The GetProfiles team considers some of the new trends and technologies that will be affecting best practice for marketers this year.
In 2018, personalisation means more than the auto-fill of your name at the top of the email. It’s about highly targeted marketing communications based on your preferences and behaviour and via your preferred channel. Technology is advancing apace and there are increasing opportunities to automate communication flows based on automatic triggers and highly personalised communications through both digital platforms and highly personalised digitally printed materials.
Good data practices
Good data practices will always be the cornerstone of your marketing efforts, but this year they are really coming under the spotlight – see our article on GDPR for more details. Take the opportunity to secure the investment and resources you need to really focus on the quality of the data you hold, at the same time as assessing and, if necessary, adapting processes to make sure you’re ready for the impact of GDPR.
Online chat bots
The rise in the use of online chat continues apace – the benefits it can deliver in terms of improving customer service and sales conversion rates are well documented. Chat bots offer an opportunity to deliver these benefits in a cost-effective way. Research shows that their use is not only accepted but welcomed, especially among millennials. However, they aren’t the solution for all consumers – so judicious use is advisable; chat bots should not be a replacement for your existing customer service or sales channels, but rather than an opportunity to augment to them.
Be prepared for big changes to social media
Mark Zuckerberg has already announced major changes to the Facebook algorithm this year in attempt to address the much-vaunted problem of “fake news”. His announcement wiped billions off Facebook’s share price; estimates suggest Zuckerberg has personally lost 3 billion as a result of the announcement. His willingness to take this kind of hit demonstrates his commitment to addressing the problem of fake news and fears over election meddling that is placing great deal of focus on the algorithms of the social media platforms that decide what news we should be served up. Expect more announcements like this over the year as all the platforms, and especially Facebook, respond to the criticism levelled at them.
AI-optimised social engagement
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is big news, but we’re only just beginning to realise the potential benefits. For marketers, the opportunity for machine learning algorithms to provide information about how to optimise communications to improve reach and conversion rates is hugely exciting. The new generation of tools emerging use AI and machine learning to help marketers optimise digital activity. This presents a huge opportunity for tech-savvy marketers to advance best practice and seize competitive advantage.
Customers don’t engage with brands in just one way; the typical purchase journey will involve multiple touch points. For this reason, marketers have been delivering omni-channel campaigns for years now. But the very best are working to find new ways to create a seamless experience across channels. Here, again technology is making major strides forward – helping marketers to improve the customer experience.