A Taste Of 2020 Trends: Twilio Outlines Five Areas Of Change

People have had it. They’re fed up with robocalls, burned out on social media and suspicious of apps.

That leave marketers scrambling to provide “secure, 1-to-1 or group channels,” according to Twilio’s 2020 State Of Consumer Engagement Report.

Twilio handles 750 billion interactions per year for 170,000 customers. From this it has identified five emerging trends:

1. A seismic shift in the way companies engage with consumers —This means developing authentic connections through “personalized, dynamic conversations.”

But that’s not easy, given current attitudes:

  • 94% of consumers are annoyed by communications they receive
  • 83% prefer email as the channel, unless the communication is urgent where most consumers prefer text
  • 54% say it’s important that businesses make it easy to opt out
  • 52% want the option to choose the channel on which they receive messages.
  • 41% are annoyed because they don’t remember opting in to receive communications from businesses

2. AI is everywhere — “Today, interacting with AI is common,” the study notes. “However, the way most consumers engage it is still transactional.”

This leaves “a major opportunity for businesses to deploy conversational AI to create proactive, ongoing dialogue with customers, rather than one-off, reactive or transactional interactions.”

3. Robocalls kill trust — According to Twilio, 2019 was “the year Americans stopped answering the phones.”

This seems like an insurmountable problem, given the sheer volume of calls. But brands can “rebuild trust in their brand by making sure customers know who they are when calling (through verification and sender ID protocols like STIR/SHAKEN), and ensuring communication with their customers is both wanted and valuable.”

4. Politics moves beyond the polls — Newer platforms like apps and peer-to-peer messaging “are becoming ubiquitous, while standard channels like email and text are improving with better analytics and rich features (RCS),” the study states. But this depends on the level of skill.

“A Twilio study on the efficacy of U.S. presidential campaigns using email found that only 3.8% of campaign emails sent landed in the primary tab of constituent accounts,” the report continues. “A majority of messages were not delivered or routed to a secondary tab because basic best practices weren’t followed.”

5. CX is the differentiator — whatever the technology, this means brands have to understand the customer’s perspective. Pioneering businesses are “improving CX by walking in the customers’ shoes, optimizing engagement with their customers and removing as many points of friction as possible.”

Despite the use of apps in politics, shoppers are growing wary of them. “A company’s mobile app will become less relevant as brands make themselves available on the communication channels where consumers already exist — email and messaging in particular,” states Sara Varni, CMO at Twilio, according to the report.  

Citing research, Varni adds that “only 12% of global consumers want to be reached via a company’s mobile app.”



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