What 2018 Taught Us About Digital Marketing
Measuring success through likes, shares, and comments became old news. Instead, the widespread adoption of AI’s predictive analytics brought in a new era for the customer journey. With the combination of data capture and AI-powered targeting, digital marketers could deeply personalise the customer experience. As a result, they stopped crossing their fingers for conversion and started strategically planning for it instead.
AI Is For Everyone
AI’s incredibly efficient analysis of customer data helped agencies large and small understand exactly when target audiences were most receptive to their message. Whether their goal was to engage, convert a sale, or gain a new subscriber, agencies that picked up on the power of AI harnessed it in order to micro-segment their audience for enhanced behaviour prediction. This micro-segmentation drove real time marketing communication that led to increased engagement across various channels, all while improving the customer experience.
The deeper your brand’s pockets, the more customer data you could utilise for highly targeted and specific messaging. Naturally, data capture and utilisation on this broad scale has long raised concerns surrounding customer privacy and data security, which came to a head with the enforceability of GDPR in May 2018.
In 2019 you’ll see… well, we’ll get to 2019’s forecast shortly. Hold on tight, 2018’s plummeting customer engagement is up next – and we know you lost sleep over that.
Customer Engagement’s Tumultuous Romance
Engagement stats were a hot mess throughout 2018. One day they were up, the next they were down. It’s safe to say the term ‘engagement’ was followed by an exhausted sigh from early 2018 onward in the digital marketing sphere. Marketers and brands had simply had enough of challenges like ever-changing social media algorithms (we see you Facebook feed update), shifting consumer habits, and competing against uninformative clickbait in an already crowded marketing space.
But it wasn’t all doom and gloom. Digital marketers are clever cookies (pun intended) and shifted their focus in 2018 to micro-segmenting their audience and creating strong creative advertising that targeted those segments. The idea was to make customers feel personally spoken to by the brand, which in turn would allow brands to experience increased customer engagement. There’s a great deal of engagement power in consumer participation, specifically when brand-customer conversations shift from just liking, sharing, and commenting toward two-way interactions.
Digital Marketing In 2019 aka Staying Ahead Of The Curve
So far, 2019 has been about stepping out ahead of the competition. Throughout this year, agencies will be watching for the next big idea, increasingly personal ways to capture audience data, and more effective methods for customer engagement. As technology continues to rapidly develop, we will see digital marketing agencies embrace fresh marketing opportunities as they come knocking and adapt existing marketing techniques to those opportunities.
2019 will see agencies building on traditional engagement metrics to achieve a level of customer experience that exists beyond our current understanding of engagement: interaction. Brands will utilise technology to achieve two-way interactions with their customers. We’re not referring to ‘how are you/fine thank you’ conversations (AI chatbots have that covered), we’re talking about customers interacting with brands through entirely new sales channels. Channels that cater to the customer experience. The future is limitless for the integration of customer and brand, and this integration is inevitable. 2019 is sure to feature unique ways of creating two-way interaction between customers and brands.
The key to thriving in 2019 (and beyond) is to adapt and evolve with the digital marketing landscape. Be agile, pivot, and jump on board the next new thing before your brand’s competition does. Agencies that excel this year will be proactive. They’ll focus their energy on adapting to variable customer preferences in an ever-changing digital media space. We’re already working with forward-thinking agencies around the globe. They’re creating magical brand experiences for their clients’ customers with our Living Products™ technology. Check out how we’re making the future of digital marketing a reality.