As your brand or organization looks to integrate and improve digital strategies within the overall communication mix in the coming year, here are three areas to focus on to support your business goals. In 2018, you can consider how to effectively tap Big Data to target and retarget consumers; personalize the customer experience and content with CRM tools; and use the power of artificial intelligence.
1. Big Data Helps Brands in a Big Way
Every time we go online, communicate with friends via social media or messenger apps, make purchases and carry our GPS-equipped smartphones, we are generating Big Data. That data gives insights into our interests and purchasing behaviors. For companies, understanding and interpreting their customer data is an important part of their marketing strategy. Big Data works on the principle that the more knowledge you have on anything or any situation, the more reliably you can gain new insights and make predictions on situations. One way companies can use Big Data to optimize their marketing plans is by putting a retargeting pixel on the backend of their website and implementing a display retargeting campaign. What does this mean? Users who visit the website and drop off without converting will be served a branded advertisement. This tactic helps generate a low cost-per-acquisition or action, and it brings brand awareness to interested customers. With all the noise on the internet, it’s essential for brands to start or continue to leverage useful patterns and trends found in Big Data in their marketing strategies to help create content and messaging that resonates with their target audience.
2. Personalization Is Key
The days of companies churning out content to be marketed to the masses are coming to an end. In 2018, we will see brands move toward focusing on niche markets, using custom and personalized content. Brands can now provide a richer customer experience that is well aligned with consumers’ needs and preferences by using CRM tools such as Hubspot, Salesforce and Marketo. Personalization helps create a sense of individuality and uniqueness, which makes consumers feel as though the company is paying particular attention to them. For example, an online food delivery service could use a CRM tool to segment its vegetarian customers. When a customer who is vegetarian visits the website to shop for groceries, she wouldn’t see any meat products or weekly sales for meat products. By segmenting and targeting different shoppers, personalization answers individual customer needs and optimizes customer experiences, rather than giving the same average experience to everyone.
3. Intelligent Marketers Use Artificial Intelligence
The concept of AI is nothing new, and consumers who use Siri, Alexa and customer chat boxes are engaging with AI everyday. For businesses, however, using AI as part of their digital strategy is just beginning to ramp up. AI is a powerful tool for companies in everything from customer service to analytics to marketing. There are now even machine-learning algorithms which can help identify disengaged customer segments that are about to churn or leave for a competitor. With that information, businesses can then take action to incentivize those customers to keep using their product. In 2018, companies will continue to use data found from AI to surprise, connect and communicate with their customers in ways they may not even appreciate or realize.