THE NEXT STEP IN THE EVOLUTION OF THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY

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Posting date: 6/28/2018 3:06 PM

Purpose, participation, and contextual experience are the new heart of marketing. From Boston’s Seaport to its Financial District, innovative tech startups and corporate giants converge to imbue Beantown with a thriving innovative economy. Poised on the advent of the New Year, marketers must rethink old processes and balance automation with humanity.

Trends in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and marketing for 2018 will be about the customer journey; driven by contextual experience. Customer experience (CX) will be defined by purpose, participation, and story. Consumers have more control than ever before in their buying decisions and in the land of martech, engaging your customer through contextual experience across available mediums, is the name of the game.

Marketing with Heart: Purpose-Driven Marketing

Marketing with purpose drives the future of marketing. Consumers demand companies put their money where their mouth is when it comes to corporate social responsibility. Top marketers are twice as likely to use purpose-driven methods to market their products. Nearly 80% of consumers prefer to buy from companies that have a heart, those who have a social purpose and put money either back into their own communities, or give where it’s needed most. A holistic approach to growth, purpose is the heart of marketing. 

Marketing Automation 2.0 – AI, Chatbots, and Machine Learning

With consumer demand so highly individualized, the customer journey demands engagement at a human level as well as an automated, in-the-moment level. With data-optimization and machine learning a driving force, marketers realize the next step is the future of AI. The challenge is effectively balancing data and content. However, as marketing technologies evolve, the realization and more sophisticated utilization of AI and machine learning will materialize. 

Last year, marketers at the top of their game reported spending one-third of their marketing budget on technologies they were unaware of five years ago and estimate it will rise to 40% by 2019. As the customer experience and engagement evolve in the marketing landscape of the future, it can seem nearly impossible to interact with all the technological advancements and resources. Enter the human element among all the technologies; the chatbot.

According to a recent studyover 70% of consumers prefer to engage with a chatbot rather than an app. The engagement experience offers personalization and data-driven insights to help customers not only help customers get answers to their questions, but to offer a warmer interaction with brands to keep them returning as customers and spreading the word to their friends. Good experiences lead to loyal customers. /p>

The next wave in marketing automation is now taking place across a robust connected network of apps, tools, and data. The ability of chatbots to engage across channels such as social media, websites, and apps, they can provide a narrative; a framework of the consumer. Their interactions with the customer offer a purposeful, authentic, and personal experience. 

Putting the Customer in the Story – Contextual Experience

The future of marketingis about creating contextual experiences and the chatbot can help facilitate that experience. Context tells the story of the brand, engaging the consumer not with the product, but with what the product represents and how the consumer fits into the experience. 

Consumers want to be part of the brand’s story, putting their stamp of approval on products and services through social media engagement and shopping with companies who have purpose beyond simply selling a product. Aligning purpose-driven marketing with context drives the conversation. 

Join the Conversation – Participation

The narrative, once written by the press or public relations firms, is now in the hands of the consumer. Social media has played a big part in this change and offers not only consumers the opportunity to weigh in, but allows companies to address issues in real time, right wrongs, offer solutions or discounts, and a myriad of other engagement opportunities to drive marketing dollars toward a healthy bottom line.

The core of marketing communication will be just that, communication. As brands become more sophisticated, marketers utilize a myriad of channels to manage customer relationships while at the same time using marketing insights from such engagement to improve service and products. Consumer values, behaviors, and tastes driven by data and content distribution will become the core of marketing. 

If you’re interested in joining the conversation, we may have a role for you. We specialize in mid-to-senior level digital and analytics recruitment. Check out our Senior CRM Analyst job hereor visit our website for all our current vacancies.

For the East Coast and Mid-West teams please call 212-796-6070, or email newyorkinfo@harnham.com.

For the West Coast team call 415-614-4999 or email sanfraninfo@harnham.com. 

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