The first quarter of 2019 is nearly over and brands are still riding on popular trends such as AI, being purpose-driven and voice assistants. However as we all know, the marketing industry is constantly undergoing a whirlwind of changes and there are always new trends to keep a look out for. Here are six trends you need to know regardless of the new technology out there.
1. Data-driven creativity
Data-driven creativity is expected to be the strategic differentiator in customer experience this year. According to Adobe’s John Copeland, VP, marketing and customer insights at the Adobe Summit 2019 in Las Vegas, marketers need to have more knowledge about the creative content that they showcase to consumers and prospects.
For example, the meta data gathered from tagged pictures is also a form of data which can be utilised for creativity but not many marketers are doing that.
“Consumers prefer personalised content and when they get that kind of content, they are much more likely to engage,” he said. When it comes to personalisation, brands should think beyond offering offers or discounts. Instead, they should think of how their product can value add to consumers’ lives. Copeland added:
Know what’s in your content, what in that content is working and with whom.
2. Connecting content and data ethically
News about companies experiencing data breaches have been making headlines frequently over the past few months, causing more regulations to arise and putting the power of customer data back on the consumers’ hands.
According to Copeland, 70% of consumers think that technology as an industry puts their personal data and privacy at risk, and the number increases every time there is a data breach. He added that those who are digitally-native are less concerned about data privacy while on the other hand, individuals who are new to digital, for example those in their 50s and 60s, are more sceptical and lack trust.
“Companies are going to have to figure out how they create this contract with customers to get them to want to share their data,” Copeland said. This can come in the form of progressive content for example, where customers tell brands the type of data they are comfortable sharing and what the appropriate use cases are.
3. Emerging technology
Emerging technology such as voice assistants are expected to continue taking customer experience to new heights, Copeland said. However, brands entering this space should expect an uneven playing field as first movers into the market, such as Apple, Amazon and Google already have the structural advantage.
While consumers are still using voice assistants for basic functions and the number of people using it to make purchases is still low, Copeland said that once the trend catches on, online buying experiences will be built into voice assistants to help lower the barriers.
Meanwhile, beauty companies, fashion brands and retailers are also expected to take advantage of AR and VR. Hardware, however, might be a challenge for brands as the price point might be a little high for them.
4. Doubling down on experiential commerce
Retailers are expected to double down on experiential commerce in 2019 in a bid to continuously innovate customer experiences. Digital shelves and magic mirrors are expected to be popular among brands this year, allowing consumers to visualise how products will look on them.
“Having these kind of experiences allows brands to get closer to how consumers want to shop, makes it exciting for consumers and removes barriers and friction,” Copeland said.
5. Account-based marketing
More B2B companies are expected to engage in account-based marketing (ABM), which essentially means companies viewing and communicating with an individual prospect or customer accounts as a single market. Copeland said that 75% of medium to large businesses will either pilot or fully adopt ABM this year.
6. Experience business 2.0
The transformation to customer experience management is one of the big trends in 2019 and a lot of it, Copeland said, has to do with being data-drven.
“It is important to have as much data as you can about your consumers and their experiences, not just the marketing experiences but the product experience as well,” he said. He added:
Companies need to think of the buying and living process of the product.
For example with AR, consumers are able to visualise what a new sofa might look like in their homes, and toggle with the fabrics and colours. This takes the error out of the customer journey.
Adobe paid for the journalist’s trip to Adobe Summit 2019 in Las Vegas.
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