In the industrial age, the value of organizations was based on how well they manage resources such as factories, product lines, and distribution channels. In today’s information age, a company’s value is dependent on how well they manage their brand.
With the internet, customers are always casting their vote on brands. They do it with their social media posts, purchase history, online searches, and many other digital interactions that can either increase or reduce the value of brands. More importantly, people not only compare products and services online. They also share their reviews and ratings publicly.
In order to understand the customer’s buying journey and be ready to influence them at the right moment, marketers need to capitalize on technology. Here are tech trends that marketers should know about for 2020.
A positive customer experience translates to customer satisfaction and brand loyalty, which will later become the referral of your product or service to friends or a good review to help you retain or earn new customers. Because of this, organizations will need to realize that customer experience (CX) is the key to success not just in marketing, but sustained growth of their business. CX is so important that 86% of CMOs and marketing executives expect to own the end-to-end customer experience by 2020.
CX is the new battleground in marketing. With information readily available to customers at any time, the only way for brands to stay competitive is for customers to become their ambassadors. People will always post great deals, publish reviews, and ask their community for recommendations—and their recommendations of you will be seen as far more credible than any of your advertising.
Generic offerings will be a thing of the past as personalization is expected to become a crucial factor in providing a positive customer experience. Personalized content communicates a profound understanding of a customer’s needs and wants, with timely and tailored delivery of relevant products and services.
With the right technologies in place, marketers can segment their audience using data and indicators such as website activity, purchase histories, or demographics. Once the audience is segmented, messages can be personalized and delivered at the right time for every segment.
Whether they are aware or not, customers have come to expect personalized offerings. Services such as Netflix provide recommendations based on previous viewing activity. The posts that show up on your Facebook or Instagram news feed are dependent on your engagement metrics like clicks and likes. In the same way, marketers will need to leverage personalization to meet customer expectations.
Technology has empowered and will continue to empower consumers to get what they want, whenever they want, and however they want it.
For this reason, brands cannot be tied to a single channel. Consumers will go from the physical store, to the official website or app, to a third-party seller website (like Amazon and Lazada), to social media, and their email inbox before deciding whether to buy or not. Marketers must tie all of these interactions together in order to create a seamless customer experience.
More importantly, every customer is different. You allowing them to choose their own path to purchase shows that you understand and value their preferences, making them more willing to do business with you.
Applications of artificial intelligence will continue to expand in the marketing landscape.
For example, the AI-based technology of natural language processing is what enables voice search. There is an expected increase in the use of voice search in 2020 as voice recognition software become even more sophisticated, and people speak faster than they type. This may make SEO even more competitive than it already is.
Consider this: when you ask Siri a question, does it provide you with a list of websites like a typical search engine results page? No, you get one result or one data source.
AI-powered chatbots are also changing the customer service landscape to date, and is expected to continue doing so. These bots are useful in providing customers 24/7 assistance as well as collecting important information for marketing. Chatbots are still a work in progress, but as technology develops, they can potentially disrupt marketing in the near future.
To keep their brands relevant, marketers must be ready to provide a positive customer experience everywhere and anytime. They must keep up with expectations on personalized offerings, have a multi-channel strategy in place, and utilize the benefits of artificial technology in the year to come and beyond.