The beauty of my role in CRM and Data is that I get to help brands who have a genuine desire to simply do things better. As a consequence, I get to work and meet like-minded CRM and data focused individuals. They might work with organisations who are part of the tech ecosystem needed to support the brand’s objectives ; who share common interests on LinkedIn or who attend the DMA North Council on which I sit.
So I thought I would take the opportunity to ask some of them this simple question: ‘What should brands New Year’s resolutions be for 2019 when it comes to data and technology?’
April Mullen Director at Selligent Marketing Cloud
Their resolution should be ‘’ I will make cross-channel messages and journeys more effective’’
Artificial intelligence continues to be a trending topic for marketers. Although the industry is still in its AI infancy, 2019 will be a year where AI experimentation and application begins to take off.
What is AI going to make possible? Content optimization is an obvious area where AI can have an impact. Using machine learning, AI applications are able to make decisions on the types of offers and content shown to segments or even individuals. That’s just the beginning. Just as what’s contained within a message is dynamic, the journey will begin to develop a dynamic path based on an individual consumer’s needs. Journeys won’t be a mapped and static experience with linear pathing. The future of journeys using AI is analogous to building the sidewalk where the beaten down path has developed. Think of it as real-time optimization. It’s exciting to see the dream consumer experience that marketers have long desired to deliver finally becoming reality as a result of AI.
Tom Howes - Director, Enterprise Sales Persado
Conversion data through email campaigns, has shown at great lengths, the ineffectiveness and overexposure of poor performing 'urgent' language. The drop off is even worse in paid media.
Brands need to think twice before using “HURRY: THESE DIAMONDS ARE SELLING FAST!” and “Cold Feet? Buy these socks ASAP!” People in 2019 don’t want to be told to buy on a deadline — even if the creative is good and your text is in all caps. Be sure to test other emotions as well.
And guess what.. AI can be used today to enable your marketing team to do this effectively with little effort
Scott Logie - Managing Director, REad Group Insight
Brands need to take note of the increase in self-service technologies in 2019. This technology allows businesses to run important services automatically and effectively
The first is the use of AI and machine learning, which will automate contact strategies and customer profiling; enabling businesses to ensure that they are targeting the right people. The technology will become less expensive and therefore more accessible, meaning more organistions will have the ability to use it, not just the big ones.
The other key development in 2019 will be the use of Data-as-a-Service (DaaS), a technology that will give access to wider data sets for cleaning, profiling and data tagging. Under GDPR, there is an increased emphasis on the requirement to keep data held on customers clean and up-to-date. DaaS enables data cleaning to be done automatically, in real-time, without staff having to manually process large data sets, enhancing productivity and data security. DaaS results in more intelligent and cost effective use of data.
Brands need to look at the use of open-source data for identifying geographic areas of focus. Some will even be able to use personal health data from fitness trackers, allowing insurance companies and other organisations to better understand target audiences, as well as to use and predict travel data to help decide on advertising locations.
Duncan Muir - Head of B2B CRM Enablement Standard Life
They should consider how to use their rich insights and data to ensure there’s recognition of the customers previous interactions to inform relevant and timely future interactions. Engaging with context is the way to build and grow relationships
Chris Johnston - CEO Adoreboard
Brands need to think customer touch-point rather than channel. Their first resolution should be to go the extra mile to discover all the customer touch-point with your brand. This will force them to test assumptions rather than assume the customer journey. In many cases that might mean having to collect new data as they identify new gaps.
The second resolution should look at the holistic view of customer rather than as data points. This might mean exploring emotional drivers of customers or getting out to speak with customers directly. They need to discover how customers feel and why.
Business impact first. The final resolution is to communicate the business impact of data and not the data itself. This is should be a shift from actionable insight to decision ready insight. The insight generated from the data should be connected to the business context. This will enable a move from what many experience as recommendation fatigue to empowering decision makers to actually prioritise the decisions they need to make. By connecting these decision ready insights through narratives rather than raw data they’ll create immense value for your firm in the year ahead.
Paul Meersman - Head of Marketing CDS
If brands should be making New Year’s Resolutions on how to use data in 2019 they should first look at how they intend to measure ROI. As companies invest in data analytics systems they need to prove how these systems are impacting their bottom line. Companies are also struggling with legacy systems. These two issues have to be tackled before they can use data to drive their business strategy so that data gives them a competitive edge
Thanks to everybody who contributed, it makes great reading