Marketing your business is a swift and ever-evolving game. Customer insight and big data have entirely transformed the landscape, even for smaller start-ups. The people we deal with now expect a seamless experience – and smart marketing that anticipates their needs and shapes behavior can be a real help with this. But what will marketing look like in 2018? As we step into the new year, these are some of the trends to look out for:
Respecting the Customer Journey
Increasing data capture means that we are now more aware than ever of who the distinct tribes of individuals are that make up our customer base. Last year saw the continued rise of profiling and development of customer personas as we tried to understand and quantify these different strands, and in 2018 that will increase in importance as we work towards tailoring our marketing to the various touchpoints in each user’s journey. One size no longer fits all. Customers are well aware of the purposes of data collection and expect to be served up content and offers that are relevant to them personally, at that particular moment. Persuasive personalized messaging and re-targeted techniques become an essential part of the mix, and we need to look at a customer across their entire lifecycle and address their different needs.
Building a Personalised Experience
To drastically increase response rate and cut through a sea of competing marketing messaging, it’s crucial that personalization features heavily on your website, whether you’re an owner of a shoe boutique in LA or IT companies in Ottawa. No matter the destination, the customer expectation is there. Although e-commerce providers have been moving towards personalized website content for some time, other sectors will now have to catch up fast. A range of cost-effective personalization software that integrates with your CRM system is available to support this.
Rise of A.I
It’s also going to be impossible to escape the impact of machine learning on shaping our marketing communications this year. Most companies now run basic segmentation within their email campaigns, but this is no longer enough. Using machine learning can offer opportunities to streamline and automate targeting and will give rise to ever more innovative and sophisticated creative. With the universality expected by today’s consumers, what is pioneering now will merely become assumed throughout 2018. Similarly, use of chatbots and instant messaging services to process routine customer care queries will continue to become standardized. Big companies lead the way, with Pizza Hut using Messenger to offer bookings and IKEA leveraging apps for customer research.
Using Video For Conversion
Video offers a powerful connection with customers like nothing else. Fuelled by the prevalence of social media marketing, YouTube is a dominant web platform and has become the second biggest search engine on the web. So if you aren’t producing video content as a key part of your content marketing strategy, you’re creating a massive blind spot in your operations. From detailed content to short, pre-roll ads and video retargeting, use the medium well to share knowledge, and you can increase organic engagement with your brand, whatever the size of your business.