Delivering Unified Customer Experiences in 2022

    Delivering Unified Customer Experiences in 2022-01

    The year 2022 will be like a perfect storm, with all of the pieces coming together to provide customers with unified experiences that meet and surpass their expectations.

    The world of marketing has been rapidly evolving – during the pandemic, digital transformation accelerated, resulting in an increase in digitally connected channels and ever-increasing volumes of real-time data. Customers in today’s connected world have come to expect more personalized, relevant, and integrated experiences, and brand marketers have claimed to be able to provide.

    Three much-discussed trends and predictions from the past few years are finally coming to fruition in 2022. Marketers who are willing to adapt and embrace the shifting landscape will be able to deliver on the promise of a truly unified consumer experience.

    The growth of marketing as an extension of the customer experience

    Marketing has been on the periphery of a brand’s key consumer experience for a long time. When companies think of customer experience, they usually think of customer care and support, the store or branch experience, and the digital product experience. The role of marketing was frequently confined to focusing on marketing channels and optimizing them using data from those channels. Marketers were not expected to comprehend the whole extent of each customer’s experience with the brand, or to extend that experience to marketing channels, in such a limited role.

    In 2022, however, marketers will be more closely associated with the omnichannel customer experience, and they will be expected to view each marketing engagement as a “next-best experience” interaction.

    The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation, and all customer touchpoints are now digitally connected, allowing for a seamless data flow. With programmatic delivery, this “CX data” can now be utilized intelligently to drive cross-channel marketing decisions. Instead of focusing solely on getting campaigns out the door, marketers can now focus on making informed customer-centric decisions.

    The potential of MadTech (the integration of MarTech and AdTech) will soon be realized

    Brands will be able to take a more holistic approach to advertising in 2022, and will have a better understanding of the Lifetime Value (LTV) of their ad spend.

    Three major shifts are driving marketers to reconsider their strategy. For starters, privacy regulations have influenced how third-party data is packaged and traded. As a result, AdTech DMPs have changed their strategies or shut down entirely. Second, marketers are increasingly collecting and analyzing their own first-party customer data, as well as using that data to target ads. Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) have proven critical in allowing marketers to see and act on their data. Finally, with a new wave of CDPs that operate as a Marketing Hub, marketers can now orchestrate paid and owned marketing channels in a single platform more easily than ever before.

    With the third-party cookie being phased out, marketers must rely on first-party data and use it for ad targeting. Even if marketers begin with less precise data at the top of the funnel, a tighter integration between consent-driven progressive profiling, paid media advertising, and lifecycle marketing initiatives can generate a positive flywheel that leads to improved results across the whole customer journey. This integrated method also allows marketing teams to use control versus holdout tests to analyze the impact of paid media ads across the customer’s entire lifecycle.

    AI tools that integrate customer data with marketing execution amplify the value of real-time engagement

    Artificial intelligence (AI) has shown to be a potent marketing technology that is important to the success of marketing efforts. For the first time, AI technologies make it possible to understand consumer intent in real time. The ever-increasing data accumulated in real-time through digital CX touchpoints, which streamlines the buyer journey, is a significant enabler for AI.

    Marketers will need to leverage AI-driven automation and real-time data in order to succeed. This can be accomplished by aligning customer insights and marketing execution teams around common goals that help consumers proceed through their journey faster than ever before through helpful nudges. Brands must also integrate marketing storytelling skills alongside AI-enabled decision making at scale in order to maintain 1:1 engagement with all customers, irrespective of their number.

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