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2016 is wrapping up, but the trends we’ve seen throughout the year will continue to make an impact as digital transformation forces brands to take a “customer obsessed” approach. A personalized customer experience has the power to truly set a brand apart.
But it’s important that marketers don’t get distracted by shiny new technological advancements. Tried and true mediums like email and social media continue to effectively reach consumers. With additional elements of connectivity, commerce, and augmented and virtual reality in full swing, it’s time to take a hard look at what works and why. From there, marketers can determine if these new approaches can take their digital messaging strategy to the next level and drive business growth for their brand.
Let’s take a look at four key trends in detail:
Trend #1 Creating convenience for the customer
Time is a precious commodity for the multi-tasking consumer, and convenience from the brands they interact with is both desired and appreciated. With the average 120+ emails consumers receive on a daily basis and 40% of the workday allocated for meetings and administrative tasks—not to mention personal commitments—consumers are constantly on the go and looking for time-saving opportunities. In 2016, the over programmed landscape of this on-the-go reality opened the door for marketers to focus on finding ways to create convenience for their customers.
Trend #2 Enhancing the customer experience
Consumers look for experiences first, not things. 2016 saw marketers get creative with their campaign planning to generate immersive experiences that leverage technology to bridge the digital and physical divide.
Augmented and virtual reality disrupted major digital markets this year, and it’s forecasted that this will become an $80 billion market by 2025, which is roughly the size of the desktop PC market today.
These innovations go a long way toward improving the customer experience, but they don’t require brands to transform in order to make the most of them. Stay true to your objectives and brand purpose, but consider how you can leverage technology and strategic ideas in ways that make sense for your business to enhance your customers’ experience.
Trend #3 Emotional connections are getting deeper for the customer
A study of the new science of customer emotions published by Harvard Business Review shows evidence that the most effective way to maximize customer value is to move beyond customer satisfaction and connect with customers on an emotional level by tapping into their deep, often unspoken emotional needs. In 2016, we observed several brands leveraging this strategy to connect with consumers on a deeper level.
Trend #4 Speaking the customer’s language
With 6 billion emojis sent daily, they’ve become a universal language by giving people a way to channel their emotions, which are often hard to convey through text message. Throughout the year, more brands have incorporated emojis into their marketing efforts to be more expressive and speak the language of their customers. There are many benefits to incorporating these icons into your marketing programs. They are a bridge between digital and physical, and while playful and fun, they can enhance communication and drive response.
Customer-centric digital messaging approaches will continue at full speed throughout the journey of digital transformation next year. It will advance with the developments of new data-fueled technologies and ideas focused on creating immersive experiences and will enable many impressionable moments for consumers. As marketers finalize their 2017 plans, they must consider how to build on the existing relationship and obtain a single customer view to market to each customer in the most impactful and meaningful moments. Over time, these approaches will engender deeper loyalty and your customers will become “obsessed” with your brand.
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