"Having more customers that value and appreciate your brand is better than having superficial relationships with millions."
Every year, especially at the beginning of the year, we all love to ask each other what we anticipate will be a trend, theme, or topic that will transpire in the coming months. Like most executives, I like to play along, sharing what I expect to see and what I believe could be a stepping stone towards grander aspirations. The real fun (insight) comes December when I look back to see whether any of is true and then rationalize whether I was on the mark or not. So before I pick the next trend, let’s take a peek at last year.
In 2019, I discussed three key pain points (half empty) and rather opportunities (half full) for marketers to tackle:
An ever-growing Martech ecosystem that not only overwhelms marketers and their budgets, but also creates disjointed processes and redundancy of data sources.
This is still an ongoing challenge in which specialization and use case-driven solutions are paramount to really delivering on marketers’ needs.
Orchestrating across a multitude of channels while delivering on your brand promise and voice is the holy grail.
Your customers don’t differentiate between your marketing or customer service departments when they engage with you; they believe they are connecting with your brand as a whole. Don’t be the multi-headed monster that customers have to fight with when they need something or want to be heard.
Ensuring customer trust in a digital world where customer information is the new currency.
You’ve heard the alphabet soup of laws and regulations – CCPA, GDPR, TCPA, PII, SOC, and the list goes on. Privacy and compliance is the yang to personalization ying. Building customer loyalty and trust is the lifeblood for creating a sustainable and beloved brand.
I would wager these topics still matter as we start 2020. All of these things don’t reset come the next calendar year, but at Vibes we continue to build upon them, getting closer to achieving our vision of connecting people to the brands they love. This requires people, process and technology that have been vetted and tested by marketers who strive for continuous improvement and optimization while not compromising on the qualitative side of marketing: creativity, storytelling and design. So in 2020, here is what’s next:
Balance a data-driven marketing platform with digital experience solutions.
Brands want to wow customers and that requires more than just speeds and feeds. Engage with personality, pictures, sound, and videos to create experiences that entertains but also drives conversions. Sharing a picture of a juicy burger will trigger the senses and clicks versus just the word “burger.”
Engage with your customers personally by building a trusting relationship.
Having more customers that value and appreciate your brand is better than having superficial relationships with millions. Having this mindset as you build your marketing strategy will ensure you adhere to the privacy and compliance climate facing our industry. Personal engagement is as simple as incorporating mobile messaging into your email campaigns. Customers prefer 1:1 messaging with brands they love, so give them that option to have a deeper relationship with your brand.
Customer journeys are not a straight line but a cobweb of interactions that may or may not be in your control.
So stop managing your campaigns expecting to control your customers’ every move, but manage instead for chaos and impulses. You can start with a journey, but also create side paths depending on how the customer responds (or doesn’t!). Orchestrating campaigns that support multiple channels is a first step in understanding customer preferences and behaviors. Plan for logic but anticipate emotions, after all we are humans, not robots.
Speaking of robots and humans – I will end with the trend that is gaining steam and continues to evolve – artificial intelligence becoming the bedrock of 1:1 mobile messaging at scale. At Vibes, we provide brands the quickest path to having a conversation with a customer in order to engage, convert and also solve their needs. This conversation is powered by Conversational Analytics and encompasses marketing and customer service use cases. By delivering an intelligent, hybrid process that deploys bots and routing to humans, brands can deliver a customer experience that is personal, but also scalable.
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