Marketers are innovative by nature. They’re constantly pursuing better, faster ways to improve their marketing efforts and results in order to be more successful. If they aren’t looking forward, they risk stagnation.
This progressive, innovative spirit is admirable, but it also comes with a downside — marketers can sometimes be prone to the allure of lofty industry predictions, or the latest-and-greatest trends, and risk losing sight of the here-and-now marketing priorities that are essential for achieving business results.
As a marketer, you’re under more pressure today than ever before. You’re being asked to do more with fewer resources. And the high expectations placed on you and your team are only going to increase as we move deeper into 2022. You (and, frankly, your brand) can’t afford to be distracted by shiny objects.
But we’re here to help keep you focused.
Here’s a glimpse of those priority strategies that innovative marketing leaders are already focused on to drive better results for their brands.
#1. Email: Personalization with Context (And Don’t Settle for Less)
Email may seem like an old-school marketing channel, but it remains one the most effective channels for engaging new and returning customers. However, if you’re currently treating email as simply an outlet for your easy blast-and-batch communications… well, that is old school.
Your customers still respond to email, but they’re much more discerning when it comes to the email content they engage with. They expect personalized and relevant messages, not dull one-size-fits-all stuff. If your ESP doesn’t let you individualize each and every email you send and tailor it to wherever the customer is in their journey with your brand, find one that will. It’s what your business demands and what your customers deserve.
This year, no more status quo email marketing. Instead, make personalized contextual emails a top priority.
“[We can] target customers dynamically with product recommendations based on what they previously browsed [and] what they’ve previously purchased, and start to really develop that 1:1 customer relationship. […] If we send half a million emails, we’re sending half a million [unique] emails. Every single email is unique to that individual customer and what they want to buy and what they’re interested in, based on what we know about them.“
#2. CX: Marketers Must Drive the Agenda for the Customer
“It’s all about the customer.” Sure, you’ve heard it before. But does it carry over into your day-to-day marketing efforts? Are you thinking about what’s best for your customer… or what’s best for your marketing?
No doubt in your role as a marketer you now have greater responsibility to keep a close eye on the business side of things. But it’s imperative you don’t lose sight of the customer. You’re the one who dictates what kind of relationship your customers have with your brands, who owns the customer lifecycle, and who manages the overall customer experience.
Prioritize CX this year. Ensure you’re delivering the best possible 1:1 experiences to your customers, delivering on their needs at every point in their lifecycle, and consistently re-engaging them in ways that satisfy and delight them.
“A lot of brands forget about the relationship element. We are dealing with customers, with humans, that really want that relationship with the brand. The first-party element is obviously really important to us. […] We have customers that have specific goals they want to reach… and that’s really important to us to find out. […] I think that’s just the perfect way of using first-party data to create a positive experience and build a positive relationship for the future.”
#3. Omnichannel Marketing: Meet Customers Where They Want to Meet You
If you hear “omnichannel marketing” and simply think “breadth of channels to deploy brand marketing content,” you’re missing the mark.
The purpose of being on more channels isn’t to give your team more avenues through which to bombard customers wherever and whenever possible. The real purpose is to enable the customer to connect with your brand in whichever way they prefer. Omnichannel marketing is still about the customer — it’s meeting customers where they want to meet you.
Prioritize 1:1 omnichannel marketing in 2022. Personalized email should be the superstar channel of your omnichannel strategy, but every channel — mobile, app, SMS, web, store, and more — must be seamlessly connected. Customers expect to enjoy a consistent, individualized experience across all channels, no matter when, where, and how they want to reach your brand.
“You can implement emails and can send out [so many] emails per day, but if the customer doesn’t show any engagement, then maybe email is not the correct tool. So you really have to see which communication tool fits to [what] you need and also in which part of the lifecycle.“
#4. Tech Stack: Stop Wasting Time and Money
Once upon a time, it was exciting to add more and more three-letter acronym solutions to your tech stack, having more technology just for the sake of having it. But now, if you’re like most marketers who have to contend with bloated, fragmented martech, you understand that more technology can sometimes lead to more problems.
That’s because excessive technology is a resource hog that sucks up your time and money. New pieces of technology take time to learn and navigate, which leads to low adoption rates. And if you’re spending your marketing budget on solutions that you aren’t even using, you’re throwing money away. Plus, data often sits outside the technology, which causes silos and hinders your ability to deliver 1:1 experiences in real time.
This year, you don’t need to add more technology. You need to consolidate your tech stack. Bring your data and technology together into a single unified platform so you can save time and money — and more importantly — deliver better customer experiences.
“Being able to neatly tie up customers with what they were buying, what we had available in our product feed, for example, and where the customer was on the journey really helped. It starts with analyzing the data that you’ve got, bringing that all together in one place so the data is no longer siloed, and analyzing and then making use of all of the technology that Emarsys has in terms of recommendations.”
#5. Marketing Automation: Free Your Marketing Humans to Do What They Love
You can certainly save time by consolidating your technology, but you can also save time by better leveraging your technology, especially when it comes to cross-channel marketing automation.
Our research tells us that 57% of marketers feel their time is limited and “wish they had more time in the day,” and that a large portion of their effort goes into working with execution tools across channels.
Cross-channel marketing is vital to driving customer growth and increasing revenue, but it can take up a huge chunk of your time if you’re executing it all manually. With the right technology, you can easily automate your cross-channel marketing execution, so you get more time back in your day to focus on the creative marketing efforts you truly love.
To avoid burnout for you and your marketing team this year, make marketing automation part of your strategy. Ensure you have the technology in place to automate your go-to personalized, 1:1 engagements across all channels, at scale.
“[Price Drop has] been amazing for us […] It’s just such an easy tool that works for you in the background that we don’t have to touch. […] We have a 40% open rate, 7% click-through rate, and 11% conversion rate just for that automation.”
#6 AI: Gain the Team Member(s) You So Desperately Need
Intelligent personalized marketing — the kind that consistently drives customer engagement and leads to greater growth and revenue — requires a lot of hard work and several crucial team members, such as:
- An amazing data analyst to scour all your customer data (without needing IT’s help) and discover actionable insights and opportunities.
- A segmentation expert who always knows the right customer segments to engage, and which content will work best for those segments.
- A tireless marketer to ensure personalized 1:1 experiences can be provided to customers at the most impactful moment, at any and all hours of the day.
But actually, you and your team shouldn’t have to do all that hard work — or hire for so many positions — when artificial intelligence can easily do it all. Added bonus: AI is so good at analyzing your customer data that it can “predict” what your customers will most likely want, when they’ll want it, and which channel they’ll prefer.
AI is the team member(s) you desperately need in order to scale real-time personalization and take your marketing efforts from reactive to proactive. Save your team from having to do all the heavy lifting — make it a priority to bring AI aboard in 2022.
“So with predictive modeling, AI, machine learning, etc., we’ve taken two approaches. We’ve, as I mentioned previously, leant on providers which are Emarsys, utilizing their max AI modeling. […] We have [also] started onboarding internal teams that are literally spending day in and day out on data science, working out who our audience is, who we should be spending budget on, who to leave alone, which is then able to help us build our cross-channel marketing strategy, figuring out high-value actions for new audiences.”
#7. Loyalty: Deliver the Value Customers Want, So They Keep Coming Back
When your customers consider engaging with your brand, they’re thinking about what experience you can offer them and what value you can provide. But I’m not just talking about the first time they engage with your brand — this happens every time they engage.
Giving customers value is what keeps them coming back again and again. It’s the foundation to building lasting customer loyalty. And loyal customers will buy more often and at higher values, which means your revenue will grow.
Make loyalty a priority in 2022, but not solely in the points-and-prizes kind of way. Focus on unparalleled 1:1 customer engagement, and crafting experiences that lead to deeper relationships with your customers.
“Create value through engagement and relevance. It’s not just a transactional mindset that e-commerce businesses have. Now more than ever, consumers will gravitate toward digital — even for pre- or post-purchase experience from awareness to consideration to post purchase.”
Out with the old and in with the new! What’s old? Any approach or strategy that doesn’t keep the customer front and center of your marketing — get rid of it. What’s new? Clear, actionable commerce marketing priorities that empower your team to drive growth and revenue while also delivering the best customer experiences possible.
If you need help figuring out what those priorities should be, take a look at our latest ebook, unPredictions: Commerce Marketing Priorities Powering 2022. It’s full of insight, tools, and strategies that innovative brand marketers are already using to elevate their marketing, deliver more personalized customer experiences, and accelerate business outcomes in the new year and well beyond.
unPredictions: Commerce Marketing Priorities Powering 2022
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