What are the biggest Digital Marketing challenges that organizations face in a new reality? And what will the interaction with customers look like in the future? These questions are answered by the latest report entitled “The Technological Transformation of Digital Marketing”. The “new normal” caused by the pandemic has digitized virtually every aspect of modern life, which has also contributed to changing our shopping habits and the way we consume services. So how has advancing digitization affected and continues to affect organizations and their marketing departments?
The aforementioned study shows that the biggest challenges of Digital Marketing Company Birmingham currently concern three areas: customers, technology, and employees. The habits and preferences of the former are changing at a rapid pace – customers are becoming more demanding and less loyal, and often the decision to switch to a competitive brand is determined not only by the price and quality of the product but also by a friendly and convenient shopping process. In turn, technologies, now having a huge impact on organizations, make it a key challenge to identify the right tools that are worth using in the right place and time to keep up with customer movements. The challenge in this area is also the need to constantly set the direction of development of the owned software. On the other hand, teams responsible in companies for marketing,
And so, to the question asked by the authors of the report – what are the biggest challenges facing the company’s marketing department today – respondents indicated acquiring new customers. It was followed by: increasing the frequency of transactions and retention of current customers. In turn, among the biggest challenges in the implementation of the business strategy, the respondents pointed to the development and implementation of new products. As it turns out, market leaders are already trying to implement their strategies by using advanced activities and investing in digital channels, while companies aspiring to become leaders struggle with increasing efficiency and diversifying sales channels.
When it comes to digital marketing activities, enterprises make extensive use of marketing automation, A/B testing, and other techniques to better understand their customers, according to an EY study. For nearly half of the organizations, customers are the main driver of change – however, it is noteworthy that every sixth company does not use a fully customer-centric approach at all. In turn, nearly every third uses the full potential of customer micro-segmentation, personalization of experiences, and every fourth – approach and the integration of data from many sources (360-degree view of the customer).
Unfortunately, in most of the surveyed areas, more than half of the organizations do not fully use their capabilities. This clearly shows the level of challenges faced by enterprises in the field of digitization, emphasizing the authors of the analysis.
The authors of the study indicate that market leaders also set the direction for aspiring organizations, which should use measures to individualize the experience of their clients to a greater extent, due to their measurable impact on key performance indicators. First of all, it’s about improving conversions, and user experience and increasing the frequency of interactions. And so, according to the analysis, almost half of the leaders intensively personalize customer experiences, while among aspiring organizations, almost every tenth company, unfortunately, does not use this type of activity at all.
It turns out that personalization is still largely based on simple mechanisms – most organizations use historical data based on cookies or data collected based on interaction history. On the other hand, creating individual Next Best Action/Next Best Offer recommendations based on artificial intelligence or machine learning, i.e. the solution recommended by the authors of the report, is used by only companies. Therefore, there is a huge potential for development in this area.
Technologies used in digital marketing
According to the report, the most frequently used marketing technology by domestic companies is the marketing automation tool. The next positions are personalization tools and tools for traffic analysis in digital channels. What is surprising, however, is the fact that many of the surveyed organizations do not use a system, which indicates that they do not manage relations with their customers at all.
In terms of technology, of course, market leaders use the e-commerce platform much more often than other companies. They also put more emphasis on the use of more advanced solutions – artificial intelligence and machine learning or augmented and virtual reality.
In the last 18 months, i.e. since the outbreak of the pandemic, up to three-quarters of organizations have invested in at least one new marketing technology. The most frequently implemented software was a personalization tool followed by: marketing automation, traffic analysis in digital channels, and an e-commerce platform. In turn, the main business motives indicated by the respondents for the implementation of the new marketing technology were: improving user experience and increasing the level of acquisition and conversion. As the authors of the study indicate, however, it should be remembered that innovations do not rely on the mere fact of having tools, but also on the ability to use them and adapt them to current business needs.
What will the digital marketing of the future be like?
The report shows that only the surveyed companies plan to implement new technology within the next 18 months. It is therefore clearly visible that the dynamics of investments in this area are declining. Most likely, this is the result of an earlier, accelerated digital arms race that caused the outbreak of the pandemic. Currently, national organizations do not declare any plans to implement new tools.
As for the long-term vision of development, according to the respondents, marketing will primarily be subject to further digitization and automation. A high percentage of respondents also indicated in this respect focus on the overall customer experience in contact with the company and analytics. As it turns out, these short-term and long-term plans apply equally to both market leaders and aspiring companies.
key areas of customer interaction
Taking into account the detailed results of the study, experts have prepared recommendations for eight key areas that organizations. You should take this into account when planning your activities in the area of digital interaction with customers. As the authors of the report indicate, they are important both for market leaders who want to strengthen their advantage and maintain their current position. As well as for companies only planning to transform their organizations on a larger scale. These areas are:
· The evolving role of marketing. To operate effectively, marketing departments should have fast and wide access to information, unified data sources, and a flexible model of their delivery, ensuring scalability. It is also important to support the marketing function with data from partners (second-party data) and third parties, which strengthens predictive abilities and correlation analytics.
· Work culture and organization. Organizations should invest in the development of their teams and talents. People are the most important because they are responsible for creating strategies, selecting and developing technologies, and drawing conclusions based on the observations made The key aspect is the openness of the organizational culture and the appreciation of the importance of experimenting and learning from mistakes.
· Technology and tools. Technology is an important factor in building a competitive advantage, but in light of the dynamics of market changes, it quickly becomes obsolete. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct cyclical reviews and answer the questions – are further investments in developing rational and profitable, or is it time for a change?
· Time to market. Time is of the essence in digital marketing, which is why organizations should aim for precise, immediate addressing of campaigns (in the right place and time), as well as shortening the time of their implementation. The study showed that the ability to understand the customer is an extremely important element of building a competitive advantage. However, an important aspect in the context of time-to-market optimization is also the monitoring of internal processes to strive for operational excellence.
· Hyper personalization. The use of personalization unquestionably brings measurable results to organizations. Companies, therefore, need to think strategically about their recommendations – not only to maximize the experience but also to build trust. Personalization combined with the sense of security of customers is a great market opportunity and the future that is just coming.
· Existence in a cookie-less world. The phasing out of third-party cookies in most web browsers will significantly impact customer relationships and data-driven marketing. Birmingham Based Digital Marketing Firm will therefore have to put more emphasis on the scalability of their own and external data, for example by building appropriate partnerships.
· Customer experience. Every aspect of the customer life cycle is important – from the acquisition process, payment handling, service delivery, product use, delivery process, complaint handling, and returns or incentives to re-enter the purchasing process. It should be remembered that not only major changes and groundbreaking functionalities can influence the perception of the brand in the eyes of the customer. NPS can also be improved by several minor changes, such as more accurate descriptions of products and services, clarification of the purchasing process, or return options, giving consumers a sense of security.