The goal of every marketer is to help their team build and implement the best strategies possible to ensure the best return on marketing investments. To do this, it is important for a CMO or marketing executive to have a good understanding of how technology is shaping the customer experience today as well as what tools are available to support the current and future marketing efforts to ensure future marketing success.
Marketing has changed vastly from what it was several decades ago. Marketers must be adept and flexible at understanding what customers want, when they want it, and how they want it and ensure their marketing strategies fit the end goal of customer satisfaction. Here are some of the marketing technology trends CMOs can look to build on in 2018.
Email marketing has been in action for several decades, and it remains a powerful tool in the customer journey. However, to ensure email marketing does not grow stale, engagement and relationship building is key. In several years past, email marketing advice has typically involved making sure offers are relevant to customers and crafting focused, attention-grabbing subject lines. While many of these tips remain true, there is a growing focus on how emails can no longer just be about pitching products and services or making the sale. Instead, it is important that content is curated and designed for customers based on their recent purchases or even their location. This approach boosts customer engagement and helps businesses to be more than just transactional. Additionally, this requires a focus on both the creative aspects of marketing, as well as on analytics, technology, and data to implement the processes that help shape the future of marketing.
Social Media Marketing
The year of 2018 will continue to see growth in several business departments within a single organization working together. No longer are sales, marketing, customer service, and other departments segmented and siloed experiences where goals are only aligned through semi-regular leadership meetings. Marketing has a more active role in creating the voice of those on the front lines of a company, especially through technology such as social media and customer service chat scripts.
A business presence on social media has long been a must-have marketing strategy for growing brand awareness and company voice. It has lately grown as a customer service tool. More customers are asking questions on social media, and companies are designating not only marketers to staff the social channels but also customer service representatives to handle things such as responding to inquiries on Twitter or messages on Facebook. Because of this focus on technology-driven customer service, CMOs must understand that being social online is no longer just a specific marketing aspect, it is a major part of the overall strategy. Helping other departments understand this can go a long way.
It is also a good idea for CMOs to keep an eye on relatively newer social media channels. For example, asking if Snapchat makes sense for your brand as a new way to spread your message and tell your brand story, could be an important question to answer as you move throughout 2018.
Digital and Content Marketing
The future of digital marketing involves a significant demand for a high level of personalization. The video will continue to play a dominant role in marketing, and technology will change things by allowing for more customized and personal experiences. Instead of passive video content, such as how-to videos that wait for clicks, or product-centric video ads, videos will play on social media platforms, in emails, and even on websites that relate to the interests of a customer and where they are along the buyer journey. Future ads will be driven by the customer and data that is derived from the customer, and less by the business and organizational intentions. Your marketing department can create content for many situations and behaviors, and the right data and technology can help to drive and deliver that. More custom-created content drives better interaction, and having the right data and behavior makes it that much easier.
When it comes to marketing technology trends CMOs should look to build on in 2018, the list is led by understanding the technology that drives the alignment of business goals and departments and personalized content that matches the customer journey and offers them customized solutions and resources that fit their needs, budgets, and time.