The creation of accessible tools to segment and reach out to audiences has made the marketing industry more competitive than ever before. With consumer behavior thoroughly mapped and quantified, marketers have an easier time determining their messaging and ensuring their budget doesn’t go to waste.
However, even the most advanced metrics can fail to account for consumer behavior or fundamental changes in the market. Even before the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, skilled marketing teams were rewarded for changing their strategy and being flexible with their adoption of new technology. Now, marketers are faced with the dual struggle of figuring out how to empathize with a population struggling with a myriad of financial, health, and lifestyle concerns while still expanding their toolsets.
It’s hard to discuss technological trends without mentioning artificial intelligence (AI), which is on-trend to impact just about every industry. AI is projected to increase global GDP by up to 14% by 2030 and cannot be ignored for the potential competitive advantage it can create. For marketers, AI has the potential to offer unparalleled insight into consumer habits and provide automated customer solutions.
With the current pandemic shaping buying habits, AI can help companies get a handle on this shift in trends to help marketers learn how to best provide products and services to customers in a manner that fits their needs. Additionally, for oversold industries trying to manage an influx of customers, automation can help both field requests and oversee the production of additional stock.
Conversely, many customers want to feel like they’re being listened to and receive an immediate response when they reach out with questions. And, in uncertain times, they also want empathy from whoever they’re reaching out to. Ideally, this means an actual person, but when that’s not possible, conversational marketing is a potential solution.
This covers AI-enabled chatbots capable of providing more thorough answers based on what the customer is looking for as well as voice assistants that can help customers conduct searches or carry out tasks on their behalf. In fact, voice search has become another marketing platform to be accounted for, especially when considering SEO rankings for relevant websites.
To that end, customers also want communications to be personalized to them. It stands to reason that the absolute deluge of marketing correspondence forces people to tune most of it out, so finding any way of standing out in the crowd is important. This also coincides with the ongoing trend of marketers sending COVID-specific communication to customers, informing them of their business’s precautionary measures and potential charitable work. It can be easy to get lost in industry lingo, even when writing B2C. However, it’s up to marketers to find ways to reach customers that are simple and empathetic—even if they’re not trying to sell anything.
Every company has been forced to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that often means a serious reevaluation of marketing efforts to better communicate with customers. While sales are down in most industries, new marketing technologies can also play a part in appealing to audiences and fulfilling needs without being overt and pushy.