5 CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE & MARKETING TRENDS FOR 2020

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5 CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE & MARKETING TRENDS FOR 2020
IT’S A HUMAN, NOT A “TARGET”!


“Sincerity” is name of the game; in fact, it was so, since the beginning of marketing communications history. But we marketers tend to forget this from time to time as we drill down into “managing channels”. For marketers, it is great to invest in segmentation and targeting capabilities, use best of breed AdTech solutions to find great prospects or invest in third party data providers to generate leads, but at the same time it is also crucially important to create personalized experiences in this era.

At this point, one must keep in mind that real personalization is not a technology! It is about understanding attitudes and behaviors! It is also about grasping the emotions underlying and activating behaviors on top of these. Today, with the advent of MarTech & AdTech, it is already not hard for marketers to personalize experiences with this perspective. We do know that marketers need to satisfy many needs of various segments and create engagement in different channels at the same time. Hence, today marketing automation is an integral part of the marketing cycle in order to achieve these goals, but marketers do not need to miss “emotions” while automating many experiences.

This requires more work from the marketer, though. Marketers shall prioritize sincerity above “advertising messages” while communicating with their audiences. Sincerity takes lots of effort and customers understand if you are just “pretending”! It was always “one brand/one customer experience” for our audiences but we somehow missed it; now it is brand marketers’ time to look at the process this way.

In 2020, marketers who granularize the experience touch points and invest in creating that “one customer experience” will lead the way:

  • Create differentiated visuals, offers, responses for these granular touchpoints to win the marketing battle.

  • Enhance (or start) to adapt your organization to use audience based dynamic creative solutions in advertising.
  • Automate customer lifecycle journeys based on behaviors & engagements you received.
  • Focus on conversion optimization rather than spraying & preying with digital advertising in a traditional mindset.
ALL BRANDS SHALL BE “PUBLISHERS”


This is not a catch, there is no easy way! As a marketer, it is time to start thinking like a publisher, whose sole way of survival is to create impactful, engaging, unique and timely content!

Why? Because “owning a subject domain with engaging content” is different than creative copywriting! You might have great copies on your banners, flyers or emails, but it is not enough. Great content lives along with a long-term strategy attached. If you do not start owning your ground, somebody else will, if not they already did?

Customers today have an attention span of a goldfish, and they only do engage with relevant content, but not with your commercial messages. Content today is not a newspaper article or a long blog post; not anymore. Engagement might only be created with

  • owning a content domain,
  • being positioned as a source of truth on the specific topic,
  • capturing micro-moments and delivering the right content at the right time for the right customer.
    In order to succeed in this, marketers should be able to track the digital footprints of customers and understand the behaviors, as well as their engagement models. Only then a relevant content strategy can be optimized, created for micro segments and hence delivered to the relevant people at the right time from the desired channel. Content shall be worked in detail; micro contents needs to be created according to the nature of the delivery channel and with respect to the customer journey stage any customer is in.

Your content in 2020 shall be

  • “planned”, “trusted” and “fluid”,
  • easy to be consumed and shared,
  • applicable to the customer’s stage at the lifecycle of the journey
  • delivered through the right channel,
  • paired and matched with the distribution channel’s nature
  • and shall be consistent with previous and upcoming (planned) communications within the different parts of the journey.
HAVEN’T YOU GOT RID OF YOUR SILOES YET?


You may have a strict job definition and different parts of your organization might take care of different processes in delivering products/services. But one should never forget that from any customer’s perspective, we are all but one! Attention is scarce nowadays and there are lots of brands who like to get a piece of it from any prospects’ lives. Only brands who might unite their efforts around creating unified and meaningful customer experiences will step up this year.

This is a “6-second” world, where either you get the attention you deserve or die. Hence, every move you make shall be consistent among your siloes. On the other hand, any mistake made in one part of the silo will live forever in your customers’ memories. In such cases, your audiences will not come back again to any of your touchpoints as there are lots of other brands who’ll fill in the gap you’ve provided immediately!

So, now, start planning to get rid of your self-made/self-imposed siloes, gather around a table with different disciplines in your organization and try to understand what it really means to focus on customer experiences. It would guide you to change your existing ways of working, and to be honest, this would not be easy!

So, start questioning today! Creating a central dashboard where you can tie in all of your data from multiple customer touchpoints (including advertising channels and offline metrics) and starting to make better informed and data driven decisions will lead the way to optimization for creating lifetime value instead of short-term income.

NEW INTERFACES – NEW DEFINITION OF DATA, NEW WAYS OF TARGETING


We get accustomed to adapting into new screens after the TV era, with the advent of i.e. smartphones, tablets, digital outdoors, etc. but now, apart from screens, or visual senses should we say, we’ll see more new “interfaces” to create engagements with audiences. This trend has started with watches (although a different kind of a screen) and will carry on and broaden its scope with voice assistants, chat bots, interactive digital outdoors, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality applications, even mirrors who interpret our moods, etc. So, get ready to activate audio and other senses of reach out to get engaged with your consumers.

These new interfaces will be used both for understanding the behaviors of our customers and delivering messages as parts of broader customer journeys. In order to be ready for these new “challenges”, marketers shall first dive into a new definition of data, hence define the existing and new data sources of their organization.

New definition of data is far more than a record on the CRM system but incorporates all trackable digital footprints like digital ads engagements, digital asset visits, locations, interests and preferences which can be unified into a single persona.

2020 would be the year of investing in this learning curve and start creating a new marketing operating model.

INVESTING IN MARKETING TECHNOLOGY IS INEVITABLE, BUT TALENT WILL MAKE THE DIFFERENCE!


Do not worry: Robots & AI will not take marketer’s job (yet)! Technology finds more of a role and place in marketing organizations every day. Marketing technology investments automate operations and help create unique experiences which no-human based system can. Therefore, they become inevitable for every marketing organization to use and utilize its benefits. But on the other hand, marketing organizations do not have a long history with technology, hence accumulated little knowledge about selecting, purchasing, kicking off and operating data and technology driven initiatives until today. In recent years, this had started to change. But now, we are in the “illusion phase”, where we think “we do nothing, but technology does everything magically” by itself, without any need of intervention from the marketer.

2020 will be the year of marketer who understands this argument is wrong! Technology is a great enabler, but it is the talent that makes all the difference. Technology may steer the marketing organization to adapt, change and deliver experiences in a scale that is not possible without it. But it is the “Talented Mr. Marketer” who defines what is important and what is not, analyses the new data and the footprints left, creates the journeys, works in detail to design the creatives and offers which makes all the difference. All organizations might use the same advanced technology but the one with the right talent, resourceful and curious about the new frontiers of marketing will make the difference. This talent is scarce in the market right now, but do not waste time and start looking for the best business partner you might find to fill the gaps in your organization.

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