As we leave 2018 behind, it’s worth taking stock of this period of increased regulation on customer data protection and privacy – in parallel with its acceleration in marketing technology capabilities. Here, we give you an overview of what to consider in terms of the evolving expectations, demands on customer journeys, and the impact they may have on the marketing aspect of your business. Here are the top three marketing trends and strategies for you to consider for 2019.
1. Evolving customer experience and journeys
2018 brought us more paths through which customers can satisfy their ideal approach to buying. As such, you need to take into account the onset of conversational user interfaces, through voice search and recognition, from the likes of Apple Siri and Amazon Alexa. Have you then considered how this is adding a key customer touchpoint your marketing approach needs to adopt and adapt to? Such examples help fuel the customer need for convenience, being able to request what they want, when they want it, and how.
As data becomes richer in terms of what we understand about customer behaviour, the personalisation of the customer experience can become deeper – albeit at a time when the use of data is being re-evaluated by companies, such as Facebook. If you are continuing with the over-used approach of marketing to “millennials”, this will limit how your brand or customer experience connects with twenty- to thirty-year olds today – as building your marketing approach will be subject to change in observing this consumer group. There is a huge opportunity in blending customer data from silos, such as combining what you know from your business data on your customers, with that which is coming from social data. Your marketing teams will need to best balance the careful use of client data, segmenting based on specific personas, and on a personalised experience on how your customers wish to interact.
“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” (Jeff Bezos)
If you have not yet positioned your brand to a set of values, you should do so in 2019. The majority of today’s customers are belief-driven buyers, harnessing their brand loyalty to what the company stands for. Whether that is helping others, trust, quality, innovation etc. Although there maybe a danger of alienating some of your customers, your brand values can deepen your customer-company relationship at an emotional level.
“It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it” (Warren Buffett)
With Google, if a result is based on an established view, it will find its way on to the first page. Taking this approach, if the sentiment about your brand is a bad one, intentionally or accidentally, then this may cause significant collateral damage for a long time – if a suitable response is not deployed. With the depth of opportunity for brands to advertise on nearly every website and platform consumers use, negative reviews can proliferate rapidly. And it is essential you’re able to respond to help mitigate, correct, or address the perception. For example, you might be listening to what people are saying online and making adjustments accordingly. No company is safe from reputation or brand crises and, as such, you should have a dedicated team owner to manage such an unfortunate event.
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