Pushing more ads is not the answer; marketers need to get smarter about their approach to deliver personalized experiences at scale. The right AI technology can make the difference, but what should marketers be looking for in solutions aimed to optimize customer experience?
Content produced in association with 7.ai
With an increasing percentage of the global population online and mobile devices bringing connectivity to evermore contexts, marketers have ample opportunity to reach their target audience. Moreover, the data created by consumers can be captured and processed to fuel sophisticated targeting technologies, creating the possibility of tailoring our message to each individual.
The holy grail of ‘the right message, to the right person, at the right time’ finally feels achievable, but only if we work with the right technology to bring it to reality. After all, if the current approach to digital advertising was working, we would not see as many as 69.89 million Americans download an ad blocker on their Internet browser.
Advertisers need to add value to online experiences rather than disrupting them, but that is easier said than done.
Moving beyond ‘the funnel’
A change of mindset among marketers is as important as an improvement in technology.
First of all, we need to move past the reductive idea of the purchase funnel. Today’s consumer is too complex and moves so swiftly across channels, it is almost impossible to categorize their psychological states in simplistic terms.
The reality of the modern consumer is that they move through various demand states in any given day, expressed in moments when they reach for their devices to accomplish a task. If marketers understand this, it is possible to assimilate into the audience’s lives and add value when they express these needs or desires.
People do not experience marketing channels. An individual will move from Google to Facebook without considering it a switch from search to social, and that matters if we want to create a consistent experience. This is especially true as people’s expectations of brands continue to rise; a bad experience can be shared via social networks instantaneously, too.
In fact, Forrester reports that 62% of online adults in the US are “always addressable”, which of course means they are equally able to express their opinions at all times.
The stakes have never been higher, but the rewards are there for brands who understand their audience and create a digital identity for their brand that meets expectations across all touch points.
Making sense of so much data
We are in the age of big data, but the onus is on marketers to separate signal from so much noise. This is where we require a technology partner that can automate these processes and provide computational power that humans could only dream of possessing.
Artificial intelligence is opening up new ways to drive cost-efficient, high-ROI marketing campaigns, and combined with the right message, paired with dynamic personalized elemtenes that can be optimized in real-time, the potential results are significantly greater than we have seen to date.
In particular, the field of predictive analytics has proved highly profitable.
Predictive analytics can synthesize various data sources, analyze the data to identify behavioral trends, then predict future outcomes at a vast scale. For example, it is now possible to identify individuals who have not yet abandoned their cart but are likely to do so, and send them an automated message to incentivize them to stay.
This demonstrates the opportunity to understand consumer intent before it is even expressed. The added value for the consumer is self-evident, so their willingness to engage with ads is increased.
‘Madtech’: quality and quantity
We are accustomed to a trade-off between quality and quantity, but a new possibility is opened up through the combination of adtech and martech. The former typically uses third-party data to provide scalable audience segmentation, while the latter excels in personalization.
Technology that brings together the best of both worlds can deliver on the four areas that matter in this new landscape:
- Consistency: Brands can reduce waste and increase engagement by delivering a true, consistent omnichannel experience to their customers. Modern consumers expect no less.
- Targeting: It is essential to target the right people, but also to target them at the right time. Psychologically, the same person will have different needs on LinkedIn versus Facebook, or at night versus the morning. Predictive analytics can simplify this process and make it much more effective.
- Scale: For any process to be successful, it needs to be repeatable. The right technology platform for your customer experience requirements will be able to target the right people, across all channels and devices, with the right message, at the right time.
- Personalized Messaging: Personalization remains the biggest opportunity for digital marketers. Targeting is important, of course, but we need to get the right message across once we have our audience’s attention. In just 8 seconds, brands need to get their story across. Making it personal makes all the difference.
For more insights into the modern marketing landscape, read The CMO’s Guide to Digital Transformation by 7.ai.