Q&A: The MarTech trends reshaping consumer connection
Brands can benefit from a host of martech opportunities in 2023 to build customer connections, says James Bayhack, Director: Sub-Saharan Africa at CM.com.
After a tough 2022 and the continuing challenging environment, it’s likely most marketing teams will be asked to do more with less in 2023, which is where brands can benefit from a host of martech opportunities, regardless of size or turnover. “This year showed us that something as simple as a grocery delivery service – done well – can become extremely popular with customers. If something works, users appreciate it,” says James Bayhack, Director: Sub-Saharan Africa at CM.com. He elaborates below.
How will MarTech influence how you connect with customers in 2023?
With the advent of smart technology, self-service, and automation, advancements in AI and data science will drive the future of martech. By giving marketers insights that would take too long to obtain manually, or as an alternative to conventional methods (such as lead scoring and nurturing), AI will enable marketers to make better-informed decisions. Data will assist marketers in better comprehending the customer journey so they can successfully personalise messaging across media.
If there is one thing marketers worldwide are acutely aware of, it’s that customer expectations are sky-high and will continue to rise in 2023. Customers expect supremely positive experiences because, ultimately, they’re the ones in control. The global Digital Consumer Trends Index for 2022 found that 38% of respondents confirm excellent customer service drives loyalty.
What is the impact of ChatGPT and the rise of other AI solutions?
While intelligent solutions consistently dominate the tech space, we shouldn’t neglect the importance of human interaction – especially in South Africa, where job creation remains a key focus. Do we really want to scan a QR code to download an app to place an order at a restaurant? Even as the Fourth Industrial Revolution advances, person-to-person customer service has a role in humanising customer contact points. That being said, exciting things are happening in the world of intelligent customer service. Recently, the AI research lab OpenAI launched an AI chat interface called ChatGPT that uses machine learning and internet data to generate any type of text. This means messaging responses can be detailed, personalised, and corrective. While still in the testing phase, OpenAI has commented that users should consider the limitations of this solution. It’ll be interesting to see how human-like these machine-based communications become.
How are brands responding to the tightening up of online privacy, globally?
Brands have a harder time connecting with customers in an online environment dominated by third-party data and cookies. Global privacy regulations have forced us to change the way we collect data. A significant trend in digital marketing for 2023 will involve organisations becoming more proactive with their data collection efforts. But, at the same time, people are tired of businesses secretly tracking them online. How, then, can brands respond to this? This is where data value exchange comes in. It’s important to embrace this concept to give customers an incentive to share their data, make data collection an engaging experience, and maximise the data assets you already have. This is where strong emotional, human-centric connections can help motivate customers to engage. This will make it easier to tailor your content, messaging, product development, and services to meet your target audience’s specific needs, behaviours, and concerns.
What do brands need to do next to connect with their consumers?
The first step is to create a better discovery experience, enabling customers to find what they need faster. For example, a quick survey or quiz is a valuable opportunity to learn about preferences. Here, the consumer willingly provides personal data in exchange for something useful to them. It lets you give them exactly what they’re looking for, before providing a personalised offer. Businesses that embrace video marketing stand to gain increased brand awareness, improve their lead generation game, improve sales, generate more traffic, and increase users’ understanding of their products or services. We have all become familiar with this refrain, yet many businesses still shy away from the power of video. For 2023, incorporating video into your overall marketing efforts is regarded as non-negotiable and should ideally include leveraging live video, creating behind-the-scenes and educational videos, and ensuring your video content is SEO-optimised. These trends are doable for businesses of all sizes and provide opportunities to personalise a brand without spending the entire marketing budget in one go. By repurposing video content for different platforms and channels, marketers can save money, time, and effort. It’s certainly more efficient than constantly building brand-new content. This concept also applies to turning existing assets like blog posts into video content. While we are discussing visual content marketing, take a look at visual search, a new practice where people can upload an image into search. Google Photos and Pinterest are leading the pack in this regard.
What should marketers get excited about as far as the future goes?
Social media makes it easier for brands to position themselves in front of consumers. However, it’s a fight for attention and can be challenging to get noticed. Holograms could solve this problem and ultimately control marketing, particularly in the out-of-home (OOH) advertising industry. Holograms are an exciting marketing tool for businesses looking to push the envelope, and about merging real and virtual with holographic ads. Users of this advertising technique can show 3D animated and interactive images and objects. Nike, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz have all succeeded in creating holographic experiences. Whether hosting a holographic press conference or OOH advertising campaign, these brands have piqued the interest of consumers in an environment where traditional and digital advertisements are prevalent. With new influencer marketing platforms entering the marketplace, podcasting tech taking off, ad campaign automation becoming the norm, and marketers getting ready to redefine customer engagement with smarter, targeted interactions, it’s clear that 2023 will be a big year for martech.
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