At the start of 2018, Adobe research revealed that brands believed the quality of customer experience (CX) was the most exciting way to drive sales and differentiate themselves from competitors. A year later, the trend toward focusing on quality customer experiences has continued, with Walker, a CX consulting firm, reporting that experience is overtaking price and product as the main brand differentiator.
As Luke Williams, head of CX at Qualtrics, put it recently, “Companies can no longer hope for blind brand loyalty from customers. Today’s savvy, empowered customers want an end-to-end experience with the brand.”
With increased customer demand for flawless omnichannel experiences, marketers need to infuse more creativity into their strategies, especially online. This is the year marketers will take advantage of these innovative technologies to define powerful engagement strategies and enhance digital experiences.
Customization Strategies Will Be Overshadowed By True Personalization
Marketers have been using customized content to attract consumers for years, from direct mailers to targeted ads on social media. However, today’s generation of consumers has grown to expect deeper personalization, such as a home page based on their preferences or product recommendations based on previous purchases. In fact, a recent Adobe survey found that 64% of Gen Z shoppers and 72% of Millennial shoppers think brands should provide a more personalized experience.
As new generations push for improved personalization in 2019, marketers will invest in technologies that allow them to delve deeper into consumer website or app user sessions. By analyzing individual sessions, marketers can take both a reactive and proactive approach to personalization.
For instance, through session analysis, marketers can immediately detect when a customer has a negative website experience and quickly intervene to resolve the issue. Session insights also provide marketers with a holistic view of shopper behavior, which they can use to develop and deliver highly personalized content in real time throughout the customer’s relationship with the brand.
Marketers And Consumers Will Experiment With Interactive Content
Brands have always relied on visuals to capture the attention of prospects and educate consumers. Over the past decade, marketers have expanded from merely using static visuals to using content that customers can interact with to provide a more enticing brand experience.
The use of interactive content to engage and educate customers will certainly grow this year, with 88% of marketers agreeing that this type of content separates their brand from industry rivals, according to the Content Marketing Institute.
In 2019, interactive content will be used to not only provide a positive, engaging experience, but will also provide data-based insights into consumer behavior. By understanding how consumers engage with interactive content, marketers will be able to better understand shoppers’ interests, their needs, and the potential questions they may have.
Automation Technologies Will Be Modified For The Martech Stack
In addition to leveraging analytics from interactive content to better understand and educate customers, marketers will glean insights from more sophisticated automation technologies. Marketers have just touched the surface when it comes to adopting machine learning platforms. In recent years, automation has been used to ease workflows and communicate with customers over the phone or through chatbots, but now marketers will invest in advanced automation tools that aid in decision-making and provide deeper analyses of the customer.
Brands will adopt solutions that automate the measurement and analysis of customer behavior. A report from Albert, an autonomous digital marketing provider, found that 88% of marketers felt that reducing time spent on preparing reports and analysis—and thereby allowing more time for strategy and customer interactions—would be valuable.
By obtaining deeper customer insights quickly and at scale through an automated platform, marketers will be able to offer more personalized experiences to a greater number of customers and prospects in the year ahead.
Enhancing a marketing stack with interactive content, automation, and personalization will bring marketers closer to providing truly optimized experiences in 2019. Keeping up with new innovations will help alleviate marketers of nitty-gritty tasks and empower them to provide superior experiences that will set their brands apart.