According to Kyle Lacy, Director of Global Content Marketing & Research at the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, in one of the breakout sessions at Connections 2014, there are 7 Technology Trends as well as recommendations for how brands can use these trends to enhance their customer journeys. Kyle shared key technology trends that are transforming how customers communicate, and how brands should be interacting with them.
1. Moments Matter
Take advantage of every experience the customer has with your brand no matter what the interaction is and what device it’s happening on. Moments really do matter when technology allows us to reach our customers at any stage along the customer journey. Think about your stage in the customer journey and how to optimize those moments and the experience your customers have with your brand, says the report.
2. Connected Consumer
Mobility is the largest trend seen in all the recent trends uncovered, and this is just the beginning, says the report. Smartphones still have a massive growth potential with only 30% of the total market using smartphones. 42% of US consumers purchased a product on their mobile phone in 2013 and 83% of US consumers research products while in-store on their mobile phone.
Kyle noted. "…as the global consumer becomes more connected, we don’t care with what device, only that they are connected…”"
3. The Ecommerce/Amazon Effect
Amazon is revolutionizing ecommerce and retail. From things like Amazon Prime Air and enhancing product recommendations and personalization, Amazon continues to be on the cutting edge of technology. And, it's not just Amazon. Ecommerce is continuing to be transformed from giants like Alibaba to startups like Partpic.
4. Brand Personalization
Personalization is everything. The ExactTarget Marketing Cloud's recent Predictive Intelligence Benchmark Report found there is a 12-25% increase in sales if the transactional message includes personalized product recommendations.
5. Collaborative Economy
This is a collaboration between products, ideas, and people that is just another step in the social revolution, says the report.
The collaborative is defined as, "An economic model where creation, ownership, and access are shared between people and corporations." Brands like Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, LendingClub, and many others have introduced a whole new economic model that has major implications for how consumers are interacting with each other.
6. Social Intelligence
Social media has gone from a handful of use cases and strategies to a new concept of social intelligence based on numerous key aspects of social media ranging from tactical to strategic value.
The main issue now, though, says Kyle, is that organizations don’t know how to build out groups to manage “digital.” When empowering the new collaborative company, it’s about embedding social media cross the fabric of the organization, to make one department’s outputs another department’s inputs. This the true value and efficiency with social media.
7. Humanizing Automation
Kyle finished his seven trends with "humanizing automation." Automating the customer journey is a vital goal for most marketers. The challenge comes when you try to keep the human element to the customer journey while still maximizing efficiencies using automation. To do this, you need to be sure you're making data-based decision. (Relevant) data is where you start and experience is where you end, says Kyle.
David Walmsley, Head of Multichannel at Marks & Spencer, concurs by concluding that "… we must move from numbers keeping score, to numbers that drive better actions…"
For additional information about the discussion and more data from the presentation, please visit here.