Key technologies that are helping marketing departments to evolve

In today’s global marketplace, companies are competing for customers against international counterparts. As such they have to be smarter and more efficient in how they conduct business and meet customer needs. Marketers today also need to maximise what they have at their disposal and do more with less.

New technologies are coming to the market and changing the way companies and internal departments traditionally do business. While it can be overwhelming to determine which technologies to adopt, it is critical that your company implements solutions that help it to meet its business objectives and customer’s needs while adhering to compliance requirements such as GDPR and POPI in order to protect the company while improving efficiencies.

Marketing departments are under pressure to add strategic value to organisations and demonstrate the return on investment on all marketing campaigns. Marketing departments are undergoing several changes driven by new technologies. These trends are unpacked below:

  1. The emergence of the marketing technologist

Technology has changed the way companies do business. With solutions such as UBER and Airbnb disrupting traditional ways of doing business, customer expectations have shifted and they are looking for new ways for companies to engage them and meet their needs. With this in mind, the role of the marketing technologist is emerging. This role brings technology and marketing together in an effort to develop solutions and approaches that aim to exceed customer expectations and enhance the customer experience.

Technologies such as AI are gaining attention as marketing technologists dabble with these technologies and see the value that these solutions can bring to the business and consumer. Technology has the ability to disrupt markets and will need to be fully embraced to attract customer’s attention and delight them.

  1. Data, data, data

Technology provides instantaneous access to data that can and should be used to help make relevant and timely business decisions for both improved customer experience and better business performance. This includes data that should be used to personalise experiences with customers.

While companies have been collecting customer data for years, a key challenge has been getting the right data to the right people at the right time so that they are able to implement solutions to meet the customer needs. As a marketer, you will now have access to technologies that will enable you to access the data you need to make informed decisions. It is also important that you look at unstructured data as this is where the magic lies and where you are most likely to find the real gems of what customers say vs what they do. Data analysis will move from reactive to predictive metrics, where inferences of data will be used to predict behaviour in real time rather than explain it.

  1. Customer experience

Customer experience is the most important factor for customers today and according to research conducted by Walker, it will replace product and price by 2020. Technology solutions need to be used to improve these experiences at every customer touchpoint and take personalisation to the next level. Customers are no longer impressed at receiving an SMS or email with their name on it, they are looking for tailored offerings that show that companies know them. In addition, they are still looking for the human touch and while statements, for example, could be automated, they want to know that a human still cares about their needs and can assist them in dealing with a particular issue or request they may have.

It is also important to note that companies should not lose focus of the product they offer to focus entirely on customer experience. The offering should be looked at in its entirety and if the value proposition adds an additional cost to the offering, it could influence the customer’s purchasing decision to opt for a more cost-effective offering in the end.

  1. Data privacy and Trust

As a marketer, it is critical that you take privacy issues more seriously as the repercussions of not doing so carry serious reputational damage for your brands. Regulations such as the Protection of Privacy (POPI) Act and GDPR are putting additional pressure on companies to ensure transparency, protect customer privacy and use data responsibility. The trade-off between data privacy, whilst still not losing the ability to capture the imagination of a consumer is a key challenge for marketers.

In order to continue to gain the trust that you seek from consumers, you will need to continue to focus not only on showcasing, but also demonstrating, your product’s expertise, quality and reliability whilst leveraging your core brand purpose in a transparent and honest manner. Authentic story-telling has never been more important.

  1. Creative automation

Creative people will focus on what they do best, be creative. They will design creative elements such as artwork but will no long be bogged down with executing the creative artwork across multiple documents such as board pack covers, event tags, certificates and HR adverts. Technology will be used to automate these processes, improving efficiencies and not using expensive creative people to perform mundane tasks.

These are just a few of the changes we can expect to see taking place within marketing and both companies and customers stand to benefit from the enhanced focus on customer experience and the technology solutions that are implemented to exceed customer expectations.

Paula Sartini, founder and CEO of BrandQuantum, will be discussing How to use AI to grow your brand and market share at the CMO Summit on 3 September where she will unpack how CMOs can benefit from a range of new technologies including the role AI has to play in driving customer experience.

For more information on BrandQuantum’s range of brand consistency software solutions that have been developed to help organisations quickly and easily deliver consistent customer experiences at every touchpoint, please visit www.brandquantum.com.

By Paula Sartini, founder and CEO of BrandQuantum

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