Digital transformation, interconnectivity and data protection will be big trends at Martech in 2021 – that’s what we noticed in yesterday’s post. I switched gears and asked marketing managers from Amplitude, Movable Ink, Segment and my colleagues at Braze what challenges to expect this year and how best to prepare for the end of COVID-19. Here’s what they had to say.
Actionable data and a single view of the customer are paramount to any marketing strategy
Data will remain a huge trend in 2021 as companies continue to collect mountains of customer data. The problem remains that much of this data is disconnected and unusable. Customers want brands to hear, understand, and act on their data. However, this still doesn’t happen across the board due to disparate data sources, marketing technologies that don’t work well together, and an inability to generate insights that translate into actionable insights.
“A lot of companies don’t have anywhere near a comprehensive view of a customer to respond to today,” he said Will Crocker Hay, VP for customer and partner marketing at Braze. “This point of view will be more and more difficult to construct the longer you leave the project behind. It is martech’s challenge to make this migration as easy as possible so that more companies can offer better and more connected customer experiences. “
Peter Reinhardt, CEO and co-founder of segment goes one step further to connect clean data with companies that are finally realizing the promise of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). “In the next five years, companies will have clean, good data that will enable them to leverage the power of AI / ML applications, for example to automatically rate their content or to get the right product in front of customers. Consumer organizations will see the greatest and fastest improvement in their AI / ML applications when they test and iterate with customers. While these use cases like content ranking may not seem futuristic, they will have a significant impact on bottom line and enable an innovative customer experience. “
Clean and connected data should be a priority for every business in 2021. For those who are proactive with data, the benefits translate into better experiences for your customers, resulting in better customer loyalty and sales. For companies that hesitate, the emerging data protection regulation will also serve as a compelling function to take their data practices more seriously and focus more on first-party data.
Related article: How Marketers Can Break Their Third Party Data Habits
How should organizations plan the “end” of COVID-19?
This is the billion dollar question. With a vaccine approved by most governments and distribution plans already in full swing, everyone at the end of the tunnel will see light. Companies with a strong digital infrastructure are already well positioned to weather unforeseen changes. However, similar to COVID, there remains a lot of uncertainty that has become the modus operandi of the pandemic.
Crocker Hay urged companies to look for technology designed for agility: “COVID-19 will change the game forever. Even with a widely available vaccine, consumer behavior will change significantly in the years to come, and the habits people develop digitally will in many cases persist. Organizations should continue to focus on flexible and interoperable technologies that meet the needs of their customers in any situation. “
Julio Lopez, Head of Customer Strategy and Retail Practice, leads Movable ink, took a silver lining on how marketers should approach 2021: “Take advantage of your newfound freedom. The pandemic turned the marketing playbook on its head – everything from the campaign idea to execution was subject to change as teams needed to become more agile. QA processes that used to take weeks have now been compressed into hours. Digital transformation efforts have been cut by years. Management is now more willing to try new things, be it technology or strategy. So don’t be afraid of it. “
One strategy that shouldn’t let any marketer fail: Put your customers’ interests first. Make an effort to understand them and to serve their needs – not your own. This not only leads to a satisfied customer, but also improves customer loyalty and lifelong value. “You need to understand what your users are actually doing when dealing with your brand. It’s no longer enough just to know that they visited your website, signed up for your product, or clicked on one of your ads, ”said Jake Schlan, Director of Growth Marketing Operations at amplitude. “Marketing and product teams need to have a complete, end-to-end retention, engagement and acquisition engine that will be up and running in 2021.”
Similar to 2020, there are many unknowns this year. The advice from these marketing managers will give you an overview of the strategy and tactics to best prepare for 2021 and beyond.
Related article: 6 Words Customer Experience Leaders Should Watch Out For
Rod McLeod is Senior Director of Communications at soldering, a comprehensive customer loyalty platform with more than 900 customers worldwide. Before joining Braze, he was Vice President of Communications at Kik, a popular chat platform that created the Kin cryptocurrency.