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Dec. 11, 2018
This paid piece is sponsored by Click Rain.
By Allie Hartzler, marketing engineer team manager
2011 was a simpler time for digital marketers. Getting Facebook likes and building mobile-friendly websites for businesses were top of mind. That same year, the first marketing technology landscape infographic was released.
Digital marketing has since evolved, going from only a handful of tools to the birth of a new discipline all its own — marketing technology. Thousands of marketing tools and technologies exist today. From advertising and business analytics to user experience, these tools are designed to increase profits by creating a better, more personalized customer experience.
Ultimately, though, the technology itself isn’t what matters. Our customers do. In 2019, marketers have the opportunity to leverage these technology trends to create a better customer experience.
The enormous amount of data collected from smartphones and tablets has led brands to create a personalized user experience in the digital space. Starbucks is the perfect example. The company uses real-time personalization to hyper-target emails based on customer purchase behavior. Existing Starbucks customers purchasing drinks will receive emails promoting food items that likely appeal to them based on their past purchases. According to Epsilon, 80 percent of consumers indicate they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences.
Businesses of all sizes can use data and personalization. Make sure any data collected is structured in a way that allows for segmentation and analysis, and identify opportunities to use that data to personalize website or email experiences.
Artificial intelligence is the ability for machines to mimic human logic and thinking. As technology has advanced, AI has become faster and more affordable, making it more accessible for marketers trying to analyze large data sets.
Although AI can be used to understand, personalize and influence customer behavior, it’s important to focus on solving a specific customer pain point rather than adopting the technology just for the sake of the technology.
For example, McCormick wanted to help its customers spend less time looking for recipes they’ll love and more time making memories with family and friends. McCormick used AI to build a customer-facing tool called FlavorPrint that predicts customer preferences. The tool combines purchase behavior, weather patterns, crop prices and more to recommend recipes and spices. In 2019, work toward evaluating your business problems through the lens of AI.
More data means more to measure. According to a 2018 eMarketer study, 49 percent of senior marketing professionals believe that “better reporting, measurement or attribution” is a topic that commands the most attention. Brands are harnessing consumer data to measure the success of digital campaigns — not on impressions or share of voice — but on actual sales data.
As your business adopts new tools and technologies, the data available at your fingertips will grow too. Remember that more isn’t necessarily better. In 2019, work toward meaningful metrics that tell the story of what’s actually happening with your marketing dollars.
Though the marketing technology landscape continues to become more complex, innovative brands are focusing on one simple goal: creating the best customer experience possible. When implemented properly, marketing technology can help to deliver what your customers are becoming more and more accustomed to: seamless, personalized, real-time experiences with your brand.
Remember 2011? Those were simpler times for digital marketing. But 2019 is bringing some valuable opportunities as marketing technology evolves — if you know how to harness them.