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4 Digital Customer Experience & Marketing Trends For 2021
By Sinan Gunal, Managing Partner, Labrys
CULTURE: WFH WILL BE THE NEXT NORMAL, GEAR UP!
Work From Home (WFH) has become a generally accepted phenomenon with 2020. But the truth is, this is the revolution what technology brought us at the end. Even before 2020 pandemic events, number of freelancers in various service industries had already increased. People had quit their traditional jobs to form new start-ups, or some home-grown & bred businesses to control their own time and keep work-life balance.
This would definitely introduce a new type of consumption pattern & personas both in B2B & B2C industries. Starting with 2021, creating meaningful journeys that spread across many channels and lead management for even more small businesses will be the key for success. Organizations who geared up for procurement for bulks in B2B should turn into more agile processes and respond to B2C-like requirements. Besides, B2C demand will surge especially in retail, banking, telecom in order to meet the demands of small businesses. The profitability of existing operations may decrease hence organizations must be ready to handle more transactions with lower profits. This would bring in the question to find more marketing qualified leads in the market, rather than mass shooting (advertising) with any available third-party data sets. So, lead nurturing & management with a fine journey orchestration capability would be utmost priority starting 2021.
MEDIA: COOKIELESS WORLD: IS IT THE END OR THE BEGINNING?
The demise of third-party cookies has started by 2020. “Big Tech” seemed to cooperate with the privacy-driven industry bodies, but all they seem to be interested in creating an environment that magnify & strengthen their walled gardens. On the other end, advertisers seem to be clueless on how to take action to get out of their existing comfort zones of targeting via “other peoples’ data” and transforming into a first-party data driven world to reach out to audiences to convey their messages.
Whatever happens in this debate, and whatever solution is found, 2021 would be the year to act on this issue, as only a year after, these comfort zones would vanish by themselves, leaving a big gap in ad targeting capabilities. Brands shall start building up their own data, targeting and omnichannel experience strategies from scratch. Audience targeting must start with first party data of advertisers, but not with “other peoples’ data” as they are used to.
Cookieless world is clearly not the end of advertising as we know it! But it is the beginning of a new era for marketers to tap into new skillsets to benefit from new gen AdTech & MarTech.
EXECUTION: MARKETING OPERATIONS: TIME TO EXCEL IN EXECUTION
Conversion paths are not linear anymore. Therefore, many creatives, many HTMLs, many banners need to be processed in no time to “be found” at the right moment for the right audience at the right channel. Execution is not a single process anymore but also about personalization in a fast manner in every channel.
Marketing was always thought to be an “awareness & brand building” game through “big ideas”, long or short films, creatives & media. Today it is all centered around the “customer” and managing the “experience” they get in all brand touchpoints. Hence, today’s branding elevates with the experience audiences live through in this nonlinear journey.
So, in 2021, it would not only be about using social media creatively or try new platforms like TikTok or shoot great webisodes for your YouTube Channel or have big fat product launches. But it would be marketers’ job to work on this execution-first world in many channels simultaneously, understand the dynamics & process of this operation, develop a multi-skilled team with an understanding of positioning, advertising and technology at the same time rather than only brand marketers. It would be essential to create an ecosystem of AdTech, MarTech and partners (not agencies) to bring more revenue to the company, but not only a reputable brand.
SERVICE: HOW AGILE IS YOUR “CUSTOMER SERVICE” ORGANIZATION?
Pandemic has reset usual working habits for all organizations. A less discussed impact was on customer service. All ticketing, complaint management & service processes needed to go remote, including problem solving & ticket management. Hence, many organizations were caught flat-footed and did suffer to survive in this customer service chaos. Teams needed to discover new methods to collaborate, share data, provide efficient service to their customers by communicating in a virtual space rather than calling out a colleague’s name in the next desk to find a solution to a customer problem.
In the next decade, by investing in the right technologies that will help you to collaborate remotely for digital customer service, your organization can transform disadvantages of WFH into an advantage. Change in customer behaviour that brings in remote orders (digital commerce) into picture more & more would also raise customer expectations of an agile service organization that has a unified customer view across channels and a more agile, swift and empowered problem-solving customer service process.