As budgets shift from traditional marketing streams to marketing technology, it’s essential that both marketers and business leaders understand marketing technology and keep up with the developments. According to eMarketer, 78% of US senior marketers surveyed believe gaining this understanding of marketing technology is increasingly relevant to their success, and the majority of Western European senior marketers feel the same way. With global spending by advertising and marketing professionals increasing on data-driven activities, it’s necessary to develop a strong appreciation of the fundamentals of marketing technology, while keeping an eye on all of the latest trends and developments.
Identifying Valuable Customers
Customer satisfaction has long been recognized as a leading factor in business success, but identifying the most valuable customers can enable business strategies which yield even greater profits. Peter Fader, marketing professor at Wharton, has developed the Customer Lifetime Value metric which estimates likely future spend by customers based on past buying trends, enabling companies to target those customers most attuned to their brand. Similar predictive analytics models are available as part of marketing technology platforms and solutions, putting the masses of customer data collected to better use.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Many senior marketers also recognize the value of IoT, and it’s likely this popular technology will assist in its evolution. It may be difficult to imagine a world more connected than we already see today, but with the increasing development and adoption of IoT devices that’s exactly what’s in store. And as these IoT device developmentscontinue, so too advances the connections, providing individuals with greater convenience and industries with even more customer-specific data. Correctly applied, marketers are able to connect phenomenal amounts of behavior data about current and prospective customers through IoT devices, and though today tracking is mostly of buying behaviors, in the future we’re likely to furnish marketers with details so personal that personalized advertising might feel more like the pertinent advice of a close friend.
Augmented Reality (AR)
Initially focused on the gaming industry, we’re becoming more accustomed to seeing virtual reality in our daily lives. But augmented reality, the display of a virtual world over the real world, is proving to have its own unique advantages. Consider Pokemon GO, a meteoric success story that’s left developer Nintendo able to pull audiences to chosen locations at will. For the marketer, using augmented reality in advertising campaigns could mean placing targeted AR advertising over real world advertising, floating AR banner ads in the skies above us, and popping relevant AR pamphlets into view at just the right time, in just the right place.
A key area in marketing is, and always has been, customer service, but the expectations of customers today are far grander than those of customers 20 years ago. We expect constant, always-on, personality-attuned attention, and so the cost of top-quality customer services reps is skyrocketing. A few businesses are ‘peopling’ their service centers with robots, particularly useful for the less complex interactions. However, with the developments we’re seeing in artificial intelligence, these robots are becoming far smarter and are even imbued with emotional intelligence which helps with the detection of sarcasm and allows for tailored responses. Moreover, because artificial intelligence allows robots to continuously learn from their interactions they become better able to understand and assist customers the more they’re used.
The promise is near limitless, and it’s important to recognize that such martech tools aren’t only for big business. Small and medium enterprises are already putting innovative solutions in place. Collecting and analyzing data, and then utilizing data insights, helps improve customer targeting and engagement and once over the initial bewilderment of all such technology can offer, it’s an exciting arena to be involved in.
By Jennifer Klostermann