In the Experience Economy, customers are driving innovation, and digital marketers are challenged to capture a customer’s attention as soon as they can, and hold it — as there’s always another marketing message on the horizon.
Thus, marketers need to stand out, but how can they?
Data, making use of emerging technologies, content, and customer-centricity all play huge roles in these 6 digital marketing trends that are reshaping the customer experience in 2020.
Trend #1: Mastering data strategy
Those who master data can better understand and deliver the experiences customers crave, and in many cases, anticipate what a customer wants or their next action. However, data means nothing if you’re not able to properly analyze and act on it. Customer data platforms (CDPs), data management platforms (DMPs), and digital analytics tools can give a fuller picture of what’s going on with customers.
A proper data strategy can help put data into the right context and determine what to do with it, how to reach and connect with customers, how to engage them, and how to win them over. Furthermore, it enables to marketers to:
- Target, segment, and personalize to audiences
- Scale if necessary
- See what is working with customers, what they’re responding to and what they aren’t
- Tweak, revise, and refine campaigns
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Trend #2: Utilizing AI and other emerging technologies
According to a recent study, 66% of companies surveyed use at least one emerging technology for CX purposes, and 45% of firms using artificial intelligence for CX report an increase in ASP or total spend per customer.
For digital marketers, this also means making the most out of CDPs, DMPs, digital analytics tools, social media, and marketing automation in addition to AI and machine learning. Chatbots, conversational search, and voice assistants are providing whole new ways of engaging with customers, and brands are capitalizing on the opportunity – the same study reports that 64% of companies are currently using or piloting intelligent voice assistants/automated chatbots.
Trend #3: More relevant and engaging content
Marketing across micro-moments requires engaging and relevant content that catches a customer’s attention and keeps it, even if it only has a millisecond to do so. What makes content relevant and engaging? It offers information and solutions that the audience might be interested in. It can also have sharp, well-written copy and a pleasing, eye-catching design.
Developing a content strategy can aid in strategically placing and positioning content as well as reusing it on different channels where possible. Paying close attention to analytics and data shows what audiences prefer and how marketers can adjust content strategies accordingly.
Trend #4: The rise of B2Me
Marketers once viewed campaigns as B2B or B2C, but now are tasked with factoring in B2Me. What is B2Me? This means marketing at more of an individual level, involving hyper-personalization. However, effective hyper-personalization now has to happen at scale across the entire customer lifecycle and include both online and offline channels. Savvy marketers also take into account real-time personalization and the mobile experience.
This doesn’t only apply to individuals, though. With an ABM strategy, you can market to an entire account as an individual.
Trend #5: Making the martech stack customer-centric
Even in the modern marketing world, one thing hasn’t changed: marketers must still put the customer at the heart of everything they do, even when they’re building their martech stack. Smart marketers keep the customer in mind at every step in order to properly design and build an experience as well as make the most out of the martech that they have on hand.
This means that with every piece of technology, marketers are considering how it will affect their data, data strategy, targeting, and segmentation. It’s also important to consider which martech solutions can be properly integrated into the current tech stack in order to reach maximum potential.
Trend #6: Increasing agility
Modern marketing organizations are changing, as teams are shaped around goals, functions, and how they can better serve the customer. This requires building agility and cutting across silos that have built up around CRM, digital, marketing, brand, sales, service, and commerce. Teams instead are moving toward integrated strategy execution and cross-functional leaders to help increase:
Adaptability comes in handy where skill gaps might exist, with hiring, outsourcing, and training used to fill those gaps and keep pace with the marketplace.
A happy customer might describe an optimal experience as effortless — consistent, engaging, and delivering on what they want, need, and expect. This has been the same gold standard for any marketer from any point in history. However, the trends that marketers once thought were shaping the future are now rewriting the rules of marketing today. To achieve success, savvy marketers keep up and adapt, and remember that age-old rule of putting themselves in the customers’ shoes to better emphasize and understand them.
Curious to know more about the changing landscape for marketers? Take a look at “Thriving in the Experience Economy: Priorities of a CMO”.