Evolving technologies and more demanding customers are inciting rapid change in digital marketing. By embracing these changes quickly and proactively, marketers could convert them into big opportunities.
Most leaders and experts seem to agree: advancing technologies and increasingly connected consumers are the forces that drive marketing today. Companies and agencies are tripping over one another to offer more seamless, high-tech experiences than their competitors.
And while some see trouble on the horizon of these digital trends, others see them as an opportunity for growth — count Mike Sands of Marketing Land among them. According to Sands, companies that embrace these shifting trends early, finding ways to deliver more individualized user experiences than ever before, will be setting themselves up to thrive.
The Early Bird Gets the Worm
It’s no secret that consumer expectations are changing. Data-driven marketing has become both a blessing and a curse; the massive amount of information available on customers enables companies to anticipate consumer needs with startling accuracy, but customers now expect nothing less. If anything, their expectations have actually become higher — consumers today want a personalized and relevant brand experience delivered seamlessly each and every time.
For marketers, this means creating unique profiles for each customer based on data from any and every source, both online and off. Given that 50% of consumers surveyed by Magnetic report regularly receiving irrelevant emails (despite 71% of retailers claiming to send tailored messages), it is absolutely imperative that marketing teams start to refocus their attention on the customer. The sooner they do so, the better position they will be in to deliver personalized messaging at scale.
Personalizing Data-Driven Marketing at Scale
Tailoring messaging at scale can feel like an impossible challenge when you consider that by 2020, there will be 34 billion connected devices in the world. The fact that the average person will be accessing the internet on four different devices means not only that there will be a seemingly impossible amount of data for marketers to process, but that it will have to be impeccably organized to recognize both the platform and preferences of the consumer at any given time.
According to Sands, this could very well lead to a “new programmable era” in marketing, one where “every consumer experiences a personalized internet.” This can only be possible, however, if companies are able to stream customer data to make appropriate decisions and modifications across every channel and every device. The problem today is that many organizations rely on multiple third parties to collect and process customer data, thereby limiting both the efficiency and efficacy of the company’s tailored marketing strategies.
First Party Data
To address this problem, brands will need to more effectively leverage first-party data. Some 74% of marketers say that first-party data gives them the greatest insight into their customers, and managing these insights at every step of the consumer journey is becoming increasingly critical to the success of a personalized campaign.
Using first-party data in this way naturally leads to a convergence of advertising and marketing technologies, and the future of marketing lies in the seamless integration of programmatic tools with CRMs; artificial intelligence in particular will play a key role in that integration. Platforms like Albert from Adgorithms can seamlessly weave messaging across channels and use machine learning to pinpoint the identities of consumers, regardless of what platform or channel they’re relying on. Without smarter tools, personalizing campaigns at the massive scale of the future will be simply impossible.