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BizReport : Advertising archives : December 14, 2017

Expert IDs tech trends to watch for 2018

Tech continues to change the way marketers approach their customers. From chatbots to voice assist, one expert identifies ways tech will change how marketers engage in the new year.

by Kristina Knight

First, personalization. We passed the point where a simple name in a subject line was considered 'personalized marketing', and yet brands remain unsure how to personalize messaging and ads without leaving their customers feeling creeped out. With so many options and platforms for personalization, how should marketers proceed? Carefully, and with a holistic eye to the journey.

"The prevalence of digital technology has led to the development of increasingly high expectations from consumers in terms of their digital experiences being tailored to their interests and needs. These high expectations result in the need for organizations to become more customer-centric if they want to remain relevant, competitive, and able to meet their business goals. For example, we have just begun using Acquia Journey, which was just release from Beta. Acquia Journey enables marketers to map, assemble, orchestrate, and deliver personalized customer experiences on any channel of interaction - in the moment, when it matters most to their customer. Journey allows for easy integration with their organizations marketing technology and individual's data so they can deliver meaningful, best-next content, and offers at any moment in the customer lifecycle; from acquisition to conversion to loyalty," said Brian Byer, VP of Business Development, Blue Fountain Media.

Next, voice assist. This relative newcomer to the digital space has quickly caught on with savvy consumers who want a simple way to check the weather, order a birthday gift, or play music. As more consumers connect with these options, brands need to be ready to serve their needs.

"Digital Experiences are no longer bound to a screen, smart speaker usage has more than doubles in the last 2 years and is projected to exceed 50% of all search by 2020 (2016 internet trends report). Great experiences take into account the environment in which people get their work accomplished," said Byer. "Leveraging voice and conversational technologies eliminate points of friction and delight customers. Asking Google or Alexa to unlock the door, turn up the heat and turn up the music is much easier than finding reading glasses while you are cooking dinner. Voice assist is also moving beyond the home and being used in business along with AI to facilitate machine learning, verbal reporting of revenues can become an Alexa skill and AI can enable the slicing and dicing of those reports into more usable numbers, unique to each business needs."

Finally, chatbots. While the verdict remains out on how effective chatbots can be, many marketers are investing in the technology.

"We are moving into the 3rd wave of the digital evolution. Initially, systems of records (ERP, Web, Y2K) were the primary focus of enterprises. This moved into Systems of Engagement (Content, Ecommerce, Mobile, Marketing). The 3rd wave is upon us and it's based on systems of intelligence (Cloud, IoT, AI, VR, AR). Chatbots and messaging apps are poised for a rapid expansion in implementation and adoption. By incorporating AI and integrations with systems of record, a consumer can now interface with a chatbot and change their phone plan, as an example, in a frictionless environment without having to wait on hold to speak to a human being without instant access to the same level of intelligence," said Byer.

Tags: advertising, advertising trends, Blue Fountain Media, social marketing tips, social marketing trends

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