Top 7 Marketing Predictions to help businesses with Digital Transformation in 2021. How Conversational Marketing can help drive this.

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The year 2020 and the pandemic have flipped tables as far as business operations are concerned. B2B and B2C interactions have become unpredictable as many more operations have moved online or changed their processes altogether.

However, months of turbulent changes in customer interaction and trends during the pandemic have given marketers insights on what to expect from the coming year. This will be the year of continued change in the digital marketing space which, fuelled by conversational marketing, can change the marketing landscape altogether.

Here are a few predictions on marketing trends that can help businesses to surf the waves of digital transformation in 2021.

1) UX will be a bigger priority than ever before

The average modern customer is extremely tech-savvy and expects nothing less than perfection in user experience (UX). As customers tend to be less forgiving of clunky and inconvenient apps and software, having a seamless and engaging online presence in 2021 is a bare minimum.

More and more users are transacting online. This means ensuring a smooth online customer experience is imperative for all businesses, whether it is an e-commerce platform or a company website.

In 2021, one can also expect a greater emphasis on speed and personalization in UX. This also includes integrating conversational marketing to enhance your marketing strategy. At every point of the customer cycle, the user should be able to converse with your brand and get an informative response in return. In this regard, cognitive AI technologies, such as digital sales assistants and cognitive chatbots, are expected to lead the digital marketing and online sales space in the coming year.

This will improve customer experience significantly and will simplify the discovery and user experience of complex products and services.

2) Marketers will become hyper-focused on personalisation.

Personalisation has always been an important element of the marketing space. But as more and more transactions begin to happen online, personalized customer interaction becomes an even more valuable touchpoint in the customer cycle.

Customers expect the most prompt and personalized experience possible online, which goes beyond personalized emails and messaging.

Even though any customer-oriented platform needs the human touch at its core, it is not convenient to deploy humans to promptly respond to customers 24×7, given the internet’s range and availability today.

That is where conversational marketing can turn savior. Digital Sales bots and digital engagement bots are efficient ways to personalize your customer experience. They are prompt and available 24×7 to assist customers through the entire purchasing process.

They also help to filter routine doubts and questions before an issue is transferred to your team. An added benefit is customers find live chats more convenient, efficient, and feasible than engaging in a conversation over the phone.

The smartest way to enter 2021 is to enable cognitive virtual assistants to take care of your customers’ basic questions at all hours of the day or night, while you and your team can focus on other tasks.

3) Live streaming and video e-commerce will help your brand stand out online.

The basis of live streaming for e-commerce is pretty straightforward. These are videos that demonstrate the use and experience of a product which are streamed live over various platforms, from online websites to social media.

This is a marketing trend that has been a rage in China for a while, but it has picked up internationally during the pandemic for very simple reasons. Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a significant increase in online shopping.

For all this time, marketers have sworn by the importance of product pictures for online sales. And it still holds, to an extent. However, videos and live streams allow the user to inspect the product more closely and get a better idea of the experience by seeing the product in action. Live streaming and video-oriented e-commerce content thus help users to digitally replicate the shopping experience they can access in a brick-and-mortar store.

Just as society resorted to video-conferencing platforms to regain social contact, customers are increasingly eager to experience e-commerce more engagingly and interactively. Incorporating these tools will drive growth for B2B and B2C brands. Additionally, conversational marketing through cognitive assistants can supplement these experiences. This can help brands enrich their customer relationship management through relevant customer feedback and personas.

4) The increased importance of customer retention vs customer acquisition

Acquiring more customers is a key focus for any business. However, in the long run, what matters is how many customers your brand retains.

In 2021, the importance of the ratio of acquired customers to retained customers can be expected to increase even further. This is for the simple reason that customer retention provides your business with a greater return on investment. Moreover, the chances of making a sale to a new customer are around 5-20% while with an existing customer it is about 60-70%.

With the help of an improved UX and an enhanced personalized customer experience, brands can improve their customer retention-customer acquisition ratio.

Conversational marketing platforms such as ORI’s cognitive marketing and sales platform can improve customer retention while enhancing user experience. It also generates extremely personalized conversations and eases the process of feedback collection.

5) Marketers need to keep up with changing data privacy laws across geographies and industries

The pandemic has catalyzed many changes in various industries. One of them is the renewed attention to the online space and data security.

As more and more work starts to shift online, we are witnessing a fresh emphasis on data privacy and online security.

During the pandemic, customers have become empathetic to logistical delays, but not so much for the loss of data privacy. As various geographies come up with new laws to protect the data of their residents, marketers need to keep up with region-specific new data privacy laws and accordingly respond to data privacy laws, marketing needs, and marketing trends almost instantaneously.

As digital commerce continues to grow beyond proportions, we observe users becoming increasingly paranoid about data security, encryption.

The pandemic has ushered in a digital data transformation which makes it imperative for organizations to implement a successful encryption strategy to ensure the security of their customer data.

6) Brands will increasingly use Conversations and Conversational Ads for customer acquisition.

Conversations and conversational ads are some of the newest yet most productive digital marketing tools that the industry has seen lately, and they will only get bigger in 2021.

Conversational marketing tools like cognitive virtual assistants, digital sales bots, and engagement bots create a personal experience for customers that is utilitarian, on-time, and creates a directional and strategic call to action.

These tools enable customers to connect with businesses across platforms such as social media, apps, and messaging platforms! This creates an even bigger probability for customers to engage with your brand.

Conversations and conversational ads will become an active medium for brands from the perspective of customer acquisition and retention. As customers are moving online at an incomprehensible speed, they look for immediate answers. Brands, therefore, must deploy smart ways to acquire, engage and service the customer all via a single touchpoint. And that is exactly where platforms like ORI’s cognitive platform come into play.

By being present 24/7 to address your customers, they handle most of the common as well as complex queries, understand customer intent and context, helping the customer from discovery to closure all via a single touchpoint.

7. Straight, Authentic and to-the-point marketing.

For a long time now, brands have hidden many aspects of their functioning behind technical terms and jargon. As customers get involved deeply with the brands they associate with, brands too must begin to prefer transparency and authenticity.

This will not only improve the trust and relationship with their customer base but will also establish their brand value in the industry.

By being transparent about their brand values and operations, brands can encourage customers to engage and invest their trust in their brand.

Customers are increasingly associating with brands that resonate with their beliefs and ethics and are interested to see how the product that they love is being made.

Giving your target audience an insight into your business operations can prove useful at many levels and give your brand a differentiated persona.

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