees think about those they work for.

For instance, while both managers and employees have very similar attitudes to the importance of good communication among those in charge, a sizeable 46% of employees value approachability.

The approachability trait is pretty low down the list for managers themselves, but it’s easy to understand why digital employees might want to feel that those they work under are easy to talk to when they need to.

Businesses to become more customer-centric

Our November report Effective Leadership in the Digital Age asked some strategy-orientated questions to digital leaders across a number of global markets.

Customer-centricity is certainly a key theme for digital strategy among business leaders as we move into 2016.

58% of respondents said being ‘customer-centric’ was the most important characteristic for establishing a truly ‘digital native’ culture.

According to our research, customer-centricity was also the most important quality for being an effective leader. 

Consider ‘lifecycle marketing’

The importance of the customer was central to research published by Canadian marketing research and advisory firm Demand Metric.

It found that only 20% of responding businesses marketed at all phases of the customer lifecycle – i.e. holistically, across all the following steps: Awareness (Attraction), Consideration, Purchase, Retention and Advocacy.

This is surprising. In the same research, Demand Metric found that 54% of business state that their revenue came from existing customers and a further 72% of those who employ lifecycle marketing said it had a positive impact on revenue. 

Be more ‘in the moment’

Alongside greater customer-centricity, many marketers are looking to improve how quick they are to market ‘in the moment’ during 2016.

Research by TVTY of UK marketers shows moment marketing to be a key way to engage with customers who are increasingly bombarded with advertising.

Marketers embracing being able to respond to live events first need to have a good presence across a range of channels, and a sure idea of how best to utilise these channels.

TVTY found that 67% of marketers they asked intend to invest more in moment marketing in 2016 – with TV shows and sport events proving to be the most popular ‘moments’ to be prepared to leverage for their own campaigns.

Takeaways

As digital industries mature it is interesting how analysis of good strategy becomes more comprehensive, from focusing on public facing concerns – such as the entire lifecycle of existing consumers, or adapting to broader cultural events – to reflecting on getting the best from inter-staff relationships in the office.

It seems that in 2016 digital leaders have the difficult task of having to have a handle on all of these.

They have to be clear, personable and motivational – while keeping up with a longer-term relationship with their customers and quick to adapt to ‘moments’.

I think we’ll see good things from those who achieve this.

Luke Richards

Published 21 January, 2016 by Luke Richards

Luke Richards is a freelance writer and a guest blogger on Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or check out his blog

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