On one hand, marketing organization will see further specialization towards specific channels and tools like marketing automation. At the same time, there is a need for individuals with holistic knowledge of customer experience, CRM, websites, IT, digital marketing and analytics as well as excellent project management capabilities. Without this holistic knowledge, companies are not able to make the big leap. And without subject matter experts, the execution will fail.
Machine learning has had a profound impact on the future of marketing. Marketers can use it to automate their processes and considerably boost ROI. Machine learning runs in the background of most sites and collects massive amounts of data, including keyword searches, time spent on a page, and how often a product is added to a cart. Examples of systems that uses machine learning are Google Ads, Facebook Ads and LinkedIn ads. We have found that when combined with manual digital experts, the machine can create staggering conversion rates.
2018 was the breakthrough year for voice-controlled devices, with Alexa leading and Google Home as the runner up. Will 2019 be the year when companies on a broader front create and launch services for these devices? SAS, H&M, ICA and SJ Labs are some of the Swedish companies that already have launched applications for Google Home. Alexa has more than 50,000 “skills” in the United States, and it will soon be launched in Swedish.
Researchers Les Binet and Peter Field have focused on how to balance short- and long-term marketing activities. Their findings indicate that 60% brand-building activities and 40% sales activation represent the optimal mix – online as well as off. Many companies focus on conversion in digital marketing but forget the brand building part. Some channels, such as YouTube and Instagram, naturally lend themselves better for brand-building communication.
As tools become more advanced and sophisticated, we leave more and more of the decision making to machines and systems. Technology helps us with targeting and personalization, but all companies need a soul and a story. Content creation, curation and optimization will become more important and can be the difference between systems.
Few of the great things in life got that way by accident. It springs from hard work and research, so we need to understand what triggers emotions. The field of deep customer insights has grown and will have increasing importance. Tools for this can be anything from Hotjar and Tobii analyses to new types of Brand Potential Analysis.