Marketers have been urged to put the customers at the heart of what they do, rather than push innovation for innovation’s sake.

According to Nina Bibby, Marketing and Consumer Director at O2 UK, digital technology – and mobile in particular – is firmly embedded in how people live, work and communicate. 

She pointed out that while this is “hugely exciting” it may lead to brands being distracted by the possibilities presented by digital technology.

Ms Bibby has therefore encouraged marketers to remember that customers should “always be centre stage.”

“Our priority has to be providing them with what they want,” she commented. “So while we should absolutely harness technology to evolve our products and services, our customers’ needs must always remain front of mind.”

Ms Bibby said digital magnifies the ability of brands to create value for customers rather than create value for them.

She believes buyers will “increasingly demand” organisations deliver this fair value exchange over the coming year.

This, she stated, means they must focus on four “fundamental aspects of customer centricity” throughout 2016.

Firstly, all customers must be valued equally, while any digital interactions must make them feel they are in a hotel rather than a prison, which means they must show a human touch and give people the freedom to leave.

Ms Bibby also stated that brands could benefit by harnessing partnerships to play a bigger role in customers’ lives, as well as aim to make a difference to people and society.

“In 2016, what I hope to see is a resurgence of the basics of customer centricity, facilitated but not overshadowed by digital” she continued.

Ms Bibby added the craft of marketing has been “transformed” by digital, as brands are experimenting with an “ever-growing array of tools” to engage with customers.

O2’s Nina Bibby on the year ahead in marketing, Campaign