Trend 1: Entry points
Entry points have been a hot topic over the past 12 months and that will continue into next year. In order to get customers talking and to be able to communicate with them in a conversational way, you first need natural, intuitive conversation entry points.
Adopting an omnichannel approach to customer engagement – meeting customers where they are – is essential to drive engagement and communication with people outside your usual sphere of influence. Designing a conversational customer journey that incorporates plenty of entry points to allow consumers and brands to spark up a conversation is vital in order to grow revenue and build customer loyalty. If consumers find it easy to communicate with you. They'll have the confidence that when there are issues, you'll be there to help them.
Trend 2: Chatbots
In recent years we’ve all become more familiar with chatbots. Admittedly, some implementations are better than others, but most of us are now fairly used to getting information and insights without speaking to a human. Equally, we’re also now familiar with the switchover from chatbot to live chat when necessary. In short, chatbots are no longer the alien proposition they once were.
However, as a marketing tool, chatbots are largely underused on conversational channels. This is a real shame because chatbots are ideally suited to starting conversations on third-party channels. The beauty of this approach is that your customers don't even need to visit your website in order to interact with your brand. Starting conversations away from company-owned platforms means that you can interact with a larger number of customers and prospective customers and gives you a much wider net to cast.
Increasingly, in 2023, we’ll see chatbots springing up across many conversational channels and on social networks via messaging platforms such as Instagram Messaging. This will give brands the opportunity to talk to consumers where they are rather than spending budget on enticing them onto their own platforms.
Trend 3: Post-sale customer engagement
It’s very easy to lose touch with customers after conversion so linking customer service to your business's marketing function makes perfect sense. Seeing consumers fall out of the purchase funnel never to reappear is all too common, but is also relatively simple to avoid if you ensure your customer service interactions are visible to your marketing team and vice versa. When this is the case, both teams have the necessary context to ensure they're sending the right messages to consumers at the appropriate time in order to encourage repeat business and advocacy.
Our Mobile Marketing Cloud and Mobile Service Cloud solutions can share a two-way integration that allows your teams to track all customer interactions in one place. Your customer service teams can understand which marketing messaging customers have received and marketing teams can view customer interactions to apply context-senstive messaging.
Trend 4: Big Data & data collection
Marketing has a data problem. With so much data available and so many ways in which to collect it, marketers often struggle to use data effectively. While 53% of marketers say you can't have enough data, one in three claim they don't know what to do with it.
But data isn't going anywhere. In fact, we're only likely to be getting more and more of it. With that in mind, it's essential that you have the right tools to manage data collection and storage and enable you to divide your audiences into usable segments in order to personalise and deliver results. In this instance, marketers are increasingly waking up to the fact that a Customer Data Platform is a much more flexible data solution for managing data from multiple sources than traditional CRM or DMP solutions.
Another changing aspect of data collection is the prevalence of real-time messaging and the ability to gather conversational data in one place. With the right tools at your fingertips, you can collect hugely valuable insight and interest data from customers during their everyday interactions with your brand,
Trend 5: Google verified listings for SEO
Google is increasingly placing more importance on local SEO and enabling consumers to create geographically sensitive searches for businesses and services in their area. In tandem, Google Business Profile is being given more prevalence and being active on your business profile can deliver real SEO and business rewards. With Maps and Business Profile now integrated, navigational searches have become a whole lot more useful.
Google's Business Messages allows businesses to communicate directly, in real-time, with consumers as and when they have questions or concerns. The platform allows users to interact with brands directly into their Gmail inbox and will become increasingly important in an environment where over 92% of global searches are made via Google. Bricks and mortar businesses can only benefit from effective use of the Google Business Profile platform teamed with the immediacy of Google's Business Messages.
Trend 6: First-party data and Improved conversion insight
First party-data is big news, particularly since the major browsers have moved to block various types of third-party data collection.
Due to ad-blocking, browsers with tracking protection and those changing cookie laws, businesses miss out on between 10% and 30% of data from platforms such as Google Analytics and Meta-owned properties.
Tools such as TraceDock will become more commonplace in 2023 as marketers look to replace lost data and ensure the insight they have allows them to make informed marketing decisions.
TraceDock allows first-party data collection, cookieless data collection and server-side transaction tracking and works in parallel with your Google Analytics and Meta activities, enriching the platforms you already use. Crucially, this plug and play solution doesn’t store any data itself.
- Meeting customers where they are and making your business available on the platforms that they use on a regular basis and are most familiar with means that you become part of consumers’ everyday messaging experiences, rather than a distraction from them.
- Data is still the biggest story in marketing; the collection of it, the storage of it, and how marketers derive insights from it. They'll need to be aware of the limitations of certain types of data and also limitations on their ability to collect that data. However, with the right tools, data can be used in more inventive and effective ways than ever before, allowing for personalisation and increased creativity both of which are proven to improve engagement and drive conversion.
- Geographically driven searches will become more prevalent in 2023 with Google keen to link consumers with local products and services. Businesses operating in specific areas are now able to target consumers more accurately and consumers can connect with local businesses more easily. It’s a win-win for both.
So, 2023 looks to be an exciting year for marketing innovation and we’re excited to be part of it. If you want to find out more about how our market-leading technology can help your brand connect with consumers more effectively, get in touch with one of our experts.